The Ultimate Guide to Bone Broth
Do you have trouble digesting food? Do you need something to help your body heal? Well, you have come to the right place. Bone broth is one of the amazing foods that can help your body to recover from many different things. One of the reasons that bone broth helps the digestive system to recover is that bone broth is easier to digest than water. Now, let’s take a further look into bone broth.
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What is bone broth?
Bone broth is the liquid part of soups that we have all enjoyed at one time or another in our lives. I enjoy soups more in the winter months because it helps to keep me warm! When I started reading about eating healthy I learned about bone broth. I didn’t know there was a difference between bone broth and bullion broth. There is a difference. Broth used to be only made by boiling chicken, beef, fish or other animal meets with their bones in water or cooked slowly for a few hours depending on the meat. When the water cooks the meat with the bones, the nutrients from the bones and meat come out into the water making the broth flavor. The nutrients come out in the form of amino acids, collagen, and other nutrients/fats needed for the body. These fats are very good for your body and help your body to digest food.
What is the fake stuff?
According to Morell (2014) “[i]n 1908, a Japanese researcher” invented a new substance that is known today as monosodium glutamate (MSG). This substance made it possible to imitate the taste of broth using a lot less money to make it. Therefore monosodium glutamate became popular in the food industry and was the start of beef bullion and chicken bullion cubes and powder. This is a quick way to make broth for soups but without the amazing health benefits.
Why is bone broth needed?
Bone broth is easier to digest than water! Did you know that? This was a tough concept for me to grasp. How could anything be easier for our bodies than water? Isn’t out body made of mostly water? As I stated above when the chicken (or other animals) is being cooked in water the “[c]ooking breaks down collagenous protein into gelatin, which provides the amino acids the body needs to make the “glue” we call connective tissue” (Morell, 2014, pg. 13). The collagen helps our bodies to gain strength in ligaments, bones, connective tissues, organs, skin and many other things our bodies need to function well. The bone broth also “builds a barrier that prevents the absorption and spread of pathogenic substances, environmental toxins, microorganisms, and cancerous cells” (Morell, 2014, pg. 13). This is great stuff!
Since it is made from scratch each time, the amount of nutrients and gelatin in each batch is not the same. The nutrients will depend on the animal used and the life of the animal. If the animal ate many good foods throughout its life, then the nutritional value of the broth will increase and vise versa. When a gelatin-like substance is created in the broth when it is refrigerated, then you have some good broth! The gelatin is very good for your body! There are many benefits of bone broth for our bodies. If you want to know all the details read Sally Fallon Morell’s book called Nourishing Broth An Old Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World. It is a great book with a lot of good information!
Now Let’s Make Some!
I make my broth by slow cooking it. I started out with a crockpot, then once my crock pot died I bought an Instant Pot. This was one of the best things I have bought for my kitchen! It is so much easier to make broth and many other things with the Instant Pot. What I like about the Instant Pot is I am able to set how long I want my food to cook, then it automatically goes on keep warm for 10 hours.
Since I work during the day, I can put my chicken in the Instant Pot at night, then I can leave it for the next morning to take care of and it isn’t overcooked! If I don’t have time to take care of the broth in the morning, then I put it on keep warm again for another 10 hours and I take care of it after work. It is a great machine for making nourishing foods while working. Other ways to make broth are with the stovetop and the oven, using the Instant Pot I also don’t have to worry about the stovetop or oven being on all night or when I am out of the house. I like to be able to plug in my Instant Pot and leave the house without worrying what could go wrong if the water runs out or something happens while I am away.
When I make chicken broth I normally do so after cutting up a whole chicken to eat for supper. Sometimes I will put the whole chicken in the crockpot, but lately, I cut off the limbs and breast of the chicken and put the body of the chicken in the instant pot. There is some meat left on there still, but I use that after it is cooked in the Instant Pot. After putting the chicken in the Instant Pot, fill up with water until all of the bones are covered in water.
This is the time to add the spices that would enhance the taste. I like to add a splash of apple cider vinegar, this makes the taste improve a lot and it helps to bring out all the beneficial nutrients from the bones of the chicken. I also add salt and pepper to taste. The salt also makes it taste much better. What kind of salt do I use? Check out my like that is all about salt!
Chicken broth should be cooked from 1-2 days on low, check to be sure the meat is covered with water. The longer the meat cooks for, the more nutrients it will pull out of the bones, according to Campbell-McBride. When it is done the broth should be tasty! It can be stored in the fridge for 5 days, or in the freezer for a lot longer.
If cooking on the stove top, then heat up the water to boiling, then reduce to heat to a simmer. Simmer the broth for 6-12 hours.
Beef, Lamb, or Venison broth/stock
When making broth from bones of an animal, make sure to get a part of the animal that has a joint. The joint provides extra nutrients to the body that only the bone will not have. Fill up the pot with water until the bones are covered. Add your salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar. White vinegar will also work with making any of the broth recipes. Beef, lamb, and venison can be cooked for 12-24 hours on the stovetop, but do the full 24 hours in the slow cooker, Instant Pot, or crock pot.
I have tried this one time and it smelled fishy to me, but it has some great health benefits! My daughter drank it and thought it was fine, so I froze it for her. This stock requires the “bones, fins, skins and heats of the fish, not the meat” (Campbell-McBride, 2010, pg. 179). This broth only needs to cook for about 1-2 hours.
Pheasant, turkey, or duck broth/stock
This can be prepared the same way as the chicken broth but it will only need to cook for 4-6 hours.
Another way to quickly get broth is through a pressure cooker. A pressure cooker works great along with the Instant Pot! The Instant Pot is a great way to do many different things and pressure cooking is one of them. Use a hen, rooster, chicken, or turkey to pressure cook for broth. When I pressure cook with the Instant Pot, first be sure the seal is good to go and in place. Then place the lid on the Instant Pot and place the knob on seal. Press the pressure button and set the timer for 45 minutes. Once the pot is up to pressure the timer will begin. After the 45 minutes have passed there are two options to release the pressure. One is to do so naturally and let it sit for at least 15 minutes before trying to release the pressure. The other way is to slowly release the pressure turn the knob so the pressure can start to leave the container. I make sure to do this outside because it can get messy!
Broth made in the oven
Do you have an old turkey roaster? This will be needed for broth in the oven. According to Morelle the bones need to be browned before the slow cooking process begins. When all the bones are in the roaster with water and spices, then put the roaster with the lid off in a preheated oven of 450 degrees. Brown the bones for 20 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 200 degrees and add the lid to the roaster. Leave the lid so there is a little crack and some air can get out. This can be cooked for 24 hours in the oven. If you want to check it and scrape off everything that has risen to the top, then do so after 1 hour.
When the broth is done, take out the meat and bones before straining the broth. The broth will have chunks inside of it. If you want a clear broth then pour the broth through a sieve or cheesecloth. Coffee filters also work great to strain it, but it takes longer. I am starting to strain my broth through coffee filters because my son is at the age where he is starting to eat solids and broth is one of his staples!
When freezing my broth I like to freeze my broth in cubes, then transfer them to a gallon Ziploc bag. I found some silicone cube trays that work great! The broth will keep well for a long time in the freezer. Then when I need broth for a recipe I have some ready to go! I also use broth as one of the first foods my kids eat when I started to introduce foods to them.
If you want to make a meal of this then put the whole chicken in the pot with onions, carrots, celery, or any other vegetable that would taste good! Then when you get home supper is done!
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Campbell-McBride, N (2010). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment For Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia. A.D.D., A.D.H.D, Depression, and Schizophrenia. Revised and Expanded Edition. United Kingdom: Parent and Designs Act 1988
Morell, S. F., (2014). Nourishing Broth. An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World. Grand Central Life & Style.