07 Mar Therapeutic Bone Broth
In the Kremer household, I serve some form of bone broth at least once per week as part of a main meal and often consume leftovers in the meals following. While homemade bone broth is recommended for all individuals hoping to maintain a high level of health, it is particularly essential for those with a compromised gastrointestinal system. I like to think of my bone broth as medicine; part of my treatment plan for healing my tormented gut after years of undiagnosed celiac disease, food allergies, and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth).
Now you’re probably wondering what on earth is it that makes bone broth so special, especially for those with compromised GI health. For starters, bone broth is rich in numerous vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus (all very important for bone health). For those with dairy allergies and intolerances, regular bone broth intake is a great way to ensure we are getting these essential nutrients. For those with a compromised GI/digestive system, chances are you may not be absorbing vitamins and minerals in an efficient manner, which oftentimes results in deficiencies. Bone broth is one of the most efficient ways to absorb these vitamins and minerals!
I can’t talk about bone broth without also mentioning two very important amino acids; proline and glycine (found in collagen) which are essential for numerous optimal bodily functions. As the key components in connective tissues, these acids essentially hold our bodies together while also helping to repair various forms of damage in our bodies (caused by everything from inflammation to disease to infections. Hint-If you’re GI system isn’t functioning properly your body is surely suffering from one of these ailments).
In a nutshell, by boiling the bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage of various organic animals we are able to extract collagen (and its lovely amino acids), glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) as well as the other aforementioned vitamins and minerals. The benefits of consuming bone broth on a regular basis (daily if at all possible) include:
- Aiding in digestion and alleviating digestive related issues
- Strengthening the immune system
- Improving the production of our own collagen
- Increasing gastric acid production (also helping with digestion)
- Proving GAGs which support the health of the gut wall
Hopefully by now you’re wondering how to make this wonderful superfood! The process is easy! I start by buying (or in our case ordering from a local farmer) our grass fed meat with bones still in whenever possible. Bone-in chuck roasts are great, as are whole chickens, turkeys and those leftover bones from Holiday ham. There are nights when we have something like a T-bone steak and don’t have enough bones to bother making a broth right then; in these cases I simply store my bones in the freezer until I have enough to make a broth. You can also ask your butcher to set aside some bones for you or find a friend who hunts wild game and ask if they have any bones to spare after butchering (wild game bones are ideal as those animals eat a variety of organic foods and are least toxic).
In the case of bone-in meats, I’ll usually simply prepare my roast/steak/poultry and serve it with the bone in. After dinner, I’ll collect all of the bones and other meat scraps from our meal (as well as any celery, carrots, onion, bay leaf, sage, or other desired herbs) and throw them in the crock pot to cook over night (if you’re not comfortable with having the crock pot on overnight or if you don’t have a crock pot, you can throw the bones in a container and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook them up. When you’re ready, add enough water to your crockpot to cover the bones in plus 1-2 tbs apple cider vinegar (1 tbs for 2-3 pounds 2 tbs for 4-6 pounds of bones). Chicken bones will need about 10-24 hours to simmer and larger bones can go 24-72 hours in the crock pot. When cooking for a longer amount of time you can remove your broth from heat to allow it to cool, then place in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it again, replacing water as necessary to ensure the bones are just covered with water.
You’ll know you have a great broth when your broth becomes gelatinous upon cooling.
You can use your broth to flavor soups and stews or simply add a pinch of sea salt and drink warm as a light broth. And of course, you can always freeze a portion of the batch to use for a later date.
- 2- 6 pounds bones from organic chicken, beef, pork or wild game (amount really doesn’t matter t00 much)
- 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
- Water (enough to cover bones)
- Carrots, celery, onion, garlic or vegetables of choice, optional
- Add 2-6 pounds of bones to crockpot
- Add 1 tbs apple cider vinegar for 2-3 pounds bones and 2 tbs for 4-6 pounds of bones
- Add enough water to completely submerge the bones
- Turn crockpot to low heat and cook about 10-24 hours for chicken bones and 24-72 hours for larger bones
- If desired, in the last 8 hours of cooking, add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, sage, thyme or seasonings of choice
- Store in fridge about 3-4 days or in freezer for up to 6 months
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