Making Bone Broth
Bone broth is one of the most healing foods you can make at home, easily and inexpensively.
Traditionally done in many cultures, a mineral rich infusion made from boiling any type of animal bones with vegetables, herbs and spices.
A rich concentration of flavour used as a base for soups and sauces, a health tonic used as a home remedy for the onset of a cold, or if recovering from illness.
You will need a large pot and source some organic beef marrow bones, or 'chicken frames' from your local butcher. I use chicken legs or wings if frames are not available, and use a cleaver or large knife to break the bone. You can of course also use lamb or fish bones.
It will depend upon the size of your pot, what quantity of bone you use to make your broth or stock. In a saucepan of this size I use 4-6 chicken drumsticks or 2 chicken frames/carcasses, or cut beef marrow bones.
How to make bone broth
In a large saucepan cover bones with water allowing space for the liquid to boil
Add your choice of vegetables - onion quartered, carrot, celery, parsley stalks. For an asian style chicken broth add ginger, garlic and spring onions. To beef bones I add peppercorns & bayleaf
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar which helps draw all the minerals from the bone
Bring to a vigorous boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer
Boil chicken bones for 4 hours and beef bones for up to 12 hours- the longer the better
Strain and keep in jars in the fridge, or freeze if not to be used straight away
Upon cooling it will become gelatinous like jelly
Roasting bones before boiling will enhance flavour
Further reduction of the broth will concentrate flavour for sauces and gravies Use as a nutritious and flavoursome base for any soup- add diced vegetables, the meat from the chicken bones and leave whole or blend Use in lieu of dairy when making sauces such as béchamel, for a lighter, tastier & more nutritious result. Add ricotta & parmesan for richness & flavour
Use organic bones if available to you
What are the health benefits of bone broth?
The minerals extracted from bone:
High in Calcium, Magnesium & Phosphorous
Boost the immune system
Support joints, hair & skin
Bone broth is high in the two amino acids proline & glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue and joints. These amino acids feature prominently in cartilage and within the extracellular matrix, acting as a scaffolding, or type of ' biological glue' for cells.
Reduces the activation of inflammatory cells
Assists in overgrowth within the small intestine, hence aids digestive health & nervous system
Synthesis of RNA & DNA
Regulates the synthesis of bile salts & secretion of gastric acid
Is involved in detoxification and production of glutathione, an important antioxidant
Regulates blood sugars
Enhances muscle repair by increasing levels of creatine & regulating Human Growth Hormone
In the brain inhibits excitatory neurotransmitter Serine - promoting mental alertness, boosting mood & reducing stress
Is one of the main amino acids of collagen
Maintains joints & tendons
Required in tissue repair after injury
Has a role in reducing atherosclerotic deposits
Chicken broth in particular has been used by many cultures as a healing remedy.
Not only is it soothing & full of flavour, these natural components extracted & concentrated, feed, repair and calm the mucous lining of the digestive tract. This inner lining is importantly connected to the nervous system, and as we understand more & more about the brain gut connection, we are encouraged to take care of this much forgotten organ.
4 cups water
2 cups chicken broth (or use all chicken broth)
1 medium onion
3 medium carrots diced or cut on the diagonal
2 celery stalks diced
1 clove garlic crushed
1 skinless boneless chicken breast
Salt & pepper
Bring water & broth to a simmer in a medium size saucepan
Add chicken to gently poach, remove from liquid when cooked through
Whilst chicken is cooking heat oil in a pan
Cook diced onion until transparent, not browned
Then add the sliced carrot & celery
Garlic can then go into the pan, cook until fragrant
Add poaching liquid to the vegetables
Combine with shredded chicken
Sprinkle with chopped parsley
Season with salt & pepper
ASIAN NOODLE SOUP
Heat chicken broth with sliced garlic, ginger & shallots
Add an egg which will gently poach in simmering stock
Add bok choy, shredded cabbage or lettuce & sliced shiitake mushroom
Pour broth into a bowl with cooked soba noodle
Sprinkle a little sesame oil on top
Garnish with coriander & red chilli
This makes for a delicious breakfast or light meal