As my very first blog post I thought it would be relevant to share a recipe that has been a staple in my life and kept me healthy all year long.
Bone Broth has definitely gotten its share of press-time this winter! I can remember the day that there was an article about bone broth in the Valley Advocate (our local paper out here in the Pioneer Valley) and I got swarmed with people seeking validation of this seemingly-foreign concoction. I think it surprised people when I reminded them that bone broth is nothing new! It’s sad that the over-proccessing of “foods” has lead people to believe that most foods come from bags and boxes… not from nature.
Bone broth is simply broth or stock that is made from bones. You can make chicken stock from chicken bones, fish stock from fish bones, beef stock from beef bones, and etc. The importance of making your own broth versus buying that boxed stuff in the grocery store is that: you know where your bones came from and you know what is in your broth- or more importantly- what ISN’T!
Most broths bought from grocery stores contain dyes, artificial flavorings, preservatives, GMO’s and probably a few other ingredients that look like they are part of some chemistry experiment. None of those ingredients are beneficial for your health, in fact most are quite harmful.
Without getting into the negatives of the “standard american” shelved broth, lets talk about the positives of homemade bone broth. Bone broth made from healthy animals contains many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, collagen, gelatin and amino acids such as glycine and proline. If you would like to know more about how glycine and proline interact with the body I would highly recommend visiting The Paleo Mom’s blog post titled “The Health Benefits of Bone Broth”
What is considered “healthy” for meats? I would recommend finding a local butcher shop that you trust and that sources all of their meats locally if possible. For beef it is important to get grass-fed beef that is hormone and antibiotic free. I typically go to Sutter Meats or River Valley Market in Northampton which is a local non-GMO certified coop. Of course getting the meat directly from the farmer would be even better. For chicken look for organic, free-range meats, also hormone and antibiotic free. Pork should be pasture raised, organic and hormone/antibiotic free. Fish should be wild-caught.
Now, back to the recipe! Bone broth can be made many different ways to cater to your own personal tastebuds. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables, spices, types of bones, etc. The recipe that I use is AIP friendly and Low-FODMAP. It has been a staple on my healing journey throughout the Autoimmune Protocol and SIBO protocol.
2-3lbs. grass-fed beef marrow bones
2 TB. apple cider vinegar
1 TB. parsley, fresh or dried
1 TB. thyme, fresh or dried
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp. turmeric power
1/2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Place fresh or frozen marrow bones on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes
-Move bones and any drippings/fat into a 7 quart crockpot (this is the one that I have that I got at BJ’s for $35!)
-Add vinegar, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, turmeric, and salt to crockpot, then cover with filtered water until the you reach the top of the crockpot (just under the lid)
-Seal lid tightly and turn crockpot to high for 3-4 hours until the broth is boiling
-Once the water is boiling turn the crockpot to the low setting and let simmer for a minimum of 8 hours, up to 48 hours, depending on how gelatinous you would like your broth.
-When you have reached your desired time (I usually stick with about 24 hours) shut off the crockpot and let your broth cool for 20-30min
-Using a large pot and either a mesh strainer or a regular strainer lined with cheesecloth, pour the broth through the strainer into the pot, straining out the herbs and bones
-If bones are still viable you can save them in the freezer to use in your next batch, if they are brittle and falling part throw them out
-Transfer broth to containers and leave about an inch of space at the top if you plan on freezing them, they keep in the fridge for about 4-5days
You can use broth as a base for soups, stews and sauces or you can drink it as is! I typically have 1-3 cups per day (more so on my autoimmune protocol) in place of coffee which I cannot drink at the moment. To (literally) froth it up I add about 1/2-1TB of coconut oil and use my further to incorporate it into a delicious, bulletproof broth! You can also use a blender.
Finally: the fat from the bones and any meat that was left attached to the bones solidifies on the top when the broth cools. This fat is perfect to save and use as a cooking fat, waste not!