Using bone broth makes a great “chaining” choice when transitioning a picky-eater to more healthy foods for several reasons. Many children like bland, slightly salty soups and easily accept a bone broth. Homemade bone broth can transform even empty calorie foods like noodles into a nutrient dense meal. Bone broths contain gelatin which acts helps us overcome food sensitivities by healing inflamed gastrointestinal tracts.
Bone broth’s nutrient quantities vary from batch to batch. Since the cooking process slowly dissolves bones, its broth has all the ingredients in bone and cartilage. Our bodies absorb and use the minerals and nutrients from bone broths even more easily and readily than those we get from supplements, making them an even better choice for keeping picky-eaters and everyone in the family healthy.
You will get protein from any attached meat, fat from marrow, skin or solid fat, and gelatin from the dissolved cartilage and bone. Many nutritionists recommend bone broths for: food allergies; colic; problems digesting dairy, beans, meat, grain (especially gluten); gastro esophageal reflux; gastritis; ulcer; hiatal hernia; inflammatory bowel disease; irritable bowel syndrome; leaky gut syndrome; malnutrition; weight loss; muscle wasting; cancer; osteoporosis; calcium deficiency; and anemia.
As you can see bone broth will make everyone feel better. Check out the list of nutrients at the end of this post. If you take any of these as supplements consider adding a crock pot of bone broth to your weekly menus. You can save money, improve the taste of your food and get healthy with no more than 10 to 20 minutes of your time per week.
Where to Get Bones for Bone Broth:
- Save up left over bones and keep them in a plastic bag in the freezer.
- Buy a whole chicken on sale – use everything even the organs
- Use soup bones, neck bones and other inexpensive bones from the store
- 2 to 3 pounds of leftover meat & bones (if you can get pasture-raised meats they have even more nutrients from eating fresh grasses).
- 4 to 6 quarts water (filtered water is great – tap water will do fine)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (white, apple cider or even wine vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Put meat, bones, vinegar and salt into a crock pot. Add water to fill the pot ½ to ¾ full.
- Set on high for one hour.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 to 24 hours
- Turn off.
- Strain the broth through a mesh colander to get out all the bones and bits of meat and other solids. Put in jars, freezer containers, or even ice-cube trays. You can store the frozen stock cubes in a bag and add them as flavor/nutrition bursts in lots of dishes. You can store broth for a week in the refrigerator. It usually becomes like jelly which lets you know how much good nutritious gelatin you it contains.
Perpetual Bone Broth – Keep your bone broth going for up to a week if you use it every day. Add more water to replace the water you remove. The longer it cooks the more nutrients leach out of the bones. At the end of the week the bones will be mush. This method works well for people on a GAPS diet or other diet regimen that uses lots of broths and soups. (Thanks to Jenny McCarthy at www.nourishedkitchen.com for this variation.)
Clean out the Fridge – Add frozen vegetable scraps, vegetables that have wilted (not rotted) during the last hour of cooking. Strain the cooked vegetables out with the bones. Some vegetables turn the broth bitter (beets, broccoli, turnips) or sweet (carrots) if they cook too long so best not to add these to a perpetual soup. Parsley and parsley trimmings, onion, garlic, celery and celery leaves add flavor and will do alright cooking longer than an hour.
Things to Make with Bone Broth
Add bone broth anywhere you would put water or soup stock.
Clear Broth - When you make perpetual soup you can strain the broth through a coffee filter or mesh tea strainer to make yourself a warming cup of pure goodness.
Kitchen Sink Soup – Add fresh or left-over meats, chopped vegetables, noodles and seasonings of your choice to make a hearty soup.
Egg Drop Soup – Whip up one egg for each cup of hot broth. Stir eggs into broth. A meal won’t get any easier than this! Add some chopped green onions for flavor and color if you want to get fancy.
Doggies’ Delight – Throw a ladle full of broth into your dog’s dry kibbles and watch their eyes light up in gratitude. Make sure you let it cool off before serving it. Once the bones have cooked for 24 hours and gotten mushy you can add a few of those as well. Make sure you can crush bones with your ladle before adding chicken or pork bones to a dog’s dish. Some cats like bone broth, too.
Here’s the list of nutrients found in bone broths.
Sodium and potassium
Collagen I, II, III & the amino acids found in collagen: