BONE BROTH BONE BROTH BONE BROTH. I rave about it. Bone broth is one of the things that you will almost always see boiling away in my kitchen. Whenever I feel my health or my belly feeling off, I increase the level of bone broth in my diet aiming for at least a cup a day, every second day as a regular rule of thumb.
For quite some time as I started exploring my gut and digestive symptoms I tried cutting out most meat altogether. This was mostly for the environmental impact and sustainability issues I knew surrounded the meat industry, but even still as I have learned more I truly think that for the most part 'PLANT BASED' is the way to eat for optimum health and nutrition (both in the short and long term). Bone broth became one of the ONLY reasons I could never choose to be fully vegan (albeit almost!).
As I started GAPS, and looked more and more into the importance of gut health not only for digestive symptoms but also for overall immune function, bone broth became a fundamentally important part of my routine.
Bone broth has been used in culinary traditions throughout history and across numerous cultures. It is popular in the health world largely for its high proportion of trace minerals, gelatin, and protein. Bone broth is often suggested to be a fantastic way of improving skin health, largely related to the collagen (gelatin) present, and the mineral glycine, which supports the body's detoxification process. Gelatin and glycine also both help support digestive health.
Chicken bone broth, in particular, has been shown to help relieve the effects of colds, flus and respiratory infections by inhibiting neutrophil migration (read more here if you're into the science!).
BONE BROTH / MEAT STOCK.... What's the difference?
Traditionally, broth is made with meat and a small amount of bone, simmered for somewhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours (a relatively short period).
Stock is made using bones, often roasted beforehand for flavour, and then simmered for a medium length of time (usually about 3 to 4 hours).
In the health world, however, bone broth is made using bones with some small amount of meat adhering to them, and simmered for a long period; usually somewhere between 8 and 24 hours. Bones may be roasted first for improved flavour, and will crumble when lightly pressed when the broth has adequately cooked. This extended period of cooking allows time for the nutrients, minerals and gelatin to properly be extracted from the bone.
Compared to store-bought bone broths (lets immediately put aside the cheap, chemical-laden, flavouring, MSG, additive and preservative-full 'stock' many of us grew up with), making your own is a significantly cheaper and far more pragmatic way of achieving a nutrient rich diet.
RECIPE: A simple chicken bone broth.
Organic chicken carcass
Apple cider vinegar (I use Braggs organic)
2 whole carrots (preferably organic, or soak and scrub in white vinegar after purchase)
1 teaspoon good quality pink salt.
(OPTIONAL: 2 sticks celery)
VERY simple, add indredients to a large (20-40L) slow cooker and cover with water (preferable filtered). Cook on low for 8 to 24 hours.
Once finished, remove bones and vegetables by straining through a mesh sieve (I often try to use any meat/veggies on a salad or in a meal since after all that simmering they too, are packed full of goodness!). Store in fridge for up to 3 days and drink as a nutrient-full warm beverage or use in cooking. You might also choose to pre-prepare some bone broth for cooking and freeze for up to 6 months.