By Dr. Meghan van Drimmelen ND & Hayley Stobbs RNCP
Homemade bone broth is an incredibly nutrient-dense, traditional recipe. Connective tissue within bones, ligaments, and the skin of mammals contain restorative amino acid-starch containing compounds called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are composed of glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. GAGs are building blocks of the tissue known as collagen and hydrolyzed collagen, known as gelatin.
GAGs that are released from cartilage containing bones during broth making assist in maintaining gut integrity and supports healthy joints, skin, hair and nails. Bone broth is also a good source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which work synergistically to support healthy bone density and tooth enamel. Allowing bone broth to stew for several hours extracts a higher amount of minerals. If the bones are soft after cooking, this tells you that all the ‘good stuff’ was leached into your broth.
Our Nourishing Bone Broth Recipe:
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 – 24 hours
Makes: 4 – 6 quarts (litres)
2 - 5 pounds bones, raw or cooked
2 – 3 quarts (litres) cold filtered water, enough to amply cover bones
2 tablespoons lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Handful of fresh cilantro or parsley, optional
1 large onion, roughy chopped
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 – 3 celery stalks (with leaves), roughly chopped
1 – 2 garlic cloves, optional
2 bay leaves, optional
8 – 10 peppercorns, optional
Rinse bones and place in a stockpot.
Cover the bones with cold water and then add the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and sea salt.
Cover and bring to a full rolling boil over medium high heat. Reduce to medium low to keep the broth gently bubbling. Skim off foam that rises to surface during the first 30 minutes.
Lightly simmer for 4 - 10 hours, and up to 24 hours.
Add vegetables and remaining ingredients during the last 2 - 7 hours of cooking to preserve flavor. Stir. Add more water if needed to keep bones covered. Uncover for the last hour of cooking to slightly reduce the broth.
Cool and remove bones with a large slotted spoon. Strain through a colander held over a large measuring cup in batches.
Pour into 1 quart (litre) mason jars or other storage containers to refrigerate. Freeze any broth that will not get used within 5 days in different sized jars and/or freezer containers, large ice cube trays, etc., allowing 1 inch of head-space in each container. Label, date, and store.
Use refrigerated broth within 5 days. Use frozen broth within 6 months. Enjoy 2 – 3 heated cups per day or use to sauté vegetables, or as a delicious base for sauces, soups and stews.
Add a couple of chicken feet or increase the amount of joint bones you use to increase collagen and gelatin content.
Slow cooker method: Combine all ingredients (except water) in a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker. Add water to level 1 inch above the ingredients. Cover and slow-cook on low for 10 – 24 hours.
Instant Pot multi-cooker method: Pressure cook (manual setting) for 2 hours. Then, select the slow cook option and cook for an additional 8 – 12 hours. Cook uncovered on the soup setting for the last 30 minutes.
Fallon, Sally Ph.D. “Nourishing Traditions,” New Trends Publishing. Washington, D.C: 1999.
Albert, Rachel, & Matesz, Don. “The Garden of Eating, A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook”, Planetary Press. Pheonix, Az: 2010.
Jacob, Aglaee RD. “Digestive Health with Real Food: a Practical Guide to an Anti-inflammatory, Low-irritant, Nutrient-dense diet for IBS and Other Digestive Issues”, Paleo Media Group. Bend, Oregon: 2013.