Bone Broth is this ultra-nutritious, comforting liquid that has been used for generations for its nutritional benefits. Not only does it taste delicious, it nourishes just about every part of your body, from your gut to your brain, organs, muscles, ligaments and skin.
Bone Broth contains collagen, which is an essential building block for hair, skin and nail health. It also contains glucosamine, chondroitin sulphates and other compounds that support joint health.
Bone broth provides the amino acids needed for collagen production. Collagen keeps the skin smooth, firm and reduces wrinkles. Collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed through the skin, so the creams claiming to be full of collagen that can erase those wrinkles and fine lines can’t really provide the results they promise.
From that collagen comes one of the most valuable components of bone broth – gelatin. Gelatin provides the building blocks needed to form and maintain strong bones. This helps take pressure off of aging joints and supports healthy bone mineral density. Gelatin also strengthens our gut lining, combats food sensitivities and fights inflammation in the digestive tract.
Bone broth contains minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. It contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds that so many people take as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis and joint pain.
Bone Broth is also an excellent source of several essential amino acids like proline, glycine, arginine and glutamine. Proline helps the body break down proteins and improve skin elasticity, as well as keeping arteries from stiffening. Glycine is essential in DNA and RNA synthesis and digestive health, and also enhances muscle repair and growth. Arginine breaks down nitric oxide, improving circulation and sending blood and nutrients to cells throughout the body, as well as aiding in wound healing and proper kidney function. Glutamine plays a critical role in healthy digestion and brain function, and is a key player in healing a leaky gut.
So how do you use bone broth? Any way you’d like, really. I drink it every single day because I believe in its powerful benefits. I also cook veggies with it and use it as a base for soups. But there are countless ways to use it. In savory dishes I have been known to use broth for any water that a recipe calls for, both for the added health benefits and for a flavor boost.
So making bone broth is pretty simple. I have made it on the stove, but now I use my Instant Pot because it saves me so much time!
You can make either beef or chicken bone broth. Chicken takes less time to make, and chicken bones seem to accumulate faster than beef (at least in my house), so that is what I make most of the time. I’ve recently grown fonder of beef bone broth, so I’m trying to make that more, but the health benefits are the same regardless of the origin of the bones.
Place all of your bones (stick with either chicken or beef, not a combination) into either a stock pot or your Instant Pot and then fill with filtered water. If you want to add veggies, add them now, but I don’t really add them any longer to the broths I make. If you would like a bit of veggies, carrots, celery and onion are wonderful additions.
I do add a few pinches of Pink Himalayan salt, a couple of peppercorns and about two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to the water. The ACV helps pull the minerals out of the bones so that you can extract as much of the nutrients as possible. If making beef bone broth, I also add in some marrow bones for additional nutrients. To the chicken bone broth you can add chicken feet, which are packed with collagen, but are not necessary.
If you’re cooking this on the stove, bring the whole thing to a slow boil and then turn it down to simmer. Chicken bone broth needs to simmer for 24 hours and beef bone broth needs 48 hours. If you have an Instant Pot, set it on manual for 120 minutes for chicken bones. For beef bones, I set it for 120 minutes, which is the highest my Instant Pot will go, and when that finishes I set it for another 90 minutes. Then I allow it to depressurize on its own, which usually takes another hour.
After the bone broth has finished, scoop out all of the bones and veggies until you’re left with only the beautiful broth. Pour into quart jars or whatever glass jars you have available. I caution using plastic because of the possible leaching of the plastic into something meant for the nourishment of your body. Some people skim off the top layer of fat from their broth before jarring, but I want all of the possible nutrients, and that fat contains some of the collagen and gelatin, which I definitely want to keep.
From the Instant Pot, I will get 4 full quart jars of this ultra-healthy goodness. I go through a jar every couple days, so four jars lasts around 12-14 days if I just drink it. If I use it to cook with, then it obviously doesn’t last as long. Since it gets consumed pretty quickly, I keep it in the refrigerator and don’t bother freezing it.
If you simmered it on the stove, the amount of bone broth that you end up with depends on the size of the pot that you used. If you plan on freezing some, you can do so with quart jars, making sure to leave some room at the top for expansion. You can also freeze it in ice-cube trays and store the cubes in a ziplock, ready to be thawed to drink or to be thrown into a recipe.
Once your bone broth has cooled completely, or after you take a jar out of the fridge, you’ll immediately notice that it’s now a gel and not a liquid. That, my friend, is exactly what you want! That gelling means that it is chock full of the collagen and gelatin that provide so many of the health benefits bone broth is known for. Once heated, it resumes its liquid state, and is ready for you to experience all of it’s goodness.
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