So what’s the deal with bone broth?
You can hardly pick up a magazine or open a social media app without stumbling across the benefits of bone broth. Everyone from chefs, the media, big screen celebrities to your friends are bestowing the virtues of this golden liquid. It became the favored new “it” superfood last year, but it seems to be holding its own in 2017.
At Sage HealthStyle we too love the golden magic! We love it, of course, for all the amazing health benefits, but also because we can use up all of our vegetable ends and pieces that otherwise might get thrown away (unless you’re an avid composter, which we are not), especially in the winter. Since throwing away any food is a major pet peeve, we have jumped on the bone broth/stock train!
The health benefits that we are most encouraged by are a result of the extended simmering, which causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that have the power to transform your health. Here are the top benefits that we’re totally on board with:
- Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion:
- The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion
- Boosts the immune system:
- Heal disorders like allergies, asthma and arthritis
- Collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal these openings in the gut lining and support gut integrity.
- Inhibits infection:
- Caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation:
- Courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage
- Fights inflammation:
- Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation).
- Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better
- Promotes strong, healthy bones:
- As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation
- Promotes healthy hair, skin and nail growth:
- Thanks to the valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin and trace minerals
With so many amazing benefits we needed to find multiple ways to get this gem into our diet without sipping the broth 24/7 (gross). Here are our favorites - we add it to just about anything:
- Anytime we sauté anything
- Instead of water to main savory dishes
- In marinades
- To meatloaf (adds great moisture)
- Roasting any main dish of meat or veggies
- Crockpot recipes: not many that don’t benefit from a touch of the broth
- Salad dressings
- Smoothies (yes just a few tablespoons- we promise you can’t taste it)
- When we cook eggs without(?) the oil
- Any time you want extra nutrients. Just add a touch
- Also (this should be a no-brainer!) soup bases
- Or just drink it straight if that’s your thing
And just so you don’t think we’ve forgotten, here’s our go to recipe for making bone broth at home (reduces buying processed and all that extra sodium!)
Nothing Goes to Waste Bone Broth Recipe:
- Collect all your vegetable ends and pieces for the week and store in container in refrigerator. Make sure you have onions and carrots for sure in your pot. If you have not collected at least 2 cups of ends and pieces, buy a few loose carrots and one onion.
- Any vegetables work, but some will give off a more pungent flavor- so be mindful of veggies like spinach or beets! (when boiled for long periods of time these tend to leave an off flavor)
- Bones of any kind- really any raw bones will do. If you’re a vegan, you can just make a veggie stock with no bones. We prefer the bones that have a good marrow that will slip out when cooking like pork or beef bones.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut all vegetables into rough cut pieces/quarters.
- Fill crockpot with the veggies and the bones
- Cover with water to just about the top of pot- leave about 1- 1½” free.
- Cook on high for about 1 hour then reduce to low and cook for a full 24 hours. You can leave it on longer – up to 36-48 hours. Please note: the smell will increase as the broth cooks. So you might want to cook in an area that you can ventilate (we have put the crockpot in the laundry room and closed the door and opened the window; the garage is also a good place to keep it if you’re worried about the overwhelming smell).
- When done cooking, strain the whole batch in several batches using a small hole colander or a milk nut bag or cheesecloth. We prefer the colander as bits of the marrow etc. sneak into the finished broth.
- Store in a tight mason jar or container in refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze leaving head space in container for expansion in freezer.