Keep your immune system well fed and strong this cold and flu season by making some homemade bone broth. You may even find it helps with more than just keeping away a pesky head cold.
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones, knuckles, feet, ligaments and tendons of an animal - whether it’s beef, chicken, fish, lamb etc.- in water for many hours to yield a nutrient-dense broth. During the many hours of simmering, essential vitamins and minerals that are housed in the bone and joint tissue leach into the liquid, resulting in a broth that has been called “Nature’s Multivitamin.”
WHY NOT JUST BUY SOUP STOCK?
Beware of store-bought commercial broths, stocks and bullion cubes. Commercial stocks do not contain the vitamins and minerals that give homemade bone broth its unique medicinal properties. These products are often made using artificial meat flavorings and can yield high sodium levels and additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG).
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH
The health benefits of homemade bone broth are far reaching. Can you think of any other food that can help:
· Strengthen your immune system
· Heal your digestive tract
· Soothe overall inflammation in your body
· Relieve joint and muscle pain
· Support healthy metabolism
· Improve the health of your skin, hair and nails
Bone broths provide essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus along with bio-available gelatin, collagen, amino acids, trace minerals, glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and more in a form that is easily absorbed by the body. These important nutritional building blocks promote a healthy gut, which is key in treating leaky gut and food sensitivities and decreasing overall inflammation in the body. The collagen and gelatin present in bone broth promotes joint health by restoring cartilage between bones and supporting healthy bone mineral density.
MAKING HOMEMADE BONE BROTH
Go ahead, give it a try. Be sure to start with ingredients from good quality sources, i.e. bones from grass-fed animals and organic aromatics/vegetables. Visit your local butcher or farmer for suggestions and inspiration.
Basic Bone Broth Recipe
4-5 lbs long bones with marrow, knuckles, feet
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
¼ cup raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (Braggs)
16-20 cups cold water
Prepare the bones by first blanching them to remove impurities. Place bones in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the water used.
Next, roast the bones to start the process of extracting nutrients. Roasting also contributes to the rich flavor of the broth. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place bones in a roasting pan and cook for 35-40 minutes.
Add roasted bones and remaining ingredients to a 10-quart stockpot. Add just enough water to cover your bones and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for at least 6 hours but more is better.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Drain off the bones and aromatics. Cool remaining broth as quickly as possible (adding a few ice cubes and transferring the broth to a wide shallow container may help).
Store cooled broth in the refrigerator for one week or freeze in smaller containers for up to 6 months.
Dr. Jaclyn Borza Maher is a holistic chiropractor; she integrates applied kinesiology, cranial release therapy, soft tissue release, and nutrition into her practice. She has a passion for working with families to help them achieve whole body health in a natural way.