We recently added restorative bone broth to the Mondays menu. What's all the buzz about you may ask? Well, bone broth (or technically, stock), is actually as old as the hills, and it's a wonderfully nourishing health tonic that you can easily add to your family's diet.
Bone broth is made by simmering bones of sustainably raised animals with vegetables, herbs and spices for a long length of time, at least 6-8 hours. Having followed a GAPS diet for some time, my family have been enjoying bone broth at home for a couple of years. Not only does bone broth add fantastic depth and flavour to home made soup and casseroles, it is also an excellent source of minerals and is known to boost the immune system and help to aid digestion. It's a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous making it great for bone and tooth health. It also supports joint health, hair, skin and nails due to its naturally high collagen content.
How to use bone broth
Homemade broth can be used in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be added to sautéed or roasted vegetables.
When you are feeling under the weather or experiencing digestion issues, drinking bone broth liquid on it's own through out the day can work wonders. It supports the immune system and is very easy to digest so the body's energy can concentrate on healing. In cases of stomach bugs or nausea, bone broth often calms the stomach and can help shorten the duration of the illness.
Making your own bone broth at home
Homemade, nutrient dense bone broth is very easy and inexpensive to make. It can be made from the bones of beef, lamb, poultry or fish, with a selection of vegetables and fragrant herbs for a subtle yet delicious flavour. There is almost no comparison to the store-bought versions, which often contain artificial flavours, additives and poor quality salt, they can also lack natural gelatin and many of the other health-boosting properties of homemade broth.
When selecting your bones, be sure to look for good quality. Pasture feed, free range and organic versions will produce a far more nutrient dense broth. You can source the bones from your local butcher, be sure to ask as they often don't have them on display. We have also seen them available at Nosh, Pak n Save & Farro Fresh. Alternatively, use the left over bones or chicken carcass from a roast dinner.
Here's what you'll need:
1 kilo of bones from a healthy source
1 brown onion, peeled & roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped in to rounds
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, skins removed
1 bulb of fennel, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
a large handful of fragrant herbs such as thyme, sage, oregano & rosemary
1 teaspoon peppercorns
Fresh Italian Parsley
Lemon, sliced in to rounds
Fresh ginger & fresh turmeric, grated
Add the bones, vegetables, herbs, apple cider vinegar & peppercorns to a large stock pot for slow cooker. Cover with filtered water. Bring to the boil, and then simmer on very low for at least 6 hours.
During the first few hours of simmering, occasionally remove the impurities that float to the surface. A foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. You may need to add filtered water occasionally as it cooks off.
Once your broth has been simmering for at least 6 hours, remove from the heat and strain to remove all the bits of bone and vegetables. By this stage they are so thoroughly cooked that all the flavour and nutrients have gone into the broth liquid anyway. Some feed the bones to their dogs, they should be pretty soft and safe for a pet to eat.
Store the broth in a clean glass jar stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the broth for later use.
We like to serve ours warm with a sprinkle of sea salt, fresh Italian parsley, a slice or two of lemon & a little freshly grated ginger & turmeric.
Have you made bone broth before? Tell us what you think! What do you like to season it with, how do you like to use it?