Today I am turning over the blog to one of my favorite people in the world, my cousin Kirstin. She is a born and raised Minnesotan as well. She is the biggest animal lover I have ever met and even owns her own dog walking/cat sitting business. She is my go-to-gal for anything Paleo related and today she is going to explain why bone broth is so very important and how to make it.
Are you interested in…
- - A flatter, less bloated stomach and a much healthier, happier digestive system
- - Strong bones and preventing osteoporosis
- - Healthy, glowing skin with fewer wrinkles
- - Strong teeth and nails
- -Reducing cellulite
- -Mental health achieved without pharmaceuticals
If so, then you need to start drinking bone broth. It is truly a natural superfood and will affect your life in even more ways than I’ve listed. It gives us access to the stored minerals and nutrients contained in animals bones, skin and joints. These include collagen, glycine, proline, hyralonic acid, chondrointon sulfite, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfer, potassium and sodium. What’s unique about bone broth though is that while some of these minerals and nutrients can be found in other foods, there is really no food more easily absorbed as broth. The problem most of us face without realizing it is that we have damaged gastro-intestinal systems. Our intestines become more permeable than they should be because of less than ideal bacterial populations as well as irritated, damaged intestinal walls. I won’t go into all the scientific details here but if you are interested the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is outstanding in explaining this concept in great detail. The damaged gut is very important because it leads to things getting through your digestive walls that shouldn’t, such as undigested foods. This creates a lot of problems like food allergies, autoimmune conditions, and terrible allergies in general (no it is NOT a coincidence that everyone and their brother seems to have terrible allergies these days. So did I, until I changed my diet!). It is also problematic because our bodies are struggling to absorb nutrients even when we eat food that should provide great nutrition. These nutrient deficiencies cause all kinds of issues including wrinkled skin, dry skin, cellulite, stretch marks, insatiable hunger, weight problems (yes most overweight people are actually under-nourished but over fed), and here’s a big one: mental health issues. At this point we know we need certain neurotransmitters like serotonin to be in balance and keep us feeling less stressed and happier, but who knew that the first step to creating serotonin is not Prozac, it is in fact eating the right nutrients, and then being able to absorb them. The precursor to serotonin is then sent up to the brain to be converted and utilized. But none of this can happen if we don’t take in the right amino acids and absorb them properly. Again I won’t go into great detail but the book The Mood Cure by, Julia Ross is an excellent resource for understanding mental health issues and addiction and how they relate to nutrition. Also, the vast majority of your immune system is in your gut, so if your gut’s not healthy, neither are you.
Now that I have you seeing the importance of a healthy gut, let’s look at how to rebuild it.
It takes pretty much no work on the part of our digestive system to digest and absorb all these wonderful and much needed nutrients from the broth, and it goes right to work rebuilding our intestines and feeding our bodies what they need. It is also important to work on improving gut bacteria but that’s a subject for another day.
Let’s look at how to make this broth:
Where to buy? I get my beef bones from the farmer we order our grass-fed beef from. We order ½ cow and just ask the butcher to include as many soup bones as possible. If you don’t have access to bones like this, have no fear - just save the carcasses whenever you eat meat on the bone (roasted chickens or turkeys, chicken thigh bones, fish bones etc). You can also get chicken necks, backs, and beef knuckles from butchers. If you want your joints to age well, use joint bones; if you want to keep your skin wrinkle free, collagen rich chicken feet and ox tail are a great addition to your carcasses. Grass fed/pastured animals are always best, then organic, but if all you have is conventional, go for it. It’s still much better than nothing and animals do have detox systems built-in so some argue it’s less important than organic veggies. **Bones can be used to make up to three batches of broth**
Here’s the recipe for broth I made this week:
- Beef Bone
- Stock pot mostly full of water (I think it’s a 16 quart pot but I’m not sure) plus
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- peel of one orange
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 big cloves garlic, smashed
- Pinch of cloves
- Sea salt to taste
- 4 carrots
- 2 onions
- 4 stalks celery
Take your bones (2-3.5 pounds is really ideal but I often use a bit less if I don’t have enough) and add them to a stock pot full of water. 2-3 chicken carcasses, 1 turkey carcass or a good sized beef bone will work.
Add about 2 TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar to help the water leach the good minerals out of those bones. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to simmer, always leave it covered so you don’t evaporate it away. You can also leave the meat on and extract lots of good amino acids from the meat, but I wouldn’t boil the meat too long if you plan to eat it or it will lose all it’s taste. Maybe 1-2 hours at most for the meat, and then continue to cook the bones for 1-2 days. You can cook the broth in a crock pot, or as I do, leave it on the stove top simmering. Poultry bones take about 20-24 hours and beef/lamb is more like 2 days. As you see Fat accumulating on the surface of the broth, don’t be alarmed. According to the GAPS book mentioned above, animal fat is one of the most important factors in rebuilding your gut. This is especially desirable coming from grass fed animals.
Once your bones have boiled long enough, you have two options:
1. For drinking/cooking broth: You can enjoy as is, just add salt OR add chunks of veggies, herbs, garlic and sea or Himalayan salt to taste towards the end to improve flavor. Keep it to 1-2 hours or less. Then strain all the solids (meat bones, veggies) out and store the broth in the refrigerator or freezer until you need it. The meat and veggies can be thrown away or eaten if they still have flavor. I gave my meat and veggies to my dog this week (minus the bone, garlic and onion of course). She’s on a raw/whole food diet, though so it’s not suitable for every dog.
2. For soup: You can strain the broth out from the bones/ meat, and add in veggies, meat, herbs, salt, etc to make a soup. Just boil as long as you need for veggies to be the right texture (30-45 minutes usually) and you’re done!
The broth usually keeps a week or so for poultry and longer for beef. Soup seems to last longer than just broth. Once it’s been refrigerated it should start to gel, like a soft jello consistency. This means that you pulled out lots of gelatin, collagen, minerals, etc.
Later I plan to add a couple of cups of this broth to a dutch oven with a pot roast and bake in the oven, it reduces to a really tasty sauce and then I have lots left for drinking. Also works great for beef stew!
Have you ever tried making bone broth? Do you have any questions for Kirstin? Please feel free to leave any comments on the topic below!