We’ve been using traditional foods such as cultured dairy and fermented vegetables for their health benefits for thousands of years. Bone broth is another traditional healing food that deserves a spot in the limelight.
What is it?
Bone broth (or stock if you want to take the marketing spin out of it…), is the simmering of bones in water over a long period of time. Typically over 4 to 24 hours. During this simmering the bones and ligaments release healing compounds such as collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. All of which have the power to transform your health.
How do I make it?
Easily! First off, get your hands on some bones. Most people go for chicken or beef. Preferably organic, but at worst free range for chicken and grass fed for beef.
A nice way of keeping it simple is to roast a whole chicken and use the meat in meals during the week. Or, make friends with your butcher and take the bones off their hands. This reduces their waste, so everyone’s happy!
Roast your bones. If you can, then break them down. Put in a slow cooker, add a splash of cider vinegar and cover with water. Set the heat to low and leave for 4 to 24 hours. The longer you’re able to leave it the more good stuff you get out.
Then strain the mixture into a heatproof jug or bowl, allow to cool. Put it in your refrigerator, and once it’s chilled you’ll be able to skim off the fat.
How do I eat broth?
Heat it up, season it and drink it as a broth from a mug. Add it to your cooking during the week. Anywhere the recipe calls for stock, use it instead of a stock cube. Make a ramen, braise your spring greens, add it to sauces…the only limit is your creativity.
Take it to the Next Level
The above recipe is a little bit, bare bones (sorry, couldn’t help myself). To make the flavour more interesting then have a play with adding any of the below list. The measurements aren’t specifics, just adjust based on how much you like the particular flavour!
- One or two onions (roasted with skins on to give a deeper brown colour)
- A couple of centimetres of ginger
- A couple of sticks of celery
- A bay leaf
Take things down more of an Asian line with:
- A kaffir lime leaf
I like to make mine as a basic stock with onions. Then I add the different flavour elements when I re-heat it based on what I’m making with it or what mood I’m in!