How To Make Bone Broth (and Why!)
A number of years ago, I was introduced to bone broth. I admit that I was a little squeamish about the idea of it at first, but I decided to give it a try. Although I tend to avoid things that are all the rage, I understood that bone broth has a wonderful nutritional profile. I was thrilled when I discovered that it was also delicious and really affordable if I made it myself!
We often buy a roasted chicken from our local health food store as part of our weekly food plan. We never get all of the meat off of it so when we’re done I wrap the carcass in a bag and throw it in the freezer. Once I have two, it’s broth time! I also will have been storing carrot butts, celery ends, onion skin, and other veggies in the freezer as well.
Bone broth has become part of my diet and one small thing I can do to be a good steward of the planet. Traditional cultures and cooking always used up all the animal parts. So often we simply take the pieces we want and toss out the rest, creating a lot of waste. I love to be able to take our leftovers, turn it into something wonderful and then use that to cook yet something else!\
The nutritional profile.
Stock contains a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and additional trace minerals. It also has chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine from cartilage and tendons. Stock also becomes gelatin when it cools, and gelatin has a long history of medicinal use. As a matter of fact, in Chinese herbal medicine it’s still included in several herbal formulas for providing sustenance and supporting the yin.
Several hundred years ago gelatin was used to stretch small protein meals into complete meals and was considered invaluable. In the 1950’s, an American researcher, Francis Pottenger found that gelatin had the quality of attracting and holding liquids. To that end, stock was used therapeutically for digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut.
How to make bone broth yourself
Good soup is really all about the broth.
This is a comment I find myself making on a regular basis. Soup is, well, meh, without good broth. And making broth is sooo easy! There may even be health benefits if we simmer the bones long enough.
First of all, it’s easy as can be. You can make stock from just about any leftover meat you have (with bones that is). You can even use fish (with fish heads if you have them) although fish broth is a bit of an acquired taste!
- Throw your meat and bones into a large pot. You want to have a pot that contains mostly bones, and meat in lesser proportion. (Again, I usually use roasted whole chicken leftovers).
- Add a handful, or several of whatever vegetables or vegetable scraps you like for flavor (carrots, onions, etc).
- Pour in cold water to cover the bones, meat and vegetables by at least 2 inches. I usually fill the pot.
- Add 1-3 tsp of apple cider vinegar to acidify the broth to help extract the minerals.
- Heat the broth and once it reaches a boil, reduce temperature to simmer.
- A frothy layer will rise to the surface. Remove this with your spoon as it cooks.
- Cook the stock on low heat for a minimum of 3 hours and up to several days (for larger bones like cow).
- Stock will keep for a few days in the fridge, and you can freeze it once it has cooled for longer storage!
- Bonus: I will often simmer chicken breasts in the broth for the last 20 minutes or so and then shred them and keep them in the freezer for quick protein boosts to various meals.
Once you have a supply of stock you can use it for sipping or as a base for any kind of soup you want to cook!
My favorite way to eat it is with sautéed shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced scallions, a little dash of sesame oil and buckwheat ramen. Mmmm, yum.
Yours in health,