A Quick Guide to Bone Broth
In case the phrases bone broth or "leaky gut" aren't phrases that casually roll off your tongue, allow me to explain a few things on these trendy topics. Bone broth is essentially a glorified chicken soup or stock. If we were to ask our grandparents or great grandparents for a recipe to make soup, I can guarantee that Campbell's chicken broth was not included in the recipe. Traditionally speaking, broth or soup was made from the bones of an animal and not from bullion cubes. 100 years ago people knew that by cooking the bones in water for long periods of time not only would the water be infused with the savory flavors of chicken bones but it would also be infused with nutrients as well. And yes MAYBE the store bought canned broth might be good when you're sick as it will contain sodium to help with proper hydration but it is severely devoid of nutrients that a real broth or stock would contain. The nutrients I am referring to are primarily amino acids from the collagen and gelatin component of bones. And yes you have probably heard of collagen before and that it is great for your hair, skin and nails as it works to strengthen tissue and promote elasticity but not just for your skin alone. Collagen also works to strengthen your GI tract (where your immune system starts) the same way it can strengthen skin, hair, and nails. By now you might have heard of the term "leaky gut"; this essentially means the gut or intestinal tract is more permeable than it should be as it should be a tight wall working to defend the immune system. Bone broth is a rich source of glutamine, an amino acid that can help repair any damages to the intestinal lining and act to fortify the GI tract and thus the immune system. Bone broth also contains amino acids such as glycine that can lead to relaxation and promote sleep quality. Lastly bone broth is an excellent source of NAC or N-acetylcysteine that supports detox and lung health when you are feeling under the weather! So in short "bone broth" is simply a broth created from the bones of an animal (like a chicken) to contain all of the nutrients that are inside the bone that we don't get to eat. I guess my pet poodle, Sully, already knows what's up!
Simple Savory Bone Broth Recipe
This recipe provides instructions for making bone broth in either your slow cooker, Instant Pot or on the stove. Enjoy!
1-2 pounds fresh or frozen bones from chicken, beef, lamb etc. (I usually save bones leftover from at least 2 chickens in the freezer before making a broth. Alternatively, you could use the carcasses of 2 rotisserie chickens.)
1 yellow onion, cut in chunks
1 tsp black peppercorn
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 generous pinch of salt
3 celery stalks cut in chunks
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
4-6 cups cold water
This recipe is insanely easy. Begin by adding your fresh or frozen leftover bones into your Instant Pot, slow cooker or in large stock pot on the stove. Next add in celery, garlic, onion and any other veggie scraps you have in the fridge. Carrot tops, beet stems, garlic peels all contain tons of nutrients and flavor that is perfect for your broth. Don't worry, you will scoop all this stuff out afterwards anyways! Next, add about 4-6 cups of filtered water depending on the size of your Instant Pot, Stock Pot or Slow cooker. I recommend not adding too much over 6 cups of water, unless adding additional bones, as it will water down the broth. Lastly, add in your peppercorns, herbs, salt and don't for get to add the apple cider vinegar as this works to release the nutrients from the bones.
If using your Instant Pot; place the lid on your machine and lock it into place. You always want to make sure the nozzle on the lid is turned so that it is NOT venting to allow pressure to build in your Instant Pot. Turn your machine on and press the manual button. Make sure pressure is on high and set is for 2 hours or 120 minutes. Your machine will take about 15 minutes or so to build enough pressure to start the cooking process, and once it does the timer will start. After your timer has gone off, turn your instant pot off, and remove any objects from above the spout/nozzle. Allow your machine to naturally release pressure for about 10-15 minutes before flipping the nozzle on your machine towards vent to allow remaining pressure to be released. If using a slow cooker; simply place your lid over the top and turn your cooker onto high and set for 24 hours. If cooking in a large stockpot on the stove; bring water and bones to a simmer before reducing to medium to low heat and covering. Allow to cook over low to medium heat for 24 hours. Obviously it is not advised to leave your stove on and unattended so I HIGHLY recommend that if you chose to do this method you turn your stove down to the lowest setting while asleep. Safest bet would be to set a timer to check on your broth every few hours. This is why I prefer using my Instant Pot or Slow Cooker for bone broth.
After your broth is done, begin to scoop out all solids from your bone broth or allow to cool completely before pouring through a metal strainer. Store bone broth in glass containers. Bone broth will stay 1 week in the fridge an 3 months in the freezer.
Pro tip: Try freezing your liquid bone broth into BPA free ice cube trays to have bone broth cubes on hand to use in place of bullion cubes in recipes!