One of the oldest and most inexpensive homemade foods gaining popularity in the UK is bone broth or what is traditionally known as stock. (Bone broth is slightly different to stock in that the bones are simmered for a longer time – up to 48 hours for beef bone broth). This highly nutrient dense food is not only amazingly healthy, it’s also an affordable addition to your diet when you make your own.
Bone broth is a mineral-rich infusion made by boiling bones of grass-fed or free-range animals along with vegetables, herbs and spices. It can be made from the bones of beef, lamb, poultry or fish, vegetables such as carrots, onion, celery plus garlic, herbs and salt.
Homemade bone broth can improve digestion, allergies, immune health, brain health, joints, and much more.
Homemade bone broth is rich in collagen, a protein needed for the health of our skin, nails and hair.
Your body’s production of collagen decreases as you age. Reduction in collagen levels leads to wrinkles, weak brittle nails and weak joint cartilage.
Anecdotal reports from people drinking bone broth regularly is that it will reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite, strengthen nails and give your hair more shine.
Bone broth is also rich in the amino acid glycine, important in maintaining a healthy gut lining.
Muscle meat is high in the amino acid methionine, but low in glycine. You need both amino acids for methionine to be able to fulfill its important functions. This is why it is important to consume bone broth as well as organ meat, fattier cuts of meat, skin and cartilage.
Chris Kresser recommends consuming 125ml-250ml of homemade bone broth daily.
Use broth in:
- Or simply drink as a beverage
As an alternative to bone broth, you can add hydrolysed collagen to hot drinks and smoothies. Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate contains a good amount of the amino acid glycine.
Health benefits of Bone Broth
There are multiple health benefits to drinking bone broth (or using it as a stock in meals), which includes the improvement of:
- Bone and tooth health
- Brain health
- Hair, skin and nails
- Immune system
And reduction of:
- Joint Pain
The liquid strained from boiled and strained bones and vegetables is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (especially calcium, magnesium and phosphorous, which are essential for bone health). Most importantly, bone broth is also particularly rich in two very special amino acids: proline and glycine.
As explained by The Paleo Mom in ‘The Health Benefits of Bone Broth’ “Glycine and proline are two key components of connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together. There are many types of connective tissue and these two amino acids feature prominently in most of them, from the cartilage that forms our joints to the extracellular matrix that acts as a scaffold for the cells in our individual organs, muscles, arteries etc. Without these two amino acids, we would literally fall apart. So, it is no surprise that we need these two amino acids to heal, not only gaping wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and other tissues in our body caused by inflammation and infection. In fact, glycine is known to inhibit the immune system and reduce activation of inflammatory cells in your body. Whether you are trying to heal from an infection, address an auto-immune disease, or reduce inflammation caused by Neolithic foods or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), high levels of dietary glycine are critical.”
Bone Broth Recipe
When making Bone Broth it is best to gather high quality bones, either from your butcher or save bones from when you have cooked a meat meal, such as a roast chicken. Vegetables, herbs and spices add extra flavour and nutrition.
Makes 3-4 litres
- 2–3 kg beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones, or use the saved bones from a roast
- A generous splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (optional – this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)
- 2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
- 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
- A few dried bay leaves
- Place the bones and any optional ingredients into a large stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by 5cm while still leaving room at the top of the pan.
- Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for at least 6 hours for chicken and 12 hours for beef or lamb, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. Boil the chicken carcass for up to 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble, and keep beef bones going for 24-48 hours. Fresh chicken carcasses from the butcher usually have a fair amount of meat on them. Try poaching carcasses for 20 minutes, then pull off the meat (for another meal) before returning the carcasses to the pot and continuing to simmer.
- Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic).
You can also use a slow cooker. Just cook on high for 12 hours or more.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days, or freeze the stock in a glass container.
UK Companies producing Bone Broth
“We supply cafés in the city with fresh, homemade bone broth, created from free-range, locally sourced bones, simmered for up to 12 hours with herbs and vegetables. We currently produce two broths: Beef Bone Broth and Chicken Bone Broth.”
“We at the Borough Broth Company believe that Bone Broth offers key benefits to your daily diet. Because our products are slow cooked for 24 hours and 100% Organic all of the minerals, amino acids and proteins such as collagen are gently extracted ensuring a powerful punch of nourishment.”
“At Ossa we believe in the restorative, healing properties of premium bone broth. Our range of broths are made of only the highest quality bones, filtered water and organic vegetables.”
“We believe in keeping it simple so we use only three ingredients in our bone broth, grass fed beef bones, fresh onions & a pinch of Himalayan pink crystal salt and, of course, Yorkshire water.”
Eversfield Organic – Osius Bone Broth
“This beef broth is from is made from 100% grass-fed, organic beef bones and is simmered for a minimum of 24 hours with fresh vegetables, herbs and seaweed. Not only are Osius’ broths organic, but their beef broth is Pasture For Life certified, too.”
“What’s so good about our beef bone broth? We’ve simmered organic beef bones from our own farm for ten hours to release the gelatin and nutrients held within them. Bone broths provide the protein and essential minerals we need for a nourished body.”
- Bone Broth: The Nutrient-Rich Superfood http://thepaleodiet.com/
- Simple Bone Broth http://paleomagazine.com/
- Eat This: Bone Broth http://paleoleap.com/eat-this-bone-broth/
- ‘How to make bone broth’ by Wellness Mama http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/
- ‘Gut and Psychology Syndrome’ by Natasha Campbell-McBride
- ‘The Health Benefits of Bone Broth’ by The Paleo Mom http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/03/health-benefits-of-bone-broth.html
- Recipe based on ‘How to make bone broth’ by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/26/bone-broth-chicken-soup-recipe