If you’re a soup person, it’s time to elevate! The flavour and the nutrition. Making homemade bone broth is simple, delicious, cost effective and can have major benefits for your gut!
Bone broth is trendy right now. But what is it, and how does it differ from regular broth? All broths are made from boiling food in water. But unlike a typical chicken or vegetable broth, bone broth is made from boiling mainly bones with little meat.
The goal is to simmer the bones for a long time, anywhere from 14 hours on the stove top to more than 24 hours in the slow cooker. Using a pressure cooker shortens the process and is my preferred way to make it. By simmering the bones for a very long time, the amino acids, minerals and collagen are released from the bone into the broth. Advocates will tout all kinds of benefits which research only thinly supports. But don’t be too quick to dismiss it either. The nutrients in bone broth are very nourishing for the gut and improving gut health can help all kinds of other conditions. Some conditions known to be linked to inflammation in the gut are allergies, autoimmune conditions, frequent infections, anxiety, depression, IBS and chronic digestive symptoms like constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
Granted, there are not many actual studies to support the benefits, but do we need them? The problem with studying gut health foods is the complexity of the gut. There is no magic bullet for fixing the gut. It requires a number of strategies. Consuming bone broth, which contains valuable nutrients that the gut needs, can help.
Sometimes garlic, pepper, carrot, onions and celery are added for flavour and more nutrients. Personally, I like to use herbs from the garden to deepen the flavour even more. It is believed that adding apple cider vinegar will help draw out the nutrients from the bones.
Soup is a comfort food. So in addition to all those nutrients, there’s additional benefit from the way it makes you feel. You can use bone broth to enhance the nutrition of your favourite soups and stews. Or, if you are too busy to make a recipe, just drink it as a beverage. Heat the broth and add some sea salt, pepper and your favourite herbs. Then sit down and relax. Sip the broth and savour the flavour, just as you might a tea or coffee.
As you enjoy the broth, you have the pleasure of knowing that you are getting all kinds of minerals and amino acids that your body will love, too.
A couple of bone broth tips to stew on:
- For a richer flavour, roast your bones first.
- Thicker beef marrow bones will require longer cooking times than chicken bones.
- Be sure to simmer the broth long enough that the water level drops by half. That is when you have finally cooked out the taste of water.
- It should jiggle when it cools – that’s the collagen which is super good for restoring the gut lining and making your skin glow!
- Freeze it in various portion sizes. I always have an ice cube tray for when I need a little and 500 ml mason jars for when I need a lot.
If you want to be fancy, source bones from your local farmers market, butcher shop or nearby farm. It may be ideal to have bones from organic, grass fed and sustainably raised animals but don’t let perfection be the enemy of done! There are still lots of benefits from soup bones you can buy in your local supermarket. Check out my recipe here.
So simmer down, and enjoy.