For hundreds of years, people have been making broth from the bones and leftover parts of animals. When vinegar is added, the broth becomes medicinal as the acid releases minerals and proteins from within the bones and cartilage. This virtual liquid vitamin is especially beneficial for healing and nourishing the gastrointestinal tract, immune and musculoskeletal systems. Vegetables can be used instead to make a veggie broth. Try this simple recipe for homemade bone broth!
Bones—from poultry, beef, lamb, fish or shellfish (omit the bones to make a veggie broth)
- cooked remnants of a previous meal, with or without skin and meat
- raw bones, with or without skin and meat (raw bones and meat may be browned first in the oven, or in the bottom of the stockpot to enhance flavor and color)
- use a whole carcass or just parts (good choices include feet, ribs, necks and knuckles)
Vegetables—peelings, ends, tops and skins or entire vegetables may be used
- celery, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley are most traditional, but any will do
- if added towards the end of cooking, mineral content will be higher
Vinegar—any type, 2 tablespoons per 1 quart water
Water—Filtered water to cover
Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot or pressure cooker. Bring to a boil and remove any scum that has risen to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 6–24 hours (3-12 hours if using a pressure cooker). To reduce cooking time, smash or cut bones into small pieces before cooking. If desired, add vegetables in last half hour of cooking. Strain through a colander or sieve lined with cheesecloth for a clearer broth. If uncooked meat was used to start with, reserve the meat for soup or salads.
If you wish to remove the fat, use a gravy separator while the broth is warm or skim the fat off the top once refrigerated. Cold broth will gel when sufficient gelatin is present. Broth may be frozen for months or kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
- As a base for making soup.
- Use broth in place of water to cook grains or beans.
- Simply add salt and sip broth like tea. This is especially nice in the winter or if you’re feeling sick.
Health Benefits of Bone Broths:
- Bone broth is an excellent source of protein and calcium.
- Easy to digest and absorb and is helpful in treating digestive disorders such as IBS and the stomach flu.
- Helps to boost the immune system and fight colds and flus.
- Builds and nourishes joints and cartilage and helps with some musculoskeletal disorders.
- Can help with food allergies, maldigestion, colic, leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, weight loss, muscle wasting and more.
photo credit: theMaykaznie, Flickr