In the days of our ancestors, the hunter gatherers of the stone age when they had no antibiotics, chemotherapy and all the advances of modern medicine they had good old reliable ” bone broth” which was the cure for everything from rheumatism to diabetes! The ancient bone broth was not just an ordinary stock but a more concentrated meaty elixir that was considered a healing magic potion! It was the bones & carcass of animals that were boiled till every bit of cartilage, marrow which translates into minerals, vitamins and gelatin had been squeezed out of it! The broth was given to anyone ailing and healthy people too to prevent disease. It seems to have worked since people lived longer and healthier those days without modern medicine. Of course they didn’t have all the pollution and exposure to chemicals that we have these days. But anyways a real chef knows that made from scratch bone broth is the crux of any flavorful dish. Nutritionists would look at the scientific health benefits but both would agree that the homemade version trumps any powders or boxed version.
Well, bone broth is gaining popularity these days with some restaurants charging as much as 5 to 7 bucks per cup. Not your traditional Java but hey you get a lot more than coffee. Packed with gelatin, hyaluronic acid, natural collagen and protein, it is being touted as an alternative to Botox and is popular with celebrities. Gwyneth Paltrow, Salma Hayek, Elle McPherson and Kobe Bryant are some of the celebrities addicted to bone broth.
More importantly it is full of natural glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and is believed to heal bones, joints and any inflammation related condition. It helps reduce inflammation and heal bodies. Getting a little more scientific it is packed with two very important amino acids namely proline and glycine. These two are the glue that holds our bodies together and without them we would literally fall apart. Makes sense that having an abundance of this in a natural absorbable form will heal not only wounds, but also the microscopic damage done to blood vessels and tissues caused by inflammation and infection. They literally heal the body quicker than any antibiotic can! It is also packed with glutamine which is a powerful gut healer. Bone broth is a systemic healer, revitalizer and metabolism optimizer which is one of the reasons it can help burn fat quickly and efficiently. Being a person who tries to rely on natural remedies as far as possible, I was interested in the tissue and joint healing properties, since I had mild attacks of rheumatoid arthritis in the past. These have lessened after the regular intake of pineapple ginger turmeric juice. I wanted to add some extra insurance so to speak and I started taking a powdered form of bone broth about two months back and it helped. I could lift those 7 lb. weights in each hand for a pretty active workout without aches and pains for days after, so I decided that making the real stuff may actually be worth it.
Well, you need organic bones as far as possible because when you’re trying to squeeze as much goodness as you can out of the bone you don’t want it to be laden with hormones & antibiotics. I called my friendly halal butcher and he offered to give me organic bones at the rate of 99 cents per pound. Not bad at all. I got 2 lbs. of chicken feet; yes chicken feet are packed with collagen, gelatin and all that good stuff and are the base of a good bone broth. I also got 2 lbs. of bull bones full or marrow and minerals. I had another 2 lbs. of beef bones I has frozen from when I made some meat dishes for friends and family. So a total of 6 lbs. which would give me approximately 3 quarts of bone broth.
The Actual Process!
I read that roasting bones brings out the flavor and makes the bones broth tastier. I am all about taste so I cranked up the oven to 450 F, smeared some coconut oil on the bones and roasted them for an hour. Then I pressure cooked the bones with 1 quart water and a little apple cider vinegar which helps leach minerals and vitamins from the bones. Pressure cooking supposedly gets all the good stuff out in a fraction of the time that stove top cooking would. You could also use the popular Insta- pot which is still on my wish list of kitchen appliances. Then, I put the bones with the stock in a Crock-Pot and slow cooked it about 5 hours. Enough I think to get everything that’s bone worthy out. If you’re not using pressure cooker or insta-pot, then stove-top cooking for 16 to 20 hrs. is recommended. I have also read about people who just slow cooked it for 12 to 14 hrs. The idea is to get everything out of the bone and when you crush the bone after cooking it should crumble. Mine were kind of crumbly even after pressure cooking so I figured a few more hours was enough. I added some garlic, lemon, tomato, onion, carrots, pepper, cilantro and sea salt to the Crock-Pot, strained the whole mixture after it was done, and bottled it to store in the refrigerator. I ended up with 3 quarts of syrup like liquid that looked a little like muddy water. It tasted surprising good, no doubt courtesy of the extras I added in the crock pot. I added some ice cubes to cool it down and popped it into the fridge. Took it out this morning and it turned into a nice gel which melts when you heat it. My husband tasted it and liked the flavor so I guess it was good since he’s very particular about taste. To me, it just felt like a warm comforting mug of soup. Homemade broth can be refrigerated up-to a week. It freezes well, so freeze the extra.
I am quite excited with my first attempt at home made bone broth and will probably make it every week. 12 cups should last us both a week, if we drink everyday which would be ideal. Cost: about 50 cents a cup which is pretty good, so yep I can see this becoming a regular feature in my home. As to how I feel after drinking homemade bone broth, I will update in a few weeks after having been on a steady diet of bone broth.