Let's talk about bone broth—the staple of all staples on a healing diet. You've probably heard about bone broth if you are familiar with the Real Foods movement; even if you're not, it's been written about everywhere this past year, from Well + Good to The New York Times. I've been meaning to blog about bone broth forever but never got around to it because it is all too familiar to me and subconsciously I must have assumed it was to you as well. Yesterday morning, after making an epic batch of broth from pastured lamb bones, I had a moment of inspiration and photographed this beautiful recipe. I've been making bone broth for nearly three years and it has become a staple in my diet because it seems to be a "cure-all" for any ailment. When I'm dealing with fatigue, skin problems, low immunity or need something comforting, I turn to bone broth for its deeply nourishing and health promoting properties. With more of my friends beginning healing diets to reclaim their own health and the growing IMC audience, I wanted to talk about the importance of incorporating bone broth into your diet and encourage you to make it by sharing my recipe.
What is bone broth? Bone broth is a deeply nutrient dense stock made by simmering meaty animals bones for a long period of time in order to extract minerals and collagen from the bones. It is a staple in Real Food and Traditional Diets because it aids in gut restoration, boosts immunity and is an all-around nutrient dense source of protein. It can also be an incredible healing agent for problem skin, hair or nails because of the collagen, so drink up. I love to use bone broths as the base of my soups, sauces and even just to drink out of a mug on a rainy day. I remember the first time I made bone broth I was totally nervous. I was wondering which bones to get, how many vegetables to put in, how long to simmer it for and so on. After years of making broth, I have truly found it to be an art, not a science. I like to use what I have on hand and often keep a bag of veggies scraps and leftover bones in the freezer to use for broth. I make one batch of bone broth per week and do a 'continuous brew' method—basically I make my first batch, remove the broth, jar it and add more water to the pot. I will repeat this 3-5 times, letting each batch simmer for approx. 12 hours. It is really important that you use high-quality bones for this recipe as you will be extracting the minerals and collagen from the bones and therefore is best that they come from a healthy animal. I always seek out organic chicken bones and pastured beef, lamb or pork bones.
- 4 pounds of pastured animals bones—you may use the bones from one animal or use a combination of bones from different animals. Get friendly with your butcher and let him/her know that you are making a soup stock and they will help you get good bones. Generally large joint, knuckle or neck bones make a fabulous bone broth.
- Veggie scraps—to give you an idea, I like to use: 1/2 of an onion, skin on, 2 carrots, 1 celery heart, 1/2 bunch of parsley, 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed.
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- Filtered water
- Roast bones on a baking sheet at 400F until browned (approx. 20 minutes)—this will give the broth a lovely depth of flavor.
- Place bones in a heavy bottomed stock pot or slow cooker. Add veggies and apple cider vinegar to the pot. Add enough filtered water to just barely cover the bones and veggies. If cooking in the stock pot, simmer on low for 12-24 hours. If cooking in slow cooker, turn on 'low' and let simmer for 12-24 hours.
- Remove stock from pot by using a soup ladel or measuring cup and straining into large mason jars for storage. Store in refrigerator. A thick layer of fat will most likely form on top of the stock—that will protect it from going bad. Before using the stock, remove the layer of fat and set aside. You can cook with the fat as you would olive oil, butter, etc.
- Once you've removed the liquid from the pot, the veggies and bones will be leftover. Add more filtered water to the pot so that it is just barely covering the veggies and bones. Simmer on low for another 12-24 hours. And repeat process. As the week goes on, feel free to add veggie scraps or new bones to the stock. Just a note, do not add any cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or kale to the broth—doing so will cause a very bitter broth.