Two words spoken in my home at least 1/2 a dozen times a day, enjoyed by the mug full another 1/2 a dozen, and utilized in several other methods periodically throughout my time in the kitchen. Its my breakfast and my bedtime snack. My two children ages 6 and 4 could quite possibly write a 100 page dissertation on the subject. Needless to say, it is a topic I am notibly passionate about and a food we have readily available for my family’s convenience, enjoyment and prosperity.
Traditional Bone Broth has been a tool to prepare, preserve, and promote health and longevity in every culture around the world for hundreds of years. It was a common practice to see a cauldron of broth simmering over the fire or wood stove by the generations before us – and for good reason. When reviewing history, it is prudent to take note of that which was habitually performed by every people group across the globe – especially in light of the fact that we relied on food to be our medicine. This is not a history lesson, but I do believe there is value in looking back – studying what has been successfully used before us by generations to treat disease, reduce pain, and even heal after child birth.
It boils down to this (pun intended). Your bones need bones. It seems to be common knowledge that muscle meats are good for developing our muscles. Likewise, bones, marrow, ligaments and tendons are necessary for proper development of those cells. Consuming the bones of an animal is an unpopular topic, surrounded by innocent ignorance or in some cases willful ignorance. To disregard, undervalue and dismiss the extraordinary profit that comes in this healing drink will leave you no doubt with debilitating repercussions. It’s only proper that by not consuming the foods that so specifically target health in our bones and muscles, we have such a high rate of inter-bone and muscle related disease. Let’s not dispare, Bone Broth is making a comeback, lets acknowledge a few reasons why:
There are probably hundreds of benefits to consuming Bone Broth, I will do my best to refrain from composing my own dissertation on the subject, and name a few of the most commonly sought out remedies from this incredible, unmatched superfood.
- The marrow from the bones builds your blood – and if you are unfamiliar of the concern given to healthy blood, I prescribe to you some research on this very fascinating matter. (This is particularly appropriate and essential for growing children!)
- Bone broth is an Immune booster. High in amino acids, specifically arginine, glutamine, and glycine, which are vital in the process of pursuing cancer cells in your bloodstream, and irradiating them before they become a problem. Being rich in these amino acids, and in such a bio-available form, Bone Broth is my personal go to in combating bouts of auto-immune issues – and with much success.
- Like aloe for the innards – bone broth soothes everything it comes in contact with; putting out fires, filling in holes and repairing damage.
- It is an incredible pain reliever, working better than several drugs on the market (and without side effects) – especially those marketed toward Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Bone Broth fights inflammation by bringing a powerhouse of nutrition in, and kicking inflammation out. It does this very effectively by skipping the digestive process, and delivering its nutrition instantly to your cells, affording them the opportunity to self heal where you are broken.
- Bone Broth is an abundant source of collagen. There are 28 (I believe) types of collagen. The most common and ample, are types I II III IV V.
– Type I is the building blocks for our skin, all other organs, tendons and bone.
– Type II mainly focuses on our cartilage.
– Type III provides us with similar benefits as type I.
– Type IV seems to focus on a more specific part of the skin, the epithelium.
– Type V offers benefits to the rapidly growing and constantly dividing surface of our cell and our hair.
- Lastly, Bone Broth is Anti aging. Bone Broth has an incredible ability to support your body when it comes to aging well. By fighting free radicals, and laying down a foundation of health – Bone Broth creates the fertile environment your body requires to utilize antioxidants, advocating for a life blooming with vitality in which aging seems to slow down. Forgive me for my repetition, please hear me, yet again: This is paramount for the health of our children! Adult onset diabetes in young people not having yet reached the age of ten? A tragedy to those youngsters. There are preventative measures – lets be proactive in them!
As you can see, incorporating Bone Broth into your diet, regularly, has the potential to profit you in many profound ways. These few examples are only the tip of the ice burg. There is so much more to the consistent, mindful, and intentional practice of drinking Bone Broth. When you choose to enjoy a cup or two, the amount in which you indulge, whether solid food accompanies it, etc are all components to take into consideration – that, however, is something to be researched and applied to your own personal and unique needs once you get the hang of simply introducing broth into your regiment.
How to make bone broth.
It begins by sourcing healthy, traditionally and respectfully raised animals. I cannot stress the importance of the quality of the bones you use to make your broth. It is the difference between a health food, and poison.
- You will not be getting a lot of the benefits mentioned by purchasing conventionally raised beef/chicken/fish bones. They lack the nutrients and medicinal properties properly, humanely, naturally raised animals possess.
- You will however, be getting the negative tag alongs that accompany food, poorly and innaporoprately cared for. Antibiotics, steriods, growth hormones and diseases.
I choose to shop for my families protein sources from our local farmer, Apsey Farms. Passed down through 4 generations, they have been raising animals for more than 100 years. The Apsey’s plant their fields with several nutritionally dense and benefitial greens for their animals. They sprout seeds and legumes for their poultry, and keep their animals outside all year around. They practice regenerative agriculture and through holistic management and rotational livestock grazing, they build soil, sequester carbon, and improve the environment. They understand health begins in the soil. Not only are their animals fed appropriately, the opposite is also true, never are they fed GMO’s or given hormones/antibiotics.
My family went to visit the farm and had the opportunity to personally investigate and study the circumstances upon which these animals are raised. (As I strongly suggest anyone do if using a local farmer. Your farmer should be passionate about what they do, and delighted to show you the product and method they labor for and have devotion to. If you do not have a local farmer, mine ships nation wide! ;) Kyle, the son of the owners showed us around and made the comment, “our cows eat salad, so you dont have to.” Now knowing Kyle, I understood that somewhat facetious comment, recognizing he is not promoting a diet lacking in vegetation, as he is a strong proponent for health and wellness; but rather, that they take such care and consideration with their livestock, to plant not only grass, but a salad bar in their fields to promote the absolute health of their animals. Apsey Farms truly goes above and beyond. I appreciated and respected that more than they will ever know.
Now that you’ve accomplished the most daunting and difficult task of hunting down your product, the simple and boarderline mindless work begins. You will need:
- Large Stockpot
- Bones of your choice
- Compost butts of onions, garlic skins, etc.
- Place bones in your stockpot.
- Cover the bones with about 2 inches of water.
- Add a few tbsp of vinegar to taste, salt, herbs/spices and your preferred flavor bases to enhance the broth.
- Let simmer for at least 24 hours. I have let mine go as long as 4 days depending on the size of the bones, repeating steps 2 and 3 as necessary to keep a full stockpot. Amino Acids, Minerals, and Marrow will continue to leach out from the bones throughout this process, offering different benefits day to day.
You may at this point can and store your broth. My family goes through it much too quickly for this to be an option, and as previously stated, I always have a stockpot simmering on the counter for my particular uses.
*Tip – All of my ‘leftovers’ from preparing vegetables go into this pot. Skins of onions and garlic, the butts of carrots, celery, the cores of cabbage, stalks of cauliflower and broccoli. Everything and anything gets added to advance the nutritional profile of the broth. Nothing will go to waste. After the bones and vegetables have enriched the broth to their fullest of potential, I will give them to my garden to compost – to supply my soil for next years harvest.
There are several ways I utilize bone broth outside of my mug. Bellow is a picture of my boys breakfast. Always begining with Broth, and recently accompanied by my coconut flour bread topped with coconut butter, & seasonal fruit which currently are apples from our land. My next post on this subject will be to pass on the many ways Bone Broth can elevate and upgrade simple, everyday dishes – while adding a powerhouse of nutrition. So stay tuned!
For those of you interested, here is a comprehensive guide on Bone Broth by respected clinician & educator in the fields of Functional Medicine and ancestral health – Chris Kresser.
I have also included two Pubmed studies related to this topic.
As always, thank you for reading. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section bellow!
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