By now you have probably heard of bone broth. But what is it really and does it deliver the health benefits it boasts?? Let’s find out…
Bone broth can be made from the bones of beef, bison, lamb, poultry, fish or even scrap vegetables. Just start to save these things in a bag in the freezer until you have enough to cook up a batch!
Next time you enjoy a roasted chicken, turkey or get your hands on a bag of beef bones from your local butcher (just ask- sometimes they’ll give them to you for free!) put those leftover bones to use. By utilizing the bones of the (pastured, organic) animals after we are getting a full nutrient profile of the ligaments, joints, and collagen which aren’t found in high amounts in the muscle meat of said animals. These nutrients are vital for supporting the growth of healthy connective tissue, healing the gut, tightening the skin, supporting hair and nail growth. In fact, some studies even suggest that it helps eliminate cellulite as it supports smooth connective tissue.
This delicious batch of broth is also a great source of gelatin and glucosamine-chondroitin which provide nutrients including glycine which are essential for joint health. It is also high in calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus which makes it great for bone and tooth health.
Along with all of the minerals listed above there are three main all-star amino acids that make bone broth the ultimate supporter of a healthy gut…
- Proline is the main amino acid in collagen. Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
- Glycine helps to detoxify the liver. Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body, as such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatinine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. in the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
- L-glutamine helps with muscle recovery, helps fix the gut wall, improves sleep and helps to reduce cravings!
Now seriously – who couldn’t use these benefits?? Especially during the holiday season. The best part of making bone broth is it’s so darn simple! Follow the recipe below and enjoy as a base for soups, freeze in ice cube trays and use to de-glaze sauted vegetables, or enjoy in the morning as a replacement for your coffee once in a while! Freeze any leftovers you have and thrown those bones right back into the crock-pot for another go round so you have an endless supply of deliciousness. There really are endless ways to enjoy your bone broth – go ahead, find your favorite!
Recipe courtesy of nomnompaleo.com
You can easily substitute pork or chicken bones in place of beef and the results are all good. Recipe will make about 4 quarts…
- 2 carrots, chopped medium
- 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
- 1 medium onion, chopped medium
- 7 garlic cloves, smashed
- 3.5 lb of beef bones (from US Wellness Meats or your local farmer)
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Here’s how to make it:
- Dump the vegetables in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker (this is our favorite), drop in the beef bones, tuck in the bay leaves, sprinkle on a wee bit of salt, drizzle the vinegar on the bones and add enough water to cover everything.
- Program the slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours.
- When it’s ready, pour the broth through a strainer, and discard the solids. You can ladle out some to drink now, or store the liquid in a large CorningWare or glass container for later.
- If bones are too fatty making the broth taste unappealingly greasy – stick the broth in the fridge overnight and scrape off the top layer of solidified fat. The broth underneath looks like beef Jell-O and that’s exactly what you want! Just warm this up in a saucepan when you’re ready to indulge!
- The broth will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for several months.
Want an even quicker recipe? Check out NomNom Paleo’s pressure cooker bone broth recipe here…