By Be Well Health Coach Laura Kraber
A staple of the human diet for thousands of years, bone broth is enjoying a resurgence of interest due to its powerful health benefits. Bone broth is easy to incorporate in your diet as a base for soups, stews and legumes. Follow our recipe below to make your own fortifying and replenishing broth.
Top 5 Reasons to Eat Bone Broth:
1. Nourish Your Gut
Bone broth is full of gelatin and collagen, which soothes the intestinal tract and helps heal leaky gut, aka intestinal permeability. With stress, diet, alcohol, caffeine and NSAIDS wreaking havoc on our intestines, anything and everything we can do to help repair the gut is beneficial, as a healthy intestinal tract is essential to overall good health.
2. Boost Your Immune System
Yes, Grandma was right about chicken soup. A traditional folk remedy for colds and flus, bone broth provides a rich array of nutrients (especially gelatin) which support your immune system. Cysteine, an amino acid found in chicken, helps to thin mucus so it can be expelled more easily. When fighting a cold, make a chicken broth with added spices or peppers to make it spicy to help keep the mucus moving.
3. Increase Bio-available Minerals
As a result of soil degradation, the mineral content of our foods is reduced, and many of us have compromised absorption due to poor gut health. Yet minerals are critical to so many bodily functions and impact everything from our bones to our mood and our sleep. Supplying calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, sulfur and phosphorous, bone broth provides an excellent means of boosting your mineral intake.
4. Promote Healthy Skin
A rich source of skin-supporting amino acids glycine and proline, along with collagen, the ultimate skin food, bone broth can improve skin elasticity and fight wrinkles.
5. Reduce Inflammation
Glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and gelatin support your joints, bones, and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
How to Make Bone Broth
Broth is forgiving so exact measurements are not required for success. The essential ingredients are simply bones, water and vinegar, which draws the minerals out from the bones. Vegetables (carrots, garlic, onion), sea salt and herbs improve the flavor and can be added towards the end of the cooking time, if desired.
- 2 – 4 lbs bones – from poultry, fish, shellfish, beef or lamb (pastured, organic, and grass-fed)
- 1 gallon water or enough to cover bones (approx. 2 cups of water per 1 pound of bones)
- 3 – 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or other natural vinegar)
Pour water and vinegar over raw or cooked bones in a large pot (e.g. the remains of a roasted chicken) and let sit for 30 – 60 minutes. Heat the pot and bring the water to a boil. Skim any scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat and allow the broth to simmer gently. Cook on low for at least 6 hours or overnight, to extract the most gelatin and nutrients from the bones. Use your slow cooker if you have one. After several hours of barely simmering, remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, strainer or cheesecloth. Use as a base for any type of soup, or drink one cup a day for a health-promoting tonic.
If You Want to Buy Broth
Making broth is not difficult but if you don’t have the time, there are several options to purchase good quality bone broth online.
For national delivery, we love Au Bon Broth, which offers a delicious organic broth which ships frozen. Their broth utilizes a combination of chicken, turkey and beef bones. Another great source of bone broth and many other health foods, is Wise Choice Market.
For New York city dwellers, there are several delivery and subscription options that we love — Bone Deep and Harmony offers interesting flavors and high quality. The Oliver Weston Company makes wonderful broth as well as many other delicious, traditional foods and they deliver in the city and tri-state area, as well as Long Island and Hudson Valley. The excellent chefs at Provenance Meals offer a full meal delivery service, which is healthy and delicious and they also offer bone broth by the quart.
And of course, if you’re in Manhattan, you can visit Marco Canora’s broth takeout shop, Brodo, in the East Village. In Brooklyn, both The Meat Hook in Williamsburg and Fleishers in Park Slope sell organic bone broth. Fleishers also has shops in Kingston, NY and two in Connecticut.