“Good broth will resurrect the dead.” Bone broth is an incredibly healing traditional food with myriad health benefits, and it’s so soothing and calming. It’s frequently recommended in certain healing plans. We recommend broth to weight loss clients and to those with digestive concerns. Broth made with chicken bones blocks the migration of inflammatory white cells, making chicken broth an invaluable tool to boost immunity during cold and flu season. If you feel run down, make a batch of broth before you really start to feel bad, and drink 8 ounces 2-3 times daily for recovery. Broth can improve digestion and metabolism too. Try drinking it with sea salt and curry (because it’s yummy and for the turmeric), or use it as a base for soups and stews.
Following the below recipe is important, because when it comes to broth, most certainly the kind you buy in cans or in a box from the grocery store is NOT nearly as beneficial. Not only has it not been properly prepared, many brands contain additives and MSG (look for key words like ‘natural flavor’ or ‘autolyzed yeast extract’ in the list of ingredients. MSG hides under those terms).
First, the benefits. Bone broth, when properly prepared, is very rich in the minerals we are so sorely lacking in our diets. Even if you’re eating a diet full of all kinds of veggies (half your plate should be veggies of all kinds), modern farming practices have left the soil that even the best organic crops grow in depleted of the key minerals we need. Broth is calcium-rich, and many folks (especially those of us who avoid dairy, which isn’t even the greatest source of calcium……you can get calcium from your leafy greens) are concerned with not getting enough calcium. Broth is also rich in magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, potassium sulfate, fluoride, collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and other trace minerals.
Broth contains both collagen and gelatin, two super healing components. Collagen nourishes joints, tendons, and ligaments, skin & bone, and it improves skin elasticity–drinking broth makes skin smooth and supple and may reduce cellulite. Collagen also contains arginine and glycine, two important amino acids. Arginine is said to improve metabolism, making it useful for weight loss, and glycine helps muscle recovery. Glycine may also improve digestion by increasing gastric acid secretion. Broth can be a useful tool for healing leaky gut syndrome (it also contains a bit of glutamine, which is an essential component the body uses for leaky gut repair). Gelatin is quite a superfood as well. It improves skin & hair, nails, improves joints, helps reduce cravings (making it useful for weight loss), and improves digestion and muscle tissue.
The high mineral content can help combat sugar cravings, try sipping it in the afternoons when the 3pm sugar cravings hit. Broth is also incredibly nourishing for the digestive tract, making it invaluable for reducing intestinal inflammation from foods like gluten, sugar, and dairy (that may contribute to leaky gut). It can also be a great segway back into eating meat for vegetarian clients, as they often have fatty acid or amino acid deficiencies.
How to Make Traditional Bone Broth
Here is the easiest method, using a crock pot. The longer and lower you simmer your broth, the better, as more minerals will be extracted, and the flavor will be richer.
Use chicken backs, necks, heads and feet for the most collagen-rich broth!
Bone broth–easy crock pot method
· 4 lb. bones of pastured animals. Use a variety of lamb, beef or raw beef marrow bones, or for a chicken broth, chicken bones/back/neck. Always use organic/grass fed bones. You can save them in a container in the freezer until you have about a pound or more. You can also save egg shells and use those. Buy chicken backs, necks, heads and feet, which are usually cheap and yield a collagen and gelatin-rich broth.
· 2 organic celery stalks
· 1 organic onion, chopped
· 6 cloves organic garlic
· filtered water
· Sprigs of thyme/rosemary/sage as desired
· Add sea veggies for more trace minerals–kombu and kelp are great for this
· Sea salt and pepper to taste (I often add before drinking)
· 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (important for the extraction of minerals)
Put all ingredients in slow cooker, then pour enough filtered water to cover everything. Set to low and let it cook for 15 to 24 hours. Strain broth and store in glass containers (preferably). In the fridge, you’ll notice a layer of fat form–don’t skim this. It seals the broth and keeps it fresh. Drink it between meals, a couple times daily, in the afternoons when sugar cravings hit, or in the evenings after dinner if you’re a night eater. Use can also use it as a base for soups and stews. It should be very gelatinous.
If you don’t choose to use a crockpot (or don’t have one), put everything in a large Dutch oven on the stove and let it simmer as long as possible. Follow the same method & enjoy!