When I was a child, nutritious bone broth was a regular staple in our household. My mother would get beef bones from our local butcher, who gave them away for free in those days. She couldn’t believe that he was giving away such an abundance of nourishment.
Mum would prepare these bones with various vegetables and herbs – onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, Italian parsley, garlic – cooking them over a slow simmering boil for hours.
Autumn and winter are a wonderful time to include bone broth into your diet. There is something truly nourishing and nurturing about a steamy bowl of bone broth. You can almost feel the goodness of the melee of nutritious ingredients.
Bone broth is fairly simple to make, although you will need 3-36 hours, at least. If time is limited and you love the convenience of quality store bought bone broth, we recommend Meadow & Marrow’s range of therapeutic bone broths, now available in clinic.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a broth made from animal bones – beef, chicken or fish – with a few added vegetables and slowly simmered over a few hours. Adding a little vinegar helps extract those nutrient-dense minerals from the bones, helping to release nutrients from the marrow within the bones and break down the connective tissue, resulting in a flavoursome, collagen-rich and nutritious broth. Broth, such as chicken broth, is recognized by almost every culture for its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Bone Broth
Clean Gut health
Our gut plays a vital role in keeping us well and whole. A typical modern, Western diet can include processed foods, refined sugars that can destroy our gut’s healthy bacteria. As the nutrients in bone broth are easily absorbed by the body, bone broth helps to heal and seal the gut as well as nourish the body.
Builds a stronger Immune System
We all need to ensure our immune system is strong and healthy to allow us to fight off disease. Given that we have over 80% of our immune-fighting cells in our gut, the link between gut health and our immunity is closely connected.
There are a number of key substances in bone broth that are particularly effective in supporting a strong immune system. These includes lipids, which are essential for producing white blood cells (which fight infection) as well as certain amino acids such as arginine (important for a healthy liver & immune system) and glutamine (aids metabolism) and glycine (important for promoting healthy muscle & connective tissue growth & repair, aids digestions & helps regulate blood sugar).
Helps ease cold and flu symptoms
Who hasn’t been told to have some hot chicken soup or broth at the first sign of a cold? Almost every culture is familiar with the benefits of chicken broth. Broth is highly hydrating and research in 2000 found that chicken broth can help ease inflammation associated with colds and flu.
Reduces Inflammation Muscle and joint health
Bone broth and its marrow is rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, silicon as well as collagen. These minerals and the gelatin help to fight inflammation, ease joint and muscle pain and are excellent for your nails and skin.
Bone Broth Recipe
This recipe is one we grew up with. We have tended to use beef bones but sometimes fish or chicken. Of course, if possible, it is always best to use bones from organically-raised grass fed animals.
- 2 kg beef bones, with their marrow included
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 celery stalks
- 4 carrots
- 3 onions
- 2 cloves garlic (whole)
- 2 Bay leaves
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- Pinch of pepper & himalayan salt
- Roughly cut the vegetables.
- Place the bones in a large pot, add vinegar and enough cold water to completely cover the bones with about 2-3 cms to spare.
- Add the vinegar over the bones & let rest for 20-30 minutes
- Add the vegetables, garlic and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Skim the scum off the top of the broth and discard.
- Reduce to a low simmer and cover. Cook for 3-36 hours, depending on how much time you have.
- During the final 10 mins of cooking time, add the parsley.
- Let the broth cool and strain it. If the bones still have marrow, scoop the marrow out & into the broth.
- Add salt & pepper to taste
- You can store bone broth in the fridge for up to 5 days or it can be frozen and stored in the freezer 3-6 months.
- Bone broth is wonderful on its own or it can be added to soups, casseroles and stews for boosted nutrition.