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I’ve been touting the benefits of bone broth to my friends and family for almost a year now, but it’s been only recently that my sisters have been taking fetish seriously.
I stumbled upon bone broth when I was struggling with some digestive issues, which the doctors still don’t know quite what was wrong with me but more on that later!
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
Bone broth is chalk (or should I say “stock”) full of amino acids, gelatin, calcium, magnesium and other minerals.
Gelatin is known for it’s ability to attract and hold liquids, such as digestive juices. That’s why bone broth is a stable for many who suffer from IBS, leaky gut or those following the GAPS diet. There are a bunch of theories on the web about how gelatin could help with building up your joints too but those haven’t been proven yet. However, bone broth can reduce joint pain and inflammation because of some really fancy worded nutrients like chondroitin sulfates and glucosamine, which comes from boiling bones. The calcium and magnesium also helps in strong bones and overall health.
While bone broth can be made from any type of bones, I make mine from free-range chickens. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that chicken soup can help cure colds, there is some truth to this. A study published years ago found that chicken broth does have medicinal qualities in that it can inhibit infections caused by the cold or flu.
Besides these health benefits, having broth on hand is convenient for whenever you need some for a recipe. Not to mention it is relatively easy to make (once you find out where to buy the bones) and is cheap for how much you get from it. Since you make it in large quantities, I usually separate the broth into several quart-sized jars or freezer bags and then save them in the freezer for easy access.
Where can I buy bones for bone broth?
It depends. I usually get my from our year-round farmer’s market. They have an Amish family there that sells grass-fed meat and free-range chicken. I simply asked him what bones I should get for bone broth. I ended up with two chicken ‘backs’ (basically a chicken without the breasts or thighs) and a bag of chicken feet. Most butcher shops will also sell their own bone broth.
If you plan far enough ahead, you can also just save the bones after cooking full chickens. Keep a Ziploc bag in your freezer with the bones till you are ready to use them.
The great thing about bone broth is it’s so versatile. You don’t have to use chicken bones. You can use turkey bones, fish bones, veal bones (which have the most gelatin, actually). Just make sure you get a good combination of feet, joints and bones.
Best Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
2 pounds of bones, joints and feet
1 onion, quartered
4 carrots, washed and roughly chopped
4 stalks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, cut horizontally
3 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with the mother
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Step 1: If using raw bones, roast them at 350 for 30 minutes.
Step 2: Place bones in a stock pot (you can also use a crock pot but I suggest you still bring your bones and water to a boil before adding to your crock pot to simmer the rest of the time) and add filtered water just so it covers the bones in the pot. Also add your apple cider vinegar.
Step 3: Bring the bones, water and vinegar to a boil and then turn down to simmer. If you start to see scum float to the top, you can skim that off the top. Make sure you add additional water to that water is always covering all the bones. Supposedly the scum is impurities but I’ve skipped this process once and never noticed the difference so up to you and your OCD 😛
Step 4: After 15 hours (closer to 30 hours if you are using beef bones), add in your vegetables but not the herbs.
Step 5: After an additional 9 hours (total of 24 hours simmering), add the parsley and thyme and let simmer for 30 more minutes before straining the chunks out of the broth. You can choose to keep some of the meat, veggies or herbs in the broth in you plan on just turning it into soup afterwards.
Enjoy! The first time I tried chicken bone broth I thought it tasted like pizza–I know, crazy, right?! Let me know in the comments what you think it tastes like or let us know your tips to making amazing and nutritious bone broth!