Most people scoff at the idea of drinking bone broth. Or they say I'm "bizarre". That's cool...if you want to miss out on some of the most incredibly nutritious food on the planet.
Here's why it's good:
- Collagen. This is what connective tissue and some other body parts (ligaments, tendons, skin, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, eyeballs, etc) are made of. It's what gelatin is derived from. And despite its use in jello and other poisonous treats, gelatin is a vital resource in the body that keeps your intestinal lining healthy and connective tissue strong. It is used in plastic surgery. It was the world's first glue. It is used as a supplement by many people for hair and fingernail health. It is used by many as a supplement for skin rejuvenation. It is rich in the amino acid glycine. Basically, it's really good for you and the best way to get is in the form of REAL FOOD. Not a supplement.
- GAGs. Yes yes...haha. Spare me the joke "yeah, GAG is what you do when you drink it!!" No. GAG stands for glycosaminoglycan and the stuff is very important. There are several different types of GAGs and the body uses them in cellular adhesion, growth, and repair (think wound healing). Healthy eyes have plenty of the stuff. Glucosamine - that supplement people take for joint pain - is a GAG. Chondriotin Sulfate - another well known arthritis "healer" - is a GAG. If you have joint pain and are OK with treating it with a reductionist approach, that's totally cool. But bone broth has both of those things, plus a BAJILLION more things that would probably also be top sellers if they were reduced down to one molecule and sold at a vitamin store for a ton of money.
- Glycine. This aforementioned amino acid is made by your body (thus non-essential) and is abundant in bone broth and helps the liver to detox your system.
- Bone Marrow. Another super nutritious food. Mark Sisson has a great article about the benefits of the stuff here. In a nutshell, all carnivorous animals go to great lengths to get bone marrow into their systems. It's nutrient dense, high in essential vitamins and minerals...and tastes amazing.
- There are many, many more incredibly amazing things about bone broth. Just search "bone broth" on the Interweb if you don't believe me.
There is a great article on the Weston A. Price website about broth and its benefits. Turn the clock back a ways, back when communities still had butchers, before technology was able to make supplements and synthesize things in a lab -- back when things were more SIMPLE -- and you'll find that broth made from animal parts was used as medicine.
That's what I use it for now. Medicine. Except that it's medicine that tastes amazing and is unbelievably cheap.
How to Make It
Step 1 - get high quality bones. Not the garbage from the poor, unhealthy animals fed grains and not allowed to live a natural, animal life.
I get my bones from either Slankers Ranch in Powderly, Texas or Burgundy Pasture Beef in Grandview, Texas. The soup bones are the cheapest thing at either place. We're talking like 3 or 4 dollars a pound.
Step 2 - cook it. Fill a slow cooker (I have a 6-quart crock pot) to the top with a variety of bones. Sometimes I'll add in some cow tongue or organ meats to the pot. Adds to the broth and gets my "weird" meat cooked. We're talking neck bones, knuckles, whole chicken carcasses, chicken feet...any bone is a good bone.
I fill it to the top with filtered (reverse osmosis) water then put in about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar -- this leeches the really good minerals out of the bones and marrow.
I made the mistake early on of trying to ration my bones and only using a few. This made for a watery broth. Now I fill the thing to the top. Another mistake I made one time was using only chicken carcasses. I did this once and it was very watery. It's fine to use chicken carcasses but just make sure it's in there with some meaty cow/bison bones or chicken feet, which are loaded with collagen (aka gelatin).
Step 3 - after letting soak for 30 minutes, turn it on LOW and cook for 24 hours. That's it.
Some people go to a lot of trouble straining the broth so only the liquid is remaining. Not me.
I get the bones out and leave all the marrow and little chunks of nutrition still floating around.
I put the crock pot down in the sink and -- after getting bones out with tongs -- ladle the broth into quart size mason jars using a, you guessed it, ladle and a funnel.
After it cools a bit, I'll drink some because what's better than fresh, hot-out-of-the-crock-pot-bone-broth? Then I'll put it in the fridge.
A good broth will become gelatinous when cold and have a layer of fat on the top. I've been skimming that part off after it cools and use it to cook.
Every day around lunchtime, I put half of the quart in a coffee mug, a tsp of sea salt, and warm it up for 2 minutes. Not necessarily because I'm hungry at lunchtime, which I hardly ever am -- a topic for another day, but it's just when I like to get my dose in. Timing does not matter -- just that you get it in your belly.
Doing what I've described above usually yields just under 3 quarts which normally lasts me about 6 days.
It's incredible. And I feel great after I have it.
Check out this YouTube video I made during the harvest of my latest batch...one of my favorite times of the week!! My YouTube channel is here.