The word has been out on bone broth for some time now thanks to countless celebrity endorsements of trendsetters like Gwyneth Paltrow. As an anti-aging expert and weight loss consultant, I can confirm that the magic is true! We always have something to learn from our ancestors and bone broth is no exception.
When we were a younger society living without processed and packaged foods, we had our own farms and livestock. Waste and garbage were virtually non-existent at this time because our forbears thriftily made use of everything. Livestock was food but also, leather, pillow stuffing etc. Today, most people buy parts of animals when they want to eat meat: ribs, breasts, thighs. The whole animal is discarded elsewhere. However, by participating in a faster, ‘easier’ life we are missing out on the secrets hidden within what was handed to us i.e. those mysteries locked within the perfection of nature as untouched by man. The more I learn about them, the more incredulous I am about how they have been overlooked as non-invasive or harmless solutions/cures for health and beauty!
One of the ‘secrets’ is bone broth. It is a confirmed anti-aging asset as it helps plump skin, diminish wrinkles and supports nail and hair health. It is full of all kinds of nutrients which help the gut – the seat of all wellness and digestion.
What are the Nutrients in Bone Broth?
► Collagen – The main nutrient in bone broth for skin, hair and nails is collagen! Bone broth is loaded with collagen, a protein found in the connective tissue, cartilage, bone marrow, tendons, ligaments and bones of cows, goats, sheep and other vertebrates. Collagen is what maintains skin elasticity and firmness as well as promotes smooth and supple skin.
► Protein – Protein is not only a building block for muscles but it’s also a vital nutrient for healthy and strong hair.
► Magnesium – By warding off pro-aging free radicals, magnesium prevents pre-mature aging. It also reduces breakouts by staving off acne-causing bacteria as well as minimizing acne inflammation.
► Calcium – Did you know that calcium deficiency leads to dry skin, brittle nails and dull hair? Calcium is necessary for healthy and moisturized skin and bone broth, which is made using calcium-rich bones, is rich in this vital nutrient.
Bone broth is also very rich in essential amino acids that promote optimum health and beautiful skin. Here are a few of the amino acids in bone broth and their benefits:
► Glycine – Gylcine helps your liver detox and get rid of toxins and other harmful substances. This helps rejuvenate your body’s cells including skin cells, thereby promoting anti-aging. Glycine supplements have also been found to promote a more restful sleep, as glycine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which helps the body relax. And you already know that good sleep = good skin!
► Proline – Proline is necessary for the body to break down protein and it has many health & beauty benefits including promoting good heart health, improving the skin’s elasticity, delaying wrinkles & fine lines and more.
► Glycosaminoglycans – These include glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, which all keep your bones strong and joints flexible as well as healthy and pain-free. They also help repair gut issues and boost skin health.
General benefits of Bone Broth
- Improves digestion and overall gut health
- Strengthens bones, muscles, tendons
- Boosts immunity
- Fortifies hair & nails
- Improves elasticity in skin and can result in reduced appearance of wrinkles
- Reduces cellulite
- Reduces internal inflammation which can be the catalyst for many diseases, ailments, and common health problems including allergies
- Improves brain health
- Improves joint function and reduces joint pain
- Releases toxins
- Curbs appetite and helps in weight loss
- Easily digestible
- Contains valuable nutrients
Making Bone Broth
Bone broth is cheap and easy to make once you find a 100% pure supplier of animal bones. The animals should not have been subjected to antibiotics or hormones and they should have been fed a decent, non-soy diet. Since you will be extracting the minerals from the bones and drinking them in concentrated form – you want the ‘cleanest’ animal possible. You can call your local organic farmers or order frozen parts online. One online supplier is Healthy Traditions https://healthytraditions.com/
Personally, I use Wellness Mama’s (LOVE her) recipe which I have included herein:
Bone Broth Ingredients
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
You’ll also need a large stock pot (you can use a crock pot or simply a steel pot) to cook the broth in and a strainer to remove the pieces when it is done.
Bone Broth Instructions
The first step in preparing to make broth is to gather high quality bones. As I said, you can find them from sources listed above or save them when you cook. Since we roast chicken at least once a week, I save the carcass for making broth/stock.
I usually aim for 2 pounds of bones per gallon of water I’m using to make broth. This usually works out to 2-3 full chicken carcasses. If possible I’ll also add 2 chicken feet per gallon of water (completely optional!).
You’ll also need some organic vegetables for flavor. These are actually optional but add extra flavor and nutrition. Typically, I add (per gallon of water and 2 pounds of bones):
- 1 onion
- 2 large carrots (if from an organic source, you can rough chop and don’t need to peel)
- 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
I also add, per batch, a bunch of parsley from the garden. Since I make in bulk, I usually use about 4 times the amount of each of these. You can make in any amount, just multiply or divide the recipe up or down.
If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.
Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5 gallon pot). Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done. These are the times I simmer for:
- Beef broth/stock: 48 hours
- Chicken or poultry broth/stock: 24 hours
- Fish broth: 8 hours
During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
How to Use Bone Broth
Homemade Broth/Stock can be used as the liquid in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to saute or roast vegetables.
Especially in the fall and winter, we try to drink at least 1 cup per person per day as a health boost. My favorite way is to heat 8-16 ounces with a little salt and sometimes whisk in an egg until cooked (makes a soup like egg-drop soup).
In times of illness (which doesn’t happen often) we will usually just drink bone broth until we start feeling better as it supports the body but is very easy to digest so the body’s energy can go to healing. In cases of stomach bugs or vomiting, bone broth often calms the stomach very quickly and helps shorten the duration of the illness.
Buying Bone Broth
In the event that you simply do not have the time or will to make bone broth, there are a lot of options out there for the ready-made version. That said, many of them are not made from ‘clean’ animals and are very high in salt. The ones I have tasted from stores lack the gelatinous texture that one gets when actually making bone broth – an affirmation that is truly bone broth! So far, the only supplier that I have tried whose standards are extremely high (no hormone/antibiotic animals and all grass fed + filtered water) and whose bone broth tastes amazing is: Kettle & Fire.
What amazes me about this company is the way they thought through the packaging in order to eradicate the need for preservatives and sodium. I encourage you to read more herein:
Feel free to use a coupon code from me (ANNA2GLOW15) for a discount! My nutrition clients LOVE Kettle & Fire!
Their broth is delivered promptly and tastes delicious! I like it in a cup for lunch with a dash of cayenne and a squeeze of lime juice. It fills you up nicely and eradicates the need to eat more! In addition, for non-meat eaters – you are not eating meat just drinking the minerals via a broth – guilt free!
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