How To Make Bone Broth for HealingFeb 22, 2020
Bone broth is a phenomenal traditional healing remedy. It’s rooted in almost every culture in the world, and was especially prized by grandma.
Since adding this healing elixir in our life, I’ve seen tremendous improvements in my family’s wellbeing. From minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and collagen, bone broth is loaded with rich nutrition.
While this recipe is very general and encourages mixing and matching bones and other ingredients, the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook is our go-to reference for nourishing traditional cooking including a wide array of recipes for beef, chicken, turkey, duck and fish broth.
Bone Broth Recipe
Makes approx. 4 quarts
Bones - 4 pounds of bones from healthy, pasture-raised animals:
Farm-raised, free-range, pastured animals give the best results. Many conventionally raised animal bones will not produce stocks that gels. Wild animals are also great, and exceptionally nutrient rich. Ask your butcher to chop larger bones into smaller pieces, ideally 2 to 3 inches thick. Smaller bones expose more bone marrow and allow for easier absorption into broth. Choose from a variety such as the following:
- Whole free-range chicken or turkey carcass (including bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings, gizzards)
- Chicken feet (particularly rich in collagen)
- Beef marrow bones or knuckle bones (labeled soup bones)
- Beef neck bones or meaty rib bones
- Calves feet
- Lamb bones
- Pork bones
- Partridge bones
- Wild game bones
- Fish heads or fish carcasses (including heads, of non-oily fish such as sole, turbot, rockfish or snapper)
- Chicken or turkey feet
Vegetables or vegetable scraps:
2 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped (add the peel to the broth for extra nutrients and colour) 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, halved (add the peel to the broth for extra nutrients and colour)
1 bunch fresh parsley (stems and all)
Several sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed
Other herbs and spices: sage, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, etc (optional)
Unrefined sea salt to taste (optional)
Water - 4 quarts (16 cups) spring water or filtered water (with a high quality filter like this one):
The amount of water you need depends on the amount of bones you have. You need just enough water to completely cover the bones. The amount of water you use will also depend on the size of your cooking vessel; you can halve the recipe if you have a smaller pot.
Scale (can do without)
Chef's knife and cutting board
Large stainless stock pot or slow cooker
Large wooden spoon
If you are using beef or lamb bones, roasting the bones first will produce a much better tasting bone broth. Roast them at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes to an hour.
Place your bones in a large stockpot or lead-free slow cooker (like this one). Pour the apple cider vinegar over the bones. Add just enough cold water to completely cover the bones. This is important! Adding too much water is the most common mistake of making bone broth. Often times, too much water is the reason why your bone broth did not gel.
Let sit for one hour. The apple cider vinegar will help pull the minerals out of the bones. After the hour is up, add any vegetables, herbs & spices, if using. Turn the stove to medium high and let the water come to a slow boil. If any foam floats to the top, skim it off (this can be difficult to do if using a pressure or slow cooker).
Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting, cover and let cook for a minimum of 8 hours. You can also use your stand alone pressure/slow cooker or turkey roaster, or cook bone broth in the oven. These methods are the same, but cooking time may vary. It takes time to pull all the wonderful nutrients and minerals out of the bones so be patient!
Follow the recommend times below for the best tasting and most nutritious bone broth. Letting the bones cook any longer than 3 days can sometimes result in a burnt tasting broth.
- Chicken, turkey, partridge, duck, rabbit bones: 8 to 48 hours
- Beef, lamb, pork, goat and wild game bones: 12 to 72 hours
- Fish heads and fish bones: 4 to 24 hours
There should always be just enough water to completely cover the bones. If you need to add any more water to your pot, add hot water only. Once your bone broth is done cooking, remove the lid and skim off any foam that has risen to the top. Strain the bones, vegetables and herbs out of the broth. Let cool.
Store in a container. Bone broth keeps for 5 days in the fridge. It also freezes very well and keeps for months in the freezer. We usually freeze half my bone broth and keep the other half in the fridge to use for the week.
Superfood Ingredients to Try in Bone Broth
Bone broth is already phenomenal when it comes to health benefits, but if you want to take it even further, you can create a truly nutritious, healing elixir by adding in a few superfood ingredients to your broth.
Here are some ideas that work well in broths. Start small, as some of these ingredients will change the flavour of your broth:
Apple Cider Vinegar (like this one):
With a low ph, it acts as a solvent, helping to pull calcium and other minerals from the ingredients of your bone broth, making them more bioavailable for your body to absorb.
Seaweed (nori, kelp, wakame, kombu, etc):
Contain iodine, which is an essential nutrient for healthy thyroid function.
Wild/Medicinal mushrooms (polypore mushrooms like chaga, reishi, and turkey tail as well as varieties like shiitake and crimini):
Improve functioning of our immune system in a manner that protects us from bacteria, viruses, and cancer. Note: to get the full effects of the glucans in fungi, they must be cooked. Mushrooms as contain selenium, B vitamins, iron, and zinc.
Miso (fermented soy paste):
Contains beneficial probiotic bacteria; mix into broth when slightly cooled.
Supports the immune system and is an inflammatory modulator.
Contains anti-inflammatory agents and anti-cancer protective factors.
High Vitamin Butter Oil (we love this one) or ghee:
High in beneficial compounds like CLA and butyrate as well as fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K.
Considered one of the top herbal tonics of all time in Chinese Medicine, prized for its ability to restore health and extend life.
High in pectin, a soluble-fibre beneficial for digestive health.
Garlic and Onion (and their skins):
Both garlic and onions are rich in nutrients and immune boosting properties.
Very rich in collagen which breaks down into amino acids, the building blocks for body fascia.
Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage; recipe here):
Rich in beneficial bacteria that assist in digestive healing and immune boosting; serve on top of broth or soup when serving, not to kill probiotics.
Well known for its ability to support and heal the adrenal glands in times of chronic emotional stress.
Used as a general tonic for health and a good source of plant based iron.
Works as a powerful adaptogen in the body, provides valuable nutrients and increases stamina.
Looking to source quality foods, supplements, and nontoxic home products? This vetted list put together by Beyond Vitality can help!
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