If you've been following me for a while now you'll see that I like to talk about bone broth, a lot! My fridge and freezer are packed full of the stuff – ready to drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, to add to meals so my immune system gets a big kick and to be used to water down the babe’s food for his purees. It really is liquid gold.
Why is it so good?
It’s bursting with gelatine and minerals that our bodies can easily absorb in liquid form – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. And the best part? The broth tastes great.
Who can it help?
Everybody at every age! Yep, my 5 month old is consuming it daily in his purees and my grandmother drinks it daily - she's 80!
What are the benefits?
- Gut health
The broth can help heal leaky gut, IBS and many other disorders of the gut. Again, it's the gelatine that's leached from the animal bones into the broth that then protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract so your body can digest and absorb nutrients easier.
- Bone growth and repair
It’s no surprise that boiling bones helps repair and protect your bones. It's the calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the bone broth that helps our bones to grow and repair.
- Reduces inflammation
The glucosamine in the bone broth can help to stimulate the growth of new collagen, repair damaged joints and reduce pain and inflammation.
- Hair, skin and nails
The collagen and gelatine in the broth ensures your hair stays strong, your skin stays hydrated and your nails stay free of chips.
- Fighting infections and getting better
A homemade bone broth is an excellent tool for fighting flu and healing the body afterwards. Chicken bone broth is the real winner here. Remember when mum would make a homemade soup from scratch and you'd always feel so much better? Well, the chicken broth contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which will help to thin the mucus in your lungs and rid you of the illness quicker. Keep in mind this benefit is not something you get from store-bought, canned chicken soup. All the goodness that was ever present is removed by highly refined production processes. Don't buy it.
I use 2 chicken carcasses (approx. 1kg of bones) to 4 litres of water and 3-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Slow cooked on low for 8-12 hours. I f you'd like to do this on your stove, follow the same ratio and keep the broth on simmer for the same amount of time, 8-12 hours. Or, you can even do it in the pressure cooker for 90 minutes.
Recently I have been buying 1kg chicken feet (I know, confronting) and using 4 litres of water with 4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and my broth is YUMMY! It is very thick, tasty and sets like jelly. I now do that 90% of the time and I like the fact I am using them up, we don't want any part of the animal going to waste.
Which flavours can I make?
Don't limit yourself to just chicken bones. This can be made with any animal bone, just look for the best quality, free range, grass finished, well treated ones you can get your hands on. Oh, and if that is a beef or lamb bone, really brown up the bone before following this same process. It will add great flavour to your broth. If you want add some onions, spices and vegetable scraps, they'll add even more flavour and vitamins but just think through how you'r going to use it. Oodles of ginger and lemongrass in the broth isn't going to taste great if you're adding it to spaghetti bolognese it's just going to be a but funky. That's why I keep it plain and add the flavour on a dish-by-dish scenario.
Tell me, have you ever made bone broth? How did it go? Do you have any great flavour combinations or dishes you like to add it to? Please share it in the 'comments' below. You'll be helping not just me but others that are looking for great ideas.
P.S A sneaky insight in to my private health coaching sessions - this broth is the first thing I get my clients adding in to their diets.