In our contemporary western culture, we are more and more consuming only the lean portions of the animal meat, and increasingly less inclined to eat organ meats like heart, liver, etc. When I was a teenager, I worked for a neighborhood butcher and I witnessed just about every part of the animal sold. Once the boss made goat’s head soup in the back of the store. My mother would regularly make us liver – not my favorite. Sadly, eating the parts of the animal with the best nutritional goodness has passed.
Bone broth is a reversal of this tendency, and something well worth looking into from a health and nutrition standpoint. It is not only easy to make, it is inexpensive as well. Having a batch standing by in the fridge makes it easy to heat up a mug of it and enjoy its benefits any time.
What’s So Good About Bone Broth?
Bone broth is rich in minerals that are easily absorbed by the body. It is high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus that all promote strong bones and teeth. Because of its high collagen content, bone broth is also good for hair, skin, and nails. Collagen, along with bone broth’s chondroitin and glucosamine, is excellent for our joints, and helps reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Bone broth also contains the amino acids such as proline, glycine, and arginine. Proline and glycine are vital for healthy connective tissue (ligaments, joints, around organs, etc). Glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, proline can help reverse deposits on our blood vessel walls due to atherosclerosis. Proline also helps your body make new, healthy muscle cells and regenerate cartilage and heal joints.
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body and therefore important for digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system, and wound healing. Glycine also promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Arginine is also important for wound healing, and it helps the kidneys remove waste products from the body. Arginine helps maintain immune and hormone function. Furthermore, arginine has possible heart benefits. Once in the body, arginine changes into nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide helps blood vessels relax and also improves circulation.
Let’s Make Some!
Bone broth is made from the bones of animals. Almost any bones will do – beef, bison, lamb, poultry, or fish. Vegetables and spices can – and should! – be added. You could buy bones from the butcher, and bones with some cartilage such as knuckle bones are ideal. They can also be poultry bones. A carcass left over from a roasted chicken or turkey is perfect.
I just made some bone broth over the weekend, and here is what I used.
First, I had saved the carcasses from two already-eaten rotisserie chickens in the freezer. Next came the carcass, neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver) from a turkey breast we had last week. There was some meat left over on the chickens but more on the turkey.
I put those in a big pot.
Next I added a medium-sized yellow onion, chopped coarsely. Along with that went some chopped-up celery stalks, and carrots, chopped up as well. A handful of parsley went in as well. A couple of teaspoons of kosher salt, and some ground black pepper.
I covered all of the above with water and brought it to a boil and simmered it for about eight hours, after which I poured it trough a strainer to separate all the solid ingredients, which were then discarded.
You’ll notice I wasn’t too specific about exact quantities – this is a recipe that you especially can get creative with, and you should experiment!
That’s it. Have it as is or use it as a starter for soups, stews, and sauces.
Recommended cooking times can vary. Poultry bone broths could simmer for up to 24 hours, and beef broths may need 24 – 48 hours.
Bone broth is good in the refrigerator for up to a week and up to a year in the freezer.
If you have made bone broth or have any comments or questions, please share!