So before I got all into this Paleo stuff, I had never heard of bone broth before. It honestly sounded terrifying to me and I didn’t really plan on trying it any time soon… until I read about the awesome health benefits it yields and how easy it actually is to make on your own. Rendering your own broth ensures that you know exactly what goes into it, where the bones came from, and how it’s flavored. Plus, it reduces waste by using more parts of the animal. A few fun facts about why you should drink bone broth:
– Bones contain collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body. You may have heard about it before in reference to beauty products of some kind, because it definitely has that effect – collagen intake has been linked to healthier skin, hair, nails, and reduced wrinkles. It is also the most abundant protein in the joints, so it supports their health as well.
– Gelatin, another compound found in bones, is leeched into the broth and promotes joint health.
– Minerals that are often hard to pack into your diet every single day are found in significant quantities in bones. These include calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
– Bone broth has been linked to improved digestion and reduced bloating.
All these reasons and more are a good excuse to try making some of your own bone broth ASAP. So let’s get started!
What you need
A large slow-cooker/crockpot and lid
Bones that can fit in said crockpot
Any spare veggies you want to throw in for flavor (I recommend at least using some onions)
Enough water to cover the bones
1. Try to clean off the meat from the bones as well as possible. It’s completely fine if there is some left; I actually like having a bit on them because it helps with the flavor that much more. But you don’t want to throw a full chicken in the crockpot, either.
2. Place the bones in the crockpot, along with any veggies you’re including, and fill it up with water so that the bones are covered.
3. Turn the crockpot on low, and let the broth sit and brew for at least 24 hours. This is when the nutrients from the bones will have leached out into the water quite a bit.
4. You can leave the broth on for longer, too. The longer you let it sit, the more good stuff gets pulled from the bones. The bones will disintegrate, though, if kept in the crockpot for too long, so try not to leave the same batch in there for more than a week.
5. When you’re ready to serve or store it, strain the bones and veggies out and save the broth. Those nutrients I keep talking about are all now in the liquid that tastes great by itself, but can also make a mean base for a soup or stew. Try drinking a bit of this every day and reap the benefits!
*Note: I use venison bones a lot because I save them after I go hunting. This yields a darker stew than, say, chicken bones. Whichever type you decide to use, make sure they are from an animal that was humanely raised and grass-fed, otherwise the benefits aren’t as great. Many butchers and farmers will sell bones to you for VERY CHEAP – all you have to do is ask. I have also heard rumors that Whole Foods sells some grass-fed bones specifically for broth purposes, so that is worth a check if a farmer’s market is less accessible.