Bone Broth Basics

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I make bone broth– A lot. Some weeks I make a new batch everyday. A lot of people think it’s just so that I can make meals that taste better.. but the real reason is because of all of it’s glorious health benefits. While it’s true that most restaurants have stock simmering in their kitchens all the time so that they can have the best flavor for their plethora of dishes for customers… it’s not just taste that matters.

If you know much about gut health, then you’ve probably already heard a lot about bone broth before finding my post… Bone broth can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, and much much more. Bone broth is a wonderful source of minerals. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, glycerin, collagen, and amino acids like proline and glycine.

The Paleo Mom has a great explanation about the importance of proline and glycine:

“In addition, glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body.  As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing.  Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid.  It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant.  Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver).  Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland.  This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system.  In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect.  Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.

Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits.  It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels.  Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.”

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Bone broth is also wonderful for preventing illness, and for treating illness. Bone broth is easily digested so that someone who is feeling under the weather doesn’t need to worry about getting all the right nutrition, and can instead focus on healing as the body easily absorbs all of those wonderful nutrients. It is truly a super food and is such a great immune booster. I try to consume as much as possible, with the optimal consumption being 3-4 cups per day.

So, how do you make bone broth? If you’re like me then you probably don’t have a whole lot of extra time on your hands. I turn to my trusty crock pot(s) to make my bone broth 🙂 You can use any kind of bones that you want, but I don’t recommend mixing beef bones with poultry bones, etc. If you are using beef bones you can roast them in the oven first for about 30 minutes on 375– This step isn’t necessary though, and I rarely take the time to do this and I always have excellent broth.

I use an 8 qt crockpot and this is how my recipe works out:

*Chicken/turkey carcass or 1-2 pounds of bones
*3-4 stalks of celery
*3-4 carrots (if buying organic, you don’t need to peel them and you can leave the ends and all)
*1-2 onions (I always use 2… You can chop this up but throw in the peels and ends and everything)
*1 tbsp of peppercorns
*2 bay leaves
*Fresh parsley
*Splash of Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar- I like Bragg’s (this helps pull out the marrow from the bones.. don’t worry! This doesn’t create a sour vinegar taste in the broth)
*4-5 garlic cloves, smashed for the last hour of cooking

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Put all of the above ingredients into your crockpot, and then cover with filtered water so that the bones/veggies are covered 1-2 inches above them. Cook on low for 12-24 hours. Don’t salt while cooking, wait until you use the broth as it condenses as it cooks 🙂

I usually find that with poultry, the bone broth is delicious in 12 hours (although cooking it longer certainly doesn’t hurt anything and brings out more of the flavorful marrow), but the beef bones generally take 24 hours or longer to get a rich tasting broth. When your broth is done cooking, remove all vegetables and bones. Then strain through a sieve. You can strain through cheesecloth if you prefer to get all the herbs out of the broth, but I’ve found that this removes a lot of the gelatin, which contains a lot of the nutritional value we want in our bone broth.

Here’s what your broth ingredients should look like going in and then what it looks like after 12 hours of cooking:

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And I can’t stress this last point enough… Make sure to let your broth COOL before placing it in the fridge (or freezer). Also, I strongly recommend you use glass storage containers/jars instead of plastic.

 

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How do you make your bone broth?

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2 thoughts on “Bone Broth Basics

  1. Kitty says:

    My favorite is turkey broth. If I’m not having Thanksgiving at my house I have to shamelessly ask for the bones. I do it the same way you do except sometimes I will use my pressure cooker. Either way I always cook it until there is no cartlidge left on the leg bones. It is completely dissolved into the broth . This year I was able to get two organic turkey carcasses and I like to add thyme

    Like

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