Beef bones aren’t just treats for the dogs anymore! We actually buy them on purpose from the local butcher shop to use for ourselves!
Just put a couple pounds of bones into pot and add filtered water until they are covered. Add maybe a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar and let this sit for an hour or two. Then, bring to a boil, skim the foam off the top with a spoon, cover and cook on low (just a light simmer) for up to 50 hours. Strain and enjoy. Want more flavor? Feel free to add herbs and spices, garlic and onion, leeks or celery, etc… just before you put the cover on. It’s a lot like making a stew, only you’re more concerned with the leftover liquids when you’re done than the solid bits. Just make sure you’re cooking it slow and low heat. The higher the temp, the higher the likelihood you will be creating some MSG in your broth (it naturally occurs in the breakdown of the proteins).
It’s amazing all of the health benefits in something so simple.
The gelatin in the broth heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract. Think of it like a sealant that goes in and seals up the cracks and holes.
Joint and Muscle Pain
Gelatin relieves joint pain. Glycine and proline (amino acids found in bone broth) lessen inflammation, repair tissue, help stiff joints and aid in bulding muscle. Bone broth also contains chondroitin and glucosamine. If you’ve ever looked for over-the-counter joint support, I’m sure you’ve seen these two ingredients in the majority of the products.
Sore Tendons or Ligaments
Bone broth contains a lot of collagen. This collagen along with some of the other beneficial properties in bone broth, helps rebuild your connective tissues, like your tendons and ligaments and even beautifies your skin, as it too needs collagens to stay soft and supple. Sufferers of Rheumatoid Arthritis usually love the effects of adding bone broth into their diet. Your hair and nails will benefit too!
Bone broth to the rescue! Have you heard of eating chicken soup when you’re sick? Well, when it is made at home in the traditional way (not out of a can), it is made with chicken broth – yep, from the bones of chickens (necks and feet as well as the carcass after picking it clean are all good for this!). Broth contains various minerals and amino acids, plus it boosts antioxidant activity in the body. It is so good at helping with upper respiratory infections that they’ve even conducted scientific studies proving its usefulness!
Remember those amino acids we talked about under Joint and Muscle Pain? Well, glycine, found in gelatin, is beneficial for the neurotransmitters in your brain. Drinking your bone broth before bed will not only help you sleep better at night, it may also decrease daytime sleepiness and even improve your memory.
Not only does this amazing thing called bone broth help heal a leaky gut, but it also benefits digestion. That glycine we’ve been talking about, stimulates the production of stomach acid. Stomach acid is what breaks down your food before it enters your small intestine. Too little, and your food tends to sit in your stomach for way too long and will actually start to rot in there. Having too much food in there and having it start to rot are both causes of acid reflux which, unfortunately, are often treated with antacids when really the person just needs to boost their HCl (Hydrochloric Acid). Not only does glycine boost stomach acid, but it is also an important component to the bile acids produced by your body. Bile starts helping digest the food once it enters the small intestine.
Need a Liver Detox?
That wonderful amino acid, glycine, allows our liver to detox (or cleanse) the harmful chemicals our body’s are subjected to every day. Plus, the stimulation of bile is also beneficial to the liver.
When you have strained your broth and you put it in the refrigerator, you will find that the fats in the broth will move to the top of the liquid. You can skim these off and use for cooking and sauteing if you don’t like an oily texture to your broth. They are very healthy fats, so whether they stay in your broth or get used to saute your next vegetable dish is up to you – you’re getting to use them and eat them either way!
You know you have high quality bone broth if it gels after it has been chilled! This is caused by the gelatin which has that beneficial glycine in it, so you want it to gel. If you cook it too high, or don’t cook it long enough, it won’t gel. Different bones needs different simmer times. Chicken bones take from 6-24 hours, beef 12-50 hours, fish only about 4 hours. If you use too much water it won’t gel either. You want high quality bones, and bones from various parts of the body, some meaty and some gristley and some just bony.
The Healthy Home Economist blog has a great video showing the perfect simmer:
Do you have any favorite broth recipes?