Make Bone Broth

Everyone knows that the best remedy for any malady is a nice warm pot of soup.  It's ancient wisdom. (Or Grandma's.)

So... If it's so good for us, why don't we eat this healing food all the time?
  • HELLO NUTRIENTS!  Bone broth is incredibly nutrient-dense.  According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, meat and fish stocks contain minerals like calcium magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, and trace minerals.  The process for making bone broth also releases those broken down materials from the cartilage and tendons, such "chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for joint pain"!!  For more information, check out "Broth is Beautiful".
  • Kidneys and Adrenals: Nourished Kitchen explains the traditional Chinese medicine perspective, pointing out that bone broth "nourishes our kidneys, supports our vital essence (chi), and builds blood."  The Chinese paradigm includes adrenals within the kidney system, so bone broth can help with adrenal fatigue issues.  Read more here.
  • Take a Hint From Nature: On Mark's Daily Apple, Mark Sisson also outlines all the amazing things found in bones, which we can tap into by making bone broth.  He notes that carnivorous animals in nature often go straight for the bone marrow, hinting to observers that that's where the real nutrition lies.
  • Alleviate Joint Pain: Chef Lance Roll, a.k.a. "The Flavor Chef", also promotes bone broth as a remedy for achy joints and to heal digestion.  As a guest on the Underground Wellness Podcast from October 2012, he said, "Before pharmaceuticals, there was broth."  YES!  Let food be thy medicine!  He had me hooked.  "We are not only what we eat, but also what we absorb."

Wanting to absorb of all this nutrient goodness for myself, I added "Make Bone Broth" to my Dare list.

Read more to see how it went...

As Lance Roll explains on Underground Wellness, the bones are the key component to bone broth.  You can find organic bones and produce pretty much anywhere, you just have to look or ask!  Try your local butcher and see what he has to offer.  However, I took a while to actually dare to go and ask.  I didn't know where to start!

My amazing mother, recalling my mention that I wanted to try making my own bone broth, got me some beef bones from a nearby farm.  Thanks, Mom!

Before making the broth, you have to roast the bones.  A good friend of the family, Adam, gave me instructions for dressing the bones in an oil-ACV mixture before roasting.

Next time I get bones, I'll ask that they be cut down into smaller pieces so there is greater surface area from which to pull nutrients and amino acids, but this worked out well enough, this time.

They smelled amazing, not going to lie.  That is -- AFTER they were roasted:

Adam also advised that I save the grease from the pan to use as a cooking fat, and this was awesome.  Tasty!

Then, the bones go into a pot with a mix of different herbs--whatever you like!  We put in parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary.

Toss these in with your bones and fill the pot with water.  Lance Roll recommends filtered water to avoid additives from tap water; you want to use pure water to make good quality broth.

He also suggests adding organic apple cider vinegar (to help extract the calcium from the bones) and lemon (for flavor), but we used these to dress the marrow to roast already, so didn't add it to the pot. 

Then, you wait.


But really, it takes a long time.  Minimum 8 hours, or up to 48, depending on what type of bones you're using!   I ended up doing about 24-36 hours total (with the burner on and off) for my beef bones, I think, although I didn't time it.  It also may make a difference depending on if you use a stock pot on the stove, like I did, or if you have a slow-cooker, which will make it so much easier for you!

Finally, ready for supper, I boiled some carrots to put in and make my soup magical nutrient and mineral potion.

YUM!  It's delicious!  Tip: Definitely have it warm.  It just tastes like healing.

BONUS - You're not just making soup.  Your broth can also be used any way you'd use a chicken or vegetable stock from the store!  Use it as a liquid base to make other soups, sauces, saute dishes, or any other recipe that calls for some type of stock.

Good thing I've got plenty to experiment with:

 I went to work packing it up into soup containers to freeze until I'm ready for them.

Did I do everything perfectly?  No.  Was this a great start?  Yes!  Proud that I finally did it, and look forward to researching further and fine-tuning the process for next time. 

Go find yourself some bones or even use the bones left over from cooking other meats, and make yourself some broth!  I dare you to!

Here are some suggested instructions:
- Balanced Bites'  Easy Recipe: Mineral-Rich Bone Broth
- The Wellness Mama's "How to Make Bone Broth" Tutorial
- Lance Roll "The Flavor Chef" audio instructions and comments

Don't want to make your own? Afraid to leave the burner on for so long?  Order organic bone broth from The Flavor Chef: Bone Broth!

Do you make your own bone broth?  I'd love to hear your tips below!!! 

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