As much as we love learning from the latest scientific breakthroughs, there is nothing quite like looking to the past for wisdom. Some of the most effective remedies in the holistic world were discovered by the people that came before us – like the currently trending bone broth. Drinking bone broth is a practice we’ve adopted recently, happily sipping on a cup whether we’re under the weather or not. Bone broth provides a wealth of nutrients that are easy to digest, rich in flavor, and are known to facilitate healing in even the most complicated of cases. It contains both anti-inflammatory and gut-healing proteins, healthy fats for rebuilding strength, and highly bioavailable minerals that are the building blocks for health.
What you need to know: Bone broth is a healing food that dates back to the Stone Age. The process of making soup with a base of broth can be found throughout every culture in the world. From the Native Americans and Europeans, to the Greeks and Asians, the desire for deep nourishment through a broth-based soup is shared worldwide. Bone broth contains a wide range of nutrients whose individual benefits have been extensively researched within the scientific community. These fractional components are believed to be the underlying driver of broth’s healing capabilities.
Why you should try it: Bone broth provides the body with a unique spectrum of nutrients that are known to rebuild and rejuvenate the system. It is rich in gelatin, essential amino acids such as glycine, proline and glutamine, vitamins, minerals and essential healing sugars known as proteoglycans. Nourishing the body with bone broth follows the wisdom that “like feeds like.” This tells us that broth has the ability to strengthen that from which it is made – bones, joints and skin – providing strength, flexibility, adaptability and youthfulness. Collagen is also found in bone broth, which is a nutrient often missing in one’s diet. Collagen acts as a building block for the body, supporting cardiovascular health, vision, digestion, athletic performance and immunity. It is through these mechanisms that bone broth has remedied a host of conditions including arthritis, colitis, psoriasis, autoimmune disease, brittle hair and nails, and premature aging.
Let’s make some: Making a good bone broth at home doesn’t have to be difficult. Using a slow cooker is one of the best ways to get the job done with ease. First off, save your veggie scraps from the week. Store in the freezer for making the stock later. Don’t discriminate either; all parts of the vegetables are useful – celery tops, onion skins etc. Next, save the bones and fat any time you eat meat during the week. These will be the base for the broth. Then follow the recipe from Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morell found below. Once you get this basic one down, you can try your hand at her more advanced recipes found in her book. We love drinking broth as is (makes a great coffee or tea alternative), using it for making this Kale and White Bean Soup, or substituting it for water when cooking grains.
Simple Slow Cooker Stock
makes about 2 quarts
a bunch of chicken bones, about 6 cups
2 chicken feet or 1 piece split pig’s foot
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp vinegar
cold filtered water
1. Place the chicken bones in a large stock pot. Add the feet and onion to the pot, then add the vinegar and enough cold filtered water to cover the bones. Let stand for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
2. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 12 hours, checking occasionally to ensure that the bones remain covered with water. Add additional water if needed.
3. Remove the bones with tongs and a slotted spoon. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer into 2-quart Pyrex measuring containers or a large heatproof bowl. It is ready to use in your recipes.
Note: if your not using it right away, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate uncovered for several hours, until the fat rises to the top and congeals. If desired, skim off this fat (you can use it in your cooking) and transfer stock to containers, cover, and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for many months.
Excerpted from the book NOURISHING BROTH by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCM. © 2014 by Sally Fallon Morell and Dr. Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCM. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.