You may have noticed a trend that is causing a nutritional stir. My nutritionist told me about bone broth a year ago and suggested that I drink it to boost my immunity. Of course, I ran right to my organic food store, for ready made broth. It was so delicious, but so expensive. My health guru, Louise Hay, believes in it so completely, that she and Heather Dane wrote a book, The Bone Broth Secret.
According to these ladies, the health benefits you get are bioavailable collagen, easily digested amino acids, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. They also state that collagen production slows down after age 40 and the broth supplies what your body cannot produce.
Soups were never my strong suit, unlike Mom, who could make the tastiest soups on the planet. Mine always tasted like flavored water, but by the time I finished the book, I was ready to attempt my first broth. There are a few secrets that they share, which make them foolproof.
- Use good bones. This is not as difficult as it sounds. I usually buy a chicken to roast, that has no pesticides and is free range. After enjoying a meal of the roasted chicken or turkey, I put the carcass in the freezer for future bone broth. Beef bones should be from grass fed cows. I bought some at a local butcher. If commercial bones are used, they suggest scooping off any fat or stuff that comes to the surface of the broth. You can also just make vegetable broth.
- Save your vegetable scraps. I keep a bag in the freezer with scraps from peeling veggies, the tops of celery and carrots that are unused, half an onion that I haven’t used, etc. Once I collect a bag full, I add them to the broth pot.
- Use filtered or spring water, enough to cover the bones and veggies.
- Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of organic apple cider vinegar to the pot and let it sit for an hour before cooking. I use a crock pot and by the time it heats up, the bones have soaked. The small crock produces about a quart of broth when finished. I use 1/4 cp of vinegar for this size.The vinegar aids in extracting the collagen from the bones and gives it a little tang.
- 2 tsps sea salt and peppercorns or ground pepper to taste. I use about 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper. You can also add in a nutritional boost by adding Kombu dried seaweed, spices such as turmeric, parsley or whatever tickles your tastebuds.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce and cook on low for 24 hours. I prefer the crock pot for this length of time for cooking. Put it on high to start, then reduce to low, when it starts boiling.
- Strain and discard bones and veggies and refrigerate or freeze the broth. Beef bones may be used more than once. The broth may be used in soups and gravy or just sipping, which is my favorite. There are lots of variables and no hard and fast recipe is necessary, but so far the results are amazingly tasty. I sip a cup with lunch or even sometimes in the morning to warm up my innards. I definitely recommend checking out the book or online hints and boiling up some goodness.