Bone Broth—Liquid Gold Magic Juice
Aaaaah bone broth…an ancient, savory elixir that’s been a staple in the diet of many a culture and persists in many even today. The Italians call it brodo, while the Latinos call it caldo. But despite all of these eloquent and alluring (dare we say exotic) descriptions, what exactly is it?
When most people think of broth, they think of that stuff you buy at the grocery store in a can. These chicken and vegetable broths, while easy to toss in your basket, are NOT the liquid gold magic juice that is bone broth.
Bone broth is actually pretty simple. It’s just water, bones, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and possibly a few veggies (if you wanna get fancy), simmered for a solid twenty-four hours (at least…you can go longer). In that time you can go for a walk, play with your kids, read a few chapters of a good book, get some shut eye, and when you come back, magic juice. How easy is that?!
These seriously basic ingredients produce gelatin from the collagen-rich joints and release minerals from the bones. What results is a delicious, nutritious broth the benefits of which, I will gladly explain below and then provide with OUR RECIPE at the bottom of this post 😉
Why is bone broth so great?
First off, it’s great for your joint health and helps reduce inflammation. Seriously. I used to experience a lot of hip and knee pain, and after working on my alignment, upping my movement, and consuming bone broth on a regular basis, those joints are no longer screaming at me.
As Mary Shenouda, says, “think of it like spraying WD-40 on your joints, keeping everything smoooooth.” (Check out her Wild Thing Bone Broth Recipe…she’s definitely got the “wild thing” part covered!)
Here’s the quick, scientific lowdown: We’re supposed to have a dense amount of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in our joint tissues (a family of carbohydrates). If our amount of GAGs decreases, the popular solution has been to take the nutrients glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, which go straight to aiding the connective tissues of our joints, as stated in this article. BUT instead of popping all kinds of supplements, which is both expensive and annoying, bone broth gives you all of these GAG’s. So why not go for the bone broth and get all the benefits in one easy place?
Secondly, did you know that bone broth actually reduces your body’s need for protein from meat?
Wait till you hear this! Sean Croxton writes, “In her fantastic Real Food Summit (RFS) presentation, Sarah Pope revealed that studies conducted in the 1800’s demonstrated that when there is plenty of gelatin in the diet, the body’s need for protein from meat sources can be reduced by as much as fifty-percent!” This is pretty awesome, because, let’s admit it: I like a juicy steak as much as the next person, but the good stuff that’s grass-fed and organic can get pretty pricey! Drink some bone broth (which, as I’ll talk about later, you can stretch to last you a whole week!), save some money. Point blank.
And here’s another truth bomb for you. Modern nutritional research proves, over and over again, what traditional cultures have known a passed down to their families for centuries: “when we eat a specific part of an animal, it nourishes that same part of our body.”
Whoa…mind blown! And yes, drinking bone broth can even support the health of your bones and your teeth. If you’re interested in this topic read more about it here and here. This concept makes so much sense, but what I love most about it is that it reminds us just how much power we have over our health and wellness. It’s way more than most assume. Guys, we have resources. Let’s use them!
Wait. There’s more!
Neat nuggets you should know about –
2. Bone broth is also great for your skin. If you want to look like you’re glowing without going to the tanning booth, then bone broth is for you. And hey, even if you do want to soak up some sun (after all, summer is coming!), bone broth helps protect your skin against the damaging effects of certain UV rays (i.e. it’s an internal sunscreen!). This is by no means an excuse to roast yourself red in the sun, but being able to withstand the sun’s rays for even ten minutes without sunscreen is important so that you can absorb Vitamin D (from the sun) naturally.
3. Consuming bone broth keeps us from getting sick because of the restorative properties of the nutrient-rich minerals and amino acids (that are leached from the bones into the broth). They boost antioxidant activity and fuel a killer immune system. I felt a cold coming on a couple of weeks ago, so I drank a mug-full of broth twice a day and supplemented with a little Camu Camu Powder (a potent natural form of Vitamin C that comes from the camu berry) and wouldn’t you know that cold never even had the change to fully rear it’s ugly head.
4. Bone broth also helps heal damaged intestines (aka Leaky Gut or Leaky Gut Syndrome) which is, unfortunately, super common and linked to lots of different issues such as acne, IBS, eczema, chronic fatigue, food sensitivities, asthma and a whole bunch more, which you can read more about here (and even take the leaky gut quiz at the bottom!). It also enhances stomach acid (which is crucial to good digestion and goes down as we get older), and promotes good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.
As if all of the above weren’t reason enough, bone broth also:
– promotes mental calmness and deep sleep (great to drink before bed time!)
– Encourages strong, healthy hair and strong, long fingernails
– Assists your liver in cleaning out toxins
Awesome— I’m on board! How do I make bone broth?
Aside from following our recipe below to make your own, you should a few things before you make it. For instance, bone broth must be made from 100% organic, grass-fed beef/buffalo bones, pastured/pasture-raised chicken bones, or wild fish bones. The other key ingredient is apple cider vinegar. You have to add this in, in order to draw the minerals and amino acids out of the bones.
Also, you can cook these bones for longer than 24 hours…you can cook them up until the bones disintegrate! I sometimes make a “never ending batch” of bone broth and cook the bones in my slow cooker for 7 days at a time (if you do it this way, you will have to continuously add in water on a daily basis so you don’t cause a fire hazard, by the way). I add it to veggies and meat, often to rice, or dip a cup in and drink it straight (especially great after breaking a sweat). “Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it…”, not that I’m quoting Journey lyrics or anything 😉
Some people measure the success of their homemade broth based on how well it gels…but whether yours jiggles or not, down it, multiple times a week, every day if you can…your body will noticeably thank you!
If you don’t feel like drinking it straight up, here are a few other easy ways to use it:
-add to soups and stews
-add to sauces
-mix into a smoothie or green juice
-use it instead of water to cook rice
-braise meats and veggies
-add it to most recipes in place of water
What if I don’t have time to make bone broth? Where can I buy it?
If you’d really rather someone else make it for you, but you want all the benefits from a real bone broth and not that store bought muck (that’s full of sodium and preservatives), THIS is the company I trust and who can ship it straight to your door:
Try something new this week and experiment with making (or for that matter buying) your own bone broth (we’re partial to our recipe below)! Pair it with some movement snacks and a little meditation and you my friend ARE Eating. Moving. And Thinking optimally.
- 1-2 lbs Quality Bones: grass-fed beef bones, pasture-raised chicken bones, wild-caught fish heads
- 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 quarts of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 carrots (tops too if you like!)
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 onion
- 2 chicken feet: these can produce extra gelatin as well
- 1 bunch of Fresh herbs: basil, parsley, oregano, thyme...
- Drippings (these make bone broth so so good!)
- Add the bones, salt, and pepper to the bottom of a stock pot or a slow cooker along with any of the optional ingredients you like.
- Sprinkle ACV over the bones, then cover everything with water.
- Bring to a vigorous boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for: 24-48 hrs (chicken), 48-72 hrs (beef), 4-8 hrs (fish)
- This will last in the fridge for about a week.
- *The first five ingredients are literally ALL you need to make yourself some bone broth.Now, if you want it to have some incredible flavor, I vote for adding in at least two of the optional ingredients.
- *Use NON-OILY fish (sole, turbot, rockfish or, my favorite, snapper) to make fish bone broth...NO salmon! otherwise it may stink up your house
- *If you make more than you can consume in a week, freeze it and use it later!