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Bone Broth Basics

There’s a South American saying that says:

“Good broth can resurrect the dead.”

I believe this saying to be true. But ONLY with broths made from scratch using the very best bones. Sorry to tell you that that boxed unrefrigerated store bought bone broth is not medicinal. Most brands have very little gelatin or fat; you can tell by how watery they are. Store bought broths are little more than bullion; essentially you are purchasing chicken or beef flavored water and not a health food. Even organic brands are usually made with organic large-scale farmed animal bones; not ideal for health. Try finding small farmers raising a modest amount of animals enjoying life under the sun on green pasture, if at all possible.  

Bone broth has a rich history. Records indicate bone broth being prescribed by Chinese healers over 2500 years ago for digestive issues and to strengthen the gut, blood deficiency and to strengthen the kidneys.

  • In 12th century Egypt, bone broth was used to treat immunity for things such as colds and asthma. 

  • Even Hippocrates recommended bone broth for digestive troubles. 

  • The very first restaurants (usually inn’s) served delicious and comforting broths to cold and weary travelers. 

WHY DRINK BONE BROTH

Bone broth is one of my favorite medicinal foods. I recommend it for all of my autoimmune clients as well as anyone looking to rebalance and ground themselves. Specifically, bone broth can help with:

  • BONE HEALTH: Bone broth is high in minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus, which aids in tooth remineralization and bone strength for those with thinning bones.

  • VITALITY: From a Chinese medicine perspective, bone broth helps build blood and nourish those that are blood deficient from a vegetarian or low meat lifestyle. 

  • GROUNDING: Bone broth is incredibly calming and grounding for those with anxiety, focus problems and/or ADHD. It literally inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters!

  • BLOOD SUGAR: Bone broth helps modulate gluconeogensis leading to a more stable blood sugar. 

  • WORKOUT RECOVERY: Bone broth contains glycine, which naturally increases levels of creatine and human growth hormone from the pituitary.

  • VASCULAR HEALTH: Proline plays a role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits, which means it enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups in your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. 

  • COLD RECOVERY: Chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky, so you can expel it more easily

  • JOINT HEALTH: Glycine and proline amino acids also help with connective tissue (ligaments, joints and tissue surrounding our organs). 

  • BEAUTY: Bone broth is also great for hair skin and nails due to its high collagen content. 

  • GUT HEALTH: Bone broth has high levels of proline and glycine, amino acids that are specific for healing our gut lining; a rarity in our modern diet.

GRANDMA KNOWS BEST

Many, if not all, of our grandparents, great grandparents and ancestors before that consumed bone broth daily. They also ate gelatin rich foods like headcheese, calves foot jelly, aspics, consumes, gravies and sauces. These gelatin rich foods have become rare in our modern diets with dire consequences for our gut, immune and brain health.

CULINARY REASONS TO MAKE BONE BROTH

Bone broth can be incredibly flavorful with the right veggies and seasonings. It can add depth and complexity to many recipes.

  • You can use bone broth in countless recipes as a base for soups, stews, as well as cooking grains or legumes.  You can substitute broth anytime a savory recipe calls for water. 

  • You can substitute bone broth for oil when sautéing or roasting vegetables. Coat well if roasting. 

  • It is very satisfying in the morning before coffee or as a small warm beverage enjoyed alongside meals. 

WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE MAKING BONE BROTH

To make the following bone broth recipes, you will need to get an instant pot. I recommend a 6 or 8 qt size. I prefer the 8 qt to make the biggest batches at one time but some people prefer the 6 qt for a slightly smaller footprint on the counter or they don’t batch cook in quite as large quantities. I DO NOT recommend getting any other brand of electric pressure cooker as I’ve had a few clients buy cheaper brands and then have them malfunction quite quickly. Ive used my instant pot for years with absolutely no problems, so trust this brand the most.

6 Quart Instant Pot

8 Quart Instant Pot

But, do we have to buy both Grassfed AND Organic Bones?!?

  • Grain-fed meats are significantly higher in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids compared to grass fed animals, which are higher in beneficial and anti-inflammatory Omega-3-fatty acids. 

  • Grassfed but non-organic animal products have pesticides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers that bioaccumulate in the bone marrow and fat of these animals. 

SOURCING BONES

  • Use a leftover carcass from a pastured organic chicken, turkey or duck.

  • Get to know a local organic butcher who can cut bones for you.

  • Check local farmer’s markets and grocery stores for organic grassfed animal bones.

  • Online: www.USWellnessMeats.com


BEEF BONE BROTH RECIPE

This recipe is for a 6 qt instant pot, and makes approx 12 cups of broth. For an 8 qt version, please add 0.5 lbs of bones and up the quantity of veggies by a little bit. You want your broth to taste rich and flavorful. You can play with the amount of veggies, bones and water to get the concentration you like.

Ingredients (all organic/grassfed/grass finished!)

• 2 lbs of thawed bones (I like a mix of marrow bones, knuckle bones and ox tail). It’s ideal if some or all of the bones still have a little meat and connective tissue for a more dynamic and rich broth.

• 4 orange or purple carrots rough chopped

• 1 large onion with skin rough chopped (i prefer purple)

• 5 stalks celery (can be limp!) rough chopped

• 5 - 8 fat cloves garlic, crushed with skins

• 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or bunch of any kind of fresh parsley

• 2-3 dried bay leaves

• 1 tablespoon ACV

• sea salt to taste (you will need to add more than you think and can do this after it cooks)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in Instant Pot

Fill remaining space in pot with filtered water up to the max line on the inside of the pot. Twist the lid closed. Turn the pressure valve to sealed.

Set instant pot to manual high pressure for 120 minutes, relax.

Once timer has run out, let pressure naturally release. You can press cancel to stop the keep warm mode from staying on while this is happening to hasten the process.

Once unpressurized and cooled a little, strain through a big colander into a large bowl to remove the bones and veg.

Ladle into large mason jars for storage using a metal mason jar funnel.

Keeps 1 week in fridge or you can freeze using SOUPER CUBES for much longer storage! These are lifesavers as they freeze in 1 cup portions and you can stack these broth bricks in 1 gallon freezer zip lock bags and store a ton of broth in a very small footprint in your freezer. Without these, its very difficult to freeze your broth.

You can reuse your beef bones 1 - 2 more times, freezing in between batches if you don’t make them back to back.

CHICKEN BONE BROTH RECIPE

Ingredients (all organic/pastured!)

• 3-5 lb chicken.

• 3 orange or purple carrots rough chopped

• 1 large onion with skin rough chopped

• 4 stalks celery rough chopped

• 5 - 8 fat cloves garlic, crushed with skins

• 5 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 - 1 bunch of any kind of fresh parsley OR lemongrass

• 2-3 dried bay leaves

• 1 tablespoon ACV

• Sea Salt

Directions:

Once chicken has been cooked and most of meat removed and stored for other recipes, place carcass back in instant pot with the remaining liquid from cooking the chicken along with the previous veggies/spices.

Fill remaining space in pot with filtered water to the max line. Close lid and set pressure valve to sealing.

Set instant pot for 30 minutes on manual high pressure.

Once done cooking, let pressure naturally release.

Strain out carcass and veggies using a big metal colander into a large glass bowl.

Ladle into large mason jars for storage using a metal mason jar funnel.

Keeps 1 week in fridge or you can freeze using SOUPER CUBES for much longer storage! These are lifesavers as they freeze in 1 cup portions and you can stack these broth bricks in 1 gallon freezer zip lock bags and store a ton of broth in a very small footprint in your freezer. Without these, it’s very difficult to freeze your broth.

VEGGIE + MINERAL BROTH RECIPE

Recipe is sized for use in an 8 quart instant pot. Reduce overall amount of veggies for smaller instant pots.

Ingredients (all organic)

• 3 - 4 colorful sweet potatoes (I use both orange and purple - I go for a variety of types and the deeper the colors, the better) cleaned and rough chopped with skins on.

• handful of carrots unpeeled (4-7 depending on size)

• 1 medium to large leek cleaned and rough chopped, include both the white and green parts

• 1 large onion or two small to medium onions with skin still on (unless dirty) rough chopped. I prefer purple.

• 4 - 5 stalks celery cleaned and rough chopped

• medium celery root cleaned and rough chopped (optional or in place of regular celery - gives great depth of flavor!)

• 5 - 8 fat cloves of garlic, crushed with skins

• 1 bunch of flat leaf or curly parsley

• 2-3 dried whole bay leaves

• 5 whole allspice berries or juniper berries

• 10 whole peppercorns

• Generous sea salt to taste

Directions:

Place all ingredients in Instant Pot. Adjust overall amount of veggies to your size of instant pot and or desired concentration of flavor. The more veggies to water ratio will give you a stronger broth.

Fill remaining space in pot with filtered water up to the max line on the inside of the pot. Twist the lid closed until you hear the sound. Turn the pressure valve to sealed.

Set instant pot to manual high pressure for 60 minutes, relax.

Once timer has run out, let pressure naturally release. Press cancel to stop the keep warm mode from staying on while this is happening to hasten the process. You will see the little nub has fallen back flush with the lid when the pressure has released fully.

Once unpressurized and cooled a little, strain through a big NON-PLASTIC colander (I like stainless steel) into a large glass bowl to remove the veg. Compost the veg scraps; the nutrients are cooked out and saving these really has no value.

Ladle the strained broth into mason jars for storage using a metal mason jar funnel. I prefer the half gallon size for efficient fridge storage.

Veggie Broth Storage:
This broth keeps about 1 week in fridge or you can freeze it using SOUPER CUBES for much longer storage! These are lifesavers as they freeze in 1 cup portions and you can stack these broth bricks in 1 gallon freezer zip lock bags and store a ton of broth in a very small footprint in your freezer. Without these, its very difficult to freeze your broth.

Blair Townley