Superfood Spotlight: Bone Broth!
Hey there! So I’ve mentioned bone broth about 5 million times in my recent posts, and I figured it was about time to make my very own.
A quick overview of bone broth health benefits:
Bone broth is a traditional healing food for the skin, GI tract, gut and digestion. It can help with IBS and other forms of indigestion. It is packed with glucosamine for joint health, and collagen for skin, hair and nail health. The glycine in bone broth may help people sleep more soundly. The high concentration of other minerals helps to build blood, improve energy and keeps bones strong.
Where to get bone broth:
In the past I’ve ordered my bone broth from Bare Bones – they have great quality bone broth sourced from pastured, organically-raised animals. Unfortunately since they’re based on the west coast and shipping costs are written into their basic prices, they’re a bit expensive.
If you live in NYC, you can also get well-sourced bone broth from Brodo in the East Village. I buy quite a bit at a time to take home, but you can even just get a coffee cup to go if you want to try it.
Pacific Organics has also started making a bone broth that you can find in grocery stores. Unfortunately, this broth really doesn’t seem to have the high collagen content of the others and probably isn’t worth its salt, so I’d look elsewhere.
If you’re new to bone broth, I suggest trying chicken bone broth first (over beef bone broth). Chicken bone broth kind of tastes like a richer version of your typical chicken soup broth. Beef broth, while still good, was more of an acquired taste for me, and is best seasoned with some onions, garlic and herbs.
Be sure to heat on the stove! The microwave will zap the nutrients you’re looking for 🙂
How to make bone broth:
But, as I mentioned above, I decided that it was high time for me to make my own. While it does take a long time to actually cook, bone broth is fairly simple to make.
Over the past month I bought two whole chickens, cooking most of the meat and freezing some of it. I kept the chicken backs in a tupperware container in the fridge, and cleaned thigh and wing bones after eating and added them to the container as well.
Then I adapted the Wellness Mama’s recipe as follows —
- two chicken backs
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 large stalks of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- several sprigs of thyme
- sea salt or Himalayan pink salt and pepper (a good pinch of each)
Note: Wellness Mama suggests adding two chicken feet to the mix. This sounds weird, but its actually a great way to get extra collagen (and all the solids get removed at the end anyway). I couldn’t actually get pastured chicken feet in time for this batch, but would recommend going ahead and using them if you can find them.
- if your bones are raw, Wellness Mama (and other recipes I’ve seen) suggest that you roast them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Since I used the remains from roasted whole chickens, I skipped this step.
- put chicken backs in large stock pot, cover with water (it took me about 16 cups of water, but this will depend on the size of your stock pot)
- add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to pot and let sit for 30 minutes without heat (this helps break down the bones to make the minerals more available)
- add chopped veggies, thyme, salt and pepper and bring mixture to a boil
- once it’s bubbling away, reduce to a simmer and cover
- during the first 2 hours or so, a sort of film might bubble up at the top, you can remove these impurities with a spoon — mine didn’t do this so much, so I removed the top bubbles a few times and then let it be
- simmer for 24-30 hours — this is what makes bone broth a tad inconvenient to make! I started mine at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, let it sit until about midnight, then turned off the heat and left it covered on the stove until 7 a.m. Turned it on for two hours before work, then turned it off, and then turned it on for another three hours when I got home.
- strain out bones and veggies so only liquid remains – oila! bone broth. I threw out everything but the liquid in the pot. As it starts to cool, some fat may solidify at the top, and you can skim this off and discard if you’d like.
- store in the fridge or freezer (it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge – if you’re not going to use it in that time, I suggest freezing it where it will keep for 6 months or so)
How to serve it:
Bone broth is pretty good on its own – so you can just sip it. My homemade one was pretty well seasoned so I didn’t add anything to it. If you buy bone broth, you can play around with different seasonings – I like adding garlic powder and ground herbs de provence.
A note on reheating: do not use the microwave! This will denature all of those lovely good-for-you nutrients so you won’t reap the rewards.
You can also use bone broth as the base of soups. One of my super simple favorite soup recipes is below.
Shiitake Bone Broth Soup:
- 4 cups bone broth
- about 1.5 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
- juice of 1/2 lime
- optional: hard boiled egg!
- optional: parsley or cilantro for garnish
- Heat sauce pan over medium heat, add coconut oil
- When oil is completely liquified, add garlic and ginger
- After a few minutes, add shiitake mushrooms and cook until they begin to shrink
- Add bone broth and bring to temperature – do not let it boil completely
- Remove from heat and add Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce and juice of lime
- Garnish with parsley or scallions (optional) – I also like adding some dulse flakes for the extra sea veggie nutrients, and serve.
Vegetables and mug pictures courtesy of Unsplash.com