Bone Broth BingoJeff Davis, Freelance Writer and M*A*S*H Nerd
Whatever you believe the benefits of bone broth to be, there is no argument that bone broth is one of the hottest trends in the healthy eating and weight loss industry since… what, Soylent Green? Self- proclaimed experts from both sides of the argument can fight it out on the latest “Dr.” show, but I’m going to focus here on a couple realities: First, bone broth, or any slow-simmered, natural broth made from bones, skin, tendons, and other “leftover” animal parts, has a lot of good, beneficial stuff in it. Stuff like collagen, glycine, glutamine, proline, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, glucosamine, and lots of other minerals. Second, this type of flavorful, healthy broth has been used traditionally in every world cuisine. These two points are not really up for debate.
One side claims that bone broth is the magic elixir of life, that it can cure “leaky gut” syndrome, treat allergies, improve joint health, boost your immune system, help you lose weight, and even reduce cellulite. Sounds like the proverbial Holy Grail, right? The other side, typically vegetarian or vegan nutritionists, claim that there’s no magic substance that can do all this, and that bone broth, while possibly nutritious, can be replaced by any number of vegetable substitutes by the careful eater.
Regardless, I’m going to proceed under the assumption that quality, properly made bone broth is good for you. HOW good for you is an argument for another day. I like the stuff, despite the fact that it hasn’t made me skinny. Yet.
“Healing the gut” is a hugely popular topic in modern health and nutrition, and many believe that bone broth as part of a healthy, organic, probiotic-rich diet can be very beneficial in restoring the body’s natural balance. If you decide that you want to incorporate bone broth as part of your effort to eat healthier and possibly heal the gut, there are a few options for you.
The easiest, and by far the most expensive, is to buy organic, grass-fed bone broth at health-food stores. It has become available from several sources, but it is indeed quite expensive. Many proponents advocate consuming around a quart or more of broth per day, which, if you buy it from a health-food store, will cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars a month. Which is kinda ridiculous. But hey, it’s your money.
Another easy way to incorporate bone broth into your diet is to buy bone broth powder. You can mix it in smoothies, juices, water, or whatever you like, and not have to feel like you’re drinking soup all the time. However, it’s not super-cheap either.
The best way is to make your own, and it’s not as difficult as you might think, though it isn’t cheap, if you really want to adhere to the spirit of the thing and get grass-fed, organic bones. Here’s how I do it:
- Get some bones. I like beef bones, oxtails, etc. Grass fed and organic is best.
- Put them on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes to an hour at 400 degrees.
- Put them in a pot and cover them with water.
- Add a couple carrots, onions, garlic cloves, and celery stalks if you want more flavor and nutrition.
- Add a bit of salt and three tablespoons of good organic apple cider vinegar. This helps to draw the calcium out of the bones.
- Bring to a boil (or put in a slow-cooker) and then simmer very low for at least 24 hours.
- Strain and refrigerate or freeze.
- You can also start with a whole chicken or two, and pick the meat off (for sammiches) after an hour or so of cooking, then put the bones back in the pot and proceed as above.