Oh I'm sorry, are you disappointed? You won't be after reading this. ;)
Bone broth is one of those "everything old is new again" phenomenon. It's a traditional food in many cultures, and for reason alone it should probably should be part of your diet. What likely started as a way to use all the parts of an animal, bone broth is simply the strained liquid made from boiled down animal bones (chicken, pork, beef, or fish) with vinegar and water, and maybe some vegetables and spices.
Chinese medicine considers bone broth a medicinal food, and the "foundation for good health." It nourishes our Qi (energy) and our blood.
*It's super important to use bones from pastured, organically raised animals, or wild-caught fish. Those are the healthiest animals, and thus will make the healthiest broth.*
Bone Broth Benefits
Bone broth contains collagen and also the amino acids necessary for collagen production. Collagen makes your skin tight, reduces wrinkles, strengthens your nails and hair, and makes your hair shiny. It can even reduce cellulite!
Bone broth contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate from the boiled down animal cartilage. This is awesome for your joint health. In fact, you've probably heard of people taking those supplements as they age. The collagen, again, also helps keep your joints lubricated, and your bones strong and supple. Bone broth also reduces inflammation, which also helps soothe and prevent achey joints.
The gelatin in bone broth help heal and seal the gut, which we now know is where the majority of our immune system resides. Doctors are also discovering many health problems are due to "leaky gut," and bone broth is the basis of the GAPS diet. Plus, you aren't just what you eat, you are what you digest. A healthy gut and good digestion = a healthier, more energetic, more glowing you.
Nutrient-Rich and Immune Boosting:
Bone broth is full of minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and silicon (hello shiny hair!), as well as anti-inflammatory amino acids like glycine, proline, and arginine, all in an easily digested form. (Anything anti-inflammatory = anti-aging and anti-achey!)
-----> Yes, grandma was right: chicken soup is good for your chest cold. (So says science.) Chicken bones contain a particular amino acid, cysteine, which thins and loosens the mucus secretions in your lungs.
I'm recovering from a nasty head and chest cold, and all I wanted all week was brothy soup. (Isn't it amazing how your body knows what it needs? ) Luckily, I had some chicken bones in the freezer. I made a batch of bone broth, and turned it into chicken and rice soup with veggies and lots of immune-boosting shiitake mushrooms.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
1 - 2 pounds of bones, and if using chicken bones, other "parts" like the wings and neck(with an option to use a whole chicken if you'd like)
2 - 4 TB raw apple cider vinegar (the kind with the "mother")
Optional: Veggies (Onions, Carrots, Leeks, Celery, Garlic, Parsnips, etc.), Herbs, Peppercorns, (1-2) Bay Leaves
Put your bones in a slow cooker or large pot, cover with cool water, and add the vinegar. If you use pork or beef bones, you may want to roast them first to release some of the fat, and create a richer flavored broth. Let this sit for an hour or two (best, not but necessary).
Slow cooker: Cook on low for 12 - 24 hours.
Stovetop: Cover and cook on a very low simmer for 24 hours.
Let cool and strain. After straining, I like to let it cool further in the fridge and skim off any fat that has floated to the surface.
Ta-da! You just got boned ;) If you're interested in reading more, this is a great bone broth resource by Dr. Mercola .
As always, talk to me in the comments!
Grow Happy, Grow Healthy