Bone broth is a nutrient rich, and extremely cheap healing food. Homemade bone broth does not compare to the shop bought versions, with preservatives, flavourings and colourings added. Plus the shop bought products are likely to be histamine rich as they have been ageing whilst sitting on the shelves. If you make your own you can keep the ingredients low in FODMAPS & histamines for your ultimate healing broth.
So whats so special about bone broth? A heck of a lot! It can help improve digestion, allergies, immune health and brain health, and it can even help reduce cellulite.
Bone broth is very high in the amino acids proline and glycine which are vital for healthy connective tissue – the structural fibres that exist in every part of our body – especially important for bone, ligament and skin health. It also helps reduce cellulite, increases hair growth/strength, support digestive function and strengthen teeth.
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. It is important for the function 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 creatine 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.
Proline can help 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.
So have I convinced you this is good stuff yet? Its extremely easy to make needing only about 10 minutes preparation time, and minimal skills. And you need just 1 big pot to brew up your broth.
HOW TO MAKE BONE BROTH
I make my bone broth once a week after a trip to my local butchers. I buy 3 chickens with giblets, freeze one and butcher 2 into pieces (breasts, legs and wings all get frozen or roasted and eaten the same day), leaving the carcasses and giblets for making into bone broth. I also pick up any pork bones and lamb bones they have available – they give them away free! I avoid beef as I am on a low histamine diet but you can use these in the recipe below if you are OK with them.
I like to make bone broth with the chicken and pork bones together and lamb bones separately as their flavour is so strong. I add low fodmap vegetables: parsnip, carrot, celery, but whatever vegetables you eat normally is fine. I add herbs – whatever I have to hand which is usually bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and sage. If you keep a stock of medicinal herbs at home too, I suggest also adding Astragalus and Angelica sinensis (Dang gui) root – just a small handful or the flavours are overpowering.
All these ingredients are thrown in a big pot, covered with water (filtered if possible) and boiled up for as long as possible – usually about 3 hours. I have read lots of other blogs about bone broth and many of them suggest boiling for 24 to 48 hours. I do not think this is better than boiling for 3. In theory boiling for 40 minutes gets all the goodness out of the ingredients, but the the taste improves over time – so I take a middle road option – partly because i cant afford to leave the oven on for that long, but if I had an Aga that also heated the house i might let it brew for a lot longer!
Once its cooked, i strain it through a sieve and cool it down as quickly as possible by placing the stock pot in a sink full of cold water. This usually cools the broth down ready to freeze within about 30 minutes. I freeze it in portion size pots – about 300mls each. But you can reduce your stock further if you have less storage space and dilute it from concentrate at a later stage.
HOW TO USE BONE BROTH
Bone broth is an every day ingredient in my house. I make soup almost daily using it as the stock base. Today we had lentil & carrot soup with ginger to enhance its winter warming powers. Tomorrow I am planning a chicken, ginger and rice noodle soup, with vegetable strips of carrot, sweet potato and pepper.
It also works perfectly as a stock for stews and casseroles, or added to curry sauces. You can even drink it on its own – i used to drink bovril tea as a kid – home made bone broth with a little ginger is so much nicer and soothing to the stomach!