By Gardner Orton, Proprietor
A while back, I was having some digestive issues and increased allergies, which can oftentimes be related to digestion. In my quest to heal my body, I did some research and learned that bone broth is one of the most healing foods available. In addition to improving digestion, bone broth can help strengthen the immune system and is excellent for recovering from an illness, whether it’s the common cold, flu, or something more serious, like cancer. Bone broth can also help to reduce inflammation and joint pain, and it promotes strong, healthy bones. The best thing about bone broth is that it’s fairly easy to make and, aside from needing to simmer for 24-72 hours, the prep time is actually very short.
Here’s one of my go-to recipes for bone broth. I’ve also included tips on how to make this recipe using a slow cooker or with different types of bones, such as chicken. One of the most important things to consider when making bone broth is to choose bones from animals that were organically raised and pasture or grass fed. You can get high-quality chicken or beef bones from local farmers or butchers. Even if you have to use bones from conventionally raised cows and chickens, you’ll still be far better off than not drinking bone broth at all.
Though this recipe calls for beef bones, you can also make the broth using a whole organic chicken, whole fish (including the head) or fish bones, or pork bones. Each will render a different flavor, with the fish and chicken having the mildest flavor and the beef and pork with more robust flavor.
Note: If you choose to use chicken bones, simply place the entire raw chicken into the pot in place of the beef bones and proceed with the recipe. After about 2 hours, remove the chicken from the pot and separate the meat from the bones. Enjoy the cooked chicken meat in salads, stews, soups, and more. Place the bones back in and continue to simmer. You can even use bones from a roasted chicken or turkey carcass to make bone broth, which is incredibly cost effective, since you would otherwise throw them away.
From the Heal Your Gut Cookbook, Boynton & Brackett
3-4 lbs. beef marrow and knucklebones
2 lbs. meaty bones such as short ribs
16 cups filtered water
½ c. raw apple cider vinegar
3 celery stalks, rough chopped
3 carrots, rough chopped
3 onions, quartered
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt, to taste
- Place bones in a large stock pot or crockpot, add water and apple cider vinegar, and let the mixture sit for 1 hour so the vinegar can leach the mineral out of the bones.
- Add more water if needed to cover the bones.
- Add the vegetables, bring to a boil and skim the scum from the top and discard. (The scum contains impurities that need to be removed.)
- Reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours (if you’re not comfortable leaving the pot to simmer overnight, turn off the heat and let it sit overnight, then turn it back on and let simmer all day the next day)
- During the last 10 minutes of cooking, throw in a handful of fresh parsley for added flavor, vitamins and minerals.
- Let the broth cool and strain it. Be sure to that all the marrow has released from inside the bones and is in the broth.
- Add sea salt to taste.
- Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week, or freeze for up to 6 months. Drink on its own or use as a nutritious and hearty base for soups and stews.
*To make this recipe using a Slow Cooker, start the broth on the stove and bring it to a boil. Skim off any foamy scum, as it contains impurities that need to be removed. After all the scum is removed, transfer the broth to the slow cooker and simmer on low for 24 to 72 hours.
Bone broth is beneficial any time of year. And while the suggested serving might differ from practitioner to practitioner, I found that drinking a cup a few times per week does the trick. For a few weeks when I was recovering from an illness, I drank it every day.
Be sure you stir or shake the broth before pouring your dose, as the fat or other nutrients can get separated. I like to heat mine up before serving, but try my best not to re-cook it. I would definitely not microwave it as I think microwaves tend to destroy the nutrients in food.
For convenience, you might consider freezing your broth in individual portions.
I hope this inspires you to try adding bone broth to your healthy habits for 2015 and beyond. It truly is one of the most healing foods you can eat and is well worth the preparation time.
If you’re looking for ready-made, tried-and-true remedies and natural supplements, visit our Wellness Department at www.vermontcountrystore.com.
To your good health,
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any of the products in this article.