What is bone broth and why is it good for me?
Bone broths are made by simmering chicken, lamb or beef bones in water for 4+ hours. Animal bones are rich in collagen and the amino acids (protein units) glycine, proline, and glutamine (which are not found in high concentrations in animal meat/muscle).
Collagen and glutamine have been shown to heal the cells of the gut wall (enterocytes). If you have experienced food allergies, food poisoning, parasitic infection, leaky gut, bloating or diarrhoea, bone broth supports the health of the gut wall and helps your digestive system recover.
Collagen, proline, and glycine (which support collagen synthesis) also support skin health and joint and bone health and healing where injuries have occurred. Chicken broth can support recovery from colds, flu, and infections because it contains cysteine, which is antimicrobial.
The glycine in bone broth also supports one of our liver detoxification pathways, and when our liver is functioning optimally, this has multiple benefits for overall health. And finally, bone broths are hydrating and contain small amounts of minerals that your body needs daily such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
How do I make it?
You will need:
A large, stainless steel soup pot (please don’t use aluminium)
Chicken, beef or lamb bones (e.g., a chook carcass or a decent sized bag of bones)
Enough filtered water to fill the pot ¾ of the way
Black pepper corns
A generous squeeze of lemon juice or splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
A bay leaf or two...star anise also goes very well with beef broth
-Add water, the bones, 4-5 black pepper corns, the lemon juice or ACV and the bay leaf or star anise to the soup pot.
-Simmer chicken bones for 4 hours and simmer beef and lamb bones for 4+ hours. Simmer on a low heat, so the water is just moving slightly.
-Towards the end of cooking (last 1-2 hours), you can add a chopped onion and any vegetable off-cuts, for extra flavours.
-Allow to cool and then store in a glass container in the fridge. I like to re-use passata jars for storing bone broth.
You can add bone broth to soups, casseroles, Bolognese sauce, and lentil dishes, use it to braise lamb cuts, or simply enjoy it as a hot drink.
For therapeutic effect, especially if you experience food allergies, digestive problems, leaky gut or joint injuries or pain, I recommend drinking one cup four or five times a week. For babies, you can syringe a couple of tablespoons of lukewarm bone broth into their mouth each day.