Remember when your mum used to give you broth to make you better, well she was on to something.
Bone broth has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal remedy for everything from the common cold to strengthening kidneys. Nowadays, bone broth has become a bit of a buzz word, perhaps partially due to the rise in digestive disorders such as IBS, leaky gut and IBD, and perhaps also due to a rise in people seeking more a holistic approach to restoring and maintaining their health.
I first got onto bone broth when I was diagnosed with IBS, and then leaky gut. I was desperate to try every natural treatment to heal my gut and stop the permanent bloating, pain and diarrhoea which was plaguing my life. Whilst research natural, holistic cure I saw two of my favourite Youtubers (Sarah’s day and Chrisite Swadling) swearing by bone broth. I did some further research, asked my naturopath about it and immediately needed to purchase some.
Sadly, no supermarket where I live seems to sell any (and Winchester only has 1 tiny, overpriced health store). From time to time I’ll buy some online, like this one, to store in my cupboard (for those lazy can’t be arsed days) but most of the time I’ll make my own bone broth in my beloved slow cooker.
I highly recommend getting a slow cooker. Don’t worry they are not expensive; you can get one of Amazon or in Argos for as little as £15. I picked mine up in Aldi (a UK budget supermarket) for about £20 and I Iove it. Although you can make bone broth in a pan on the hob, I always make mine in a slow cooker because then I don’t have to worry about controlling the temperature, the water running out, everything burning or boiling over, etc. The slow cooker does everything for you; once your ingredients are in, you set the mode and leave it to do its thing whilst you get on with your day.
BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH
Bone broth is so nutrients dense, we might as well refer to as liquid gold.
* DIGESTIVE HEALTH: bones contain collagen and once cooked form gelatine which provides amino acids that help repair your intestinal lining. * YOUTHFUL SKIN: bones contain type 2 collagen which keeps skin youthful (your skin is composed of up to 80% collagen), and hair and nails strong. * IMMUNE BOOST: bone broth has been proven to seal holes in your intestinal lining which if left open allow undigested food particles to enter the blood stream and trigger an immune response. This can result in inflammation and a weakened immune system, leaving you suspectable to disease. * BETTER SLEEP: contains the amino acids glycine which may help improve sleep patterns, helping you achieve a restful night’s sleep. * REDUCE INFLAMMATION: the gut sealing and healing properties of bone broth, coupled with the rich source of nutrients make it a powerful anti-inflammatory. * STRONG BONES & TEETH: the formation of bones and connective tissue requires a constant supply of nutrients such as protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D. All theses micronutrients are in bone broth! * BOOST MOOD: the food you eat influences your gut bacteria and your gut bacteria influence your brain, and thus your mood. As bone broth supports a healthy gut, it in turn supports mood and healthy cognitive function.
As with all the recipes I share, I like to encourage you to experiment with flavours and tailor the recipes to your preferences. These are some of my favourite combinations for bone broth, but feel free to add in any herbs, spices or flavours you like.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can absolutely make a vegetable broth. You won’t be getting the collagen but will be getting lots of micronutrients, so it’s still worth making and adding to your diet.
Carcass / bones of a chicken / turkey / beef (ideally with a few scraps of meat left meat on them)
Veg scraps: I like using onion*, garlic*, celery, carrot tops, courgette ends, aubergine ends *omit if they trigger IBS symptoms
Herbs of your choice (I used ½ tsp turmeric powder & 2 slices of ginger root)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
¼ tsp Himalayan / sea salt
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
Enough filtered water to cover everything
Add everything to a slow cooker.
Place the lid on, and set the mode to a minimum of 8 hours. The longer it cooks, the more nutrients extracted. You want a long, slow, low temperature cook.
Once cooked, allow to cool before transferring to a container by using a ladle and sieve to strain and separate the bones and vegetable chunks out of the bone broth liquid.
I like to store half my bone broth in the fridge in a sealable tub, and half in the freezer for later.