There are countless ways to improve your health, but sipping on bone broth is one practice that’s been all over our radar lately. Bone broth has deeply nourishing and healing properties that are missing from many of our modern diets. It is rich in gelatin, essential amino acids such as glycine, proline and glutamine, vitamins, minerals, and essential healing sugars known as proteoglycans. Through these nutrients, bone broth can improve sleep quality, lessen fatigue, boost well-being, stimulate cartilage production and inhibit cartilage degradation. Its amino acids are also essential for healthy skin and connective tissue and for maintaining muscle-tissue mass. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s an excellent source of collagen as well.
Collagen is a vital building block of tendons, ligaments, arteries, veins, and muscles – including the heart muscle. It keeps our tissues strong and elastic, helping to reduce the aging of skin (think sagging and wrinkling), and keeps our joints flexible. It is an important component of wound healing and the building of cartilage, making it a great food for preventing osteoarthritis.
Incorporating bone broth into your daily routine is simple: with a bit of foresight, a large enamel stockpot, this recipe, and the following three essential tips from the Nourishing Broth cookbook, you’ll be trading in your ritual cup of coffee for a pipping hot mug of bone broth in no time:
3 Tips for Making a Healing Bone Broth
Flavor in basic stock comes from the meat, not the bones. If you are using your stock to make soup or aspic, you may not want much flavor in your stock. In that case, you can use stock made mostly with bones and very little meat.
For a stock with lots of flavor – flavor that will concentrate when you boil down the stock to make a reduction sauce – you’ll need to include lots of meaty bones, such as short ribs and shank. For the best flavor, first brown the meaty bones in a hot oven (set at 400 – 450 degrees F) for about 30 minutes. This will create Maillard reactions with lots of complex flavor molecules and also impart a beautiful brown color to the broth.
For a very flavorful (and more nutritious) broth, you can make what is called a double stock by straining the bones and vegetables out of your stock and then cooking more bones and vegetables in the original stock. This highly prized double stock is especially delicious and it’s great for consommé or French onion soup.
The one seasoning that should never be added to stock is salt. Meat releases some salt, but the main reason for leaving it out is that if you boil down or concentrate the stock, you may end up with liquid that is too salty. Add salt to your soup, stew, sauce or gravy at the end of the cooking process, when the desired thickness is obtained.
You will want to use clean, filtered water for your stock – definitely not city tap water which contains fluoride, chloramine and other chemicals. Remember that your stock will likely be reduced and concentrated, thus concentrating whatever is in the water you use. (Unlike chlorine, used in years past, chloramine, widely used for water treatment today, does not evaporate or boil off.)
Home-filtered water, bottled spring water and clean well water are all good choices for making stock.
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.