If there are two traditional foods you should be consuming regularly, it is bone broth and fermented foods of some sort. Your gut health is central to your hormone function, immune function, joint health, good digestion, the ability for your body to absorb nutrition from your food and eliminate toxins efficiently. A healthy gut is nourished by the collagen/gelatin, healthy fats, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid and 19 amino acids in bone broth and the enzymes, the highly bioavailable vitamins and prebiotics, probiotics and postbiotics of fermented foods.
Making your own broth is simple. It is not only a nutrient dense food but one that tastes good too! If you have been intimidated or unaware of where to start, here is our simple tutorial!
CHOOSE BONES, ANIMAL PARTS & VEGGIES:
*Organic, grassfed, free of antibiotics & growth hormones
*Don't leave out the odd pieces if you have access to them. Traditional diets did not allow for waste and according to Sally Fallon included pieces like neck bones and chicken feet. Did you know that chicken feet happen to be a Jewish secret to the best chicken broth? It is high in nutrients that are not found easily in other foods.
*Choose vegetable that are organic, chemical free or not on the non organic dirty list if possible.
*Use herbs such as thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, black pepper and roots like ginger & turmeric.
*Use real salt, pink salt, Persian blue salt that is naturally loaded with minerals that your body needs.
TO MAKE BROTH:
1. Place about 1-2 pounds of beef bones or chicken bones in your crockpot. Add vegetable bits (1-2 cups) and a generous amount of herbs of your choice (optional but oh, so good and good for you!) Cover them with quality water.
2. Add a couple tablespoons of organic, raw apple cider vinegar to help pull out the nutrients. Don't worry, you won't taste it in the final product!
3. Simmer for at least six hours. However, chicken bones can cook for 24 hours and beef bones for 48 hours. A low and slow cook time is necessary in order to fully extract the nutrients from the bones. If foam forms, skim it off occasionally as it cooks.
4. Remove from heat once finished cooking. Strain out all of the solids. If you used a whole chicken or bone in roast, reserve the meat for making soup or other scrumptious dishes. (We like to make recipes like Honey Mustard Chicken & Rice, BBQ Beef, Chicken Salad and Beef Stroganoff).
5. Once it is not piping hot, pour into glass jars. Cool completely and chill until you are ready to use it. Use broth to replace the water when you make rice, make the best soups (large batches make fast leftovers) and even try it (chicken broth) in a mug as a hot drink with herbs and coconut milk.
*Save vegetable bits and peelings, onions ends, celery ends, garlic peelings, from fermenting, juicing and veggie snacks for your broth. You are going to strain them out when the broth is finished!
*Save the chicken bones from roasting or baking chicken to put into your broth.
*Save steak bones to add to your beef bones when you make stock. Not only is it getting the most out of all of your bones but you get the added flavors from the steak seasonings you used.
*I am not yet convinced of the InstaPot versions of bone broth. It is sufficient for a fast broth but the most nourishing foods always go back to cooking them in traditional methods. Slow and low is still the best in my opinion.
*If you’ve made bone broth before, you know that it’s normal for the broth to gel as it cools. That gel is high in gelatin that is super beneficial. Your batch of broth can still be tasty and nutritious if it does not gel, but to ensure a higher gelatin content in your bone broth, choose bones that have connective tissues.
*If your broth is slightly cloudy, no worries. It is still good but you may want to try cooking it at a lower temperature.
DO YOU HAVE A DOG???
*You have probably been told to never give your dog chicken bones...and you normally should not. However, chicken bones that have been cooking for 24 hours are very, very brittle. Pick them clean of any meat and dehydrate them. These are one of our dog's favorite treats and it is a great way to get the most out of good bones. We keep them in the fridge once they are fully dried.
*Add 1-2 T of bone broth to your pet's food to give him/her extra nutrition. When using broth for your pets use vegetables that are safe for him/her. Our dog often gets broth that has been cooked with garlic, turmeric, ginger and carrots. Onions, for example are not safe for dogs. Garlic is controversial but we have found it to be safe and beneficial for our dog.
*See Rebekah's Bone Broth Gummies for dogs here: Bone Broth Dog Gummy Treats (lchaimessentialoils.com)