There’s a reason variations on the humble chicken soup are produced the world over at the first sign of a sniffle, bone broth is known to boost immunity. Amino acids, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and other trace minerals are all present here in a readily available form. Gelatin-rich broth also loves your digestive system, making it a favourite for anyone with sensitive stomachs. Gelatin (essentially collagen, but cooked) is abundant here, making bone broth the perfect building block for healthy joints, teeth, hair, skin and nails. Some even suggest bone broth for battling cellulite, because it is extremely high in connective tissue-smoothing amino acids.
Good bone broth is all about good ingredients. Remember: anything you extract from the bones will become more concentrated, so it’s worth taking time to source bones from the healthiest, most naturally-raised animals possible. Smile sweetly at your favourite butcher and ask if they have any grass-fed cattle bones or organic/pastured poultry carcasses. You can also use the leftover bones from a roast.
Once again, the nutritional quality you put in here will come back in the quality of your broth. I like to keep a zip-lock bag in the freezer for any organic vegetable cuttings that I would have otherwise thrown away – onions (the outer parts are the most phytochemical rich), carrot tops, celery ends, sweet potato peels, lonely thyme or parsley stalks. I then try to use these in my broths.
Yes, vinegar. Adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to the mix helps extract the maximum amount of minerals from your bones.
Did your Nanna have a recipe for bone broth? Of course not! But here’s a good place to start:
7. Leave on a very low heat for 6- 24 hours. The longer you leave the bones, the more goodness they’ll release.
8. Cool and strain. You can skim the fat off the top and use it to roast veggies, or leave it on top of the broth to protect whilst it’s stored in the fridge.
9. Store in the fridge (up to one week, depending on the age of your bones when you cooked them) or freeze. You can skim off the fat, use it for roasting veggies, or keep it on to protect the broth while you store. If your broth appears jelly-like when cooled, don’t panic – you’ve reached gelatin (collagen) nirvana. When you reheat the broth, it’ll return to a liquid state.
Prepare some on Sunday to use throughout the week in soups, for cooking absorbent grains such as quinoa, or to simply sip from a mug with fresh herbs and a little garlic.
Here’s a visually stunning, nutritionally dense, easy-peasy lunch to make with your bone broth.
Make some thin, long(ish) raw beetroot‘noodles’ by peeling and processing the raw beets in either your food processor, spiraliser, or mandolin. Add these to the bottom of an empty soup bowl with some separately cooked buckwheat noodles(cooked to pack instructions, plunged in cold water and drained), sliced spring onionsand chopped fresh chilli.
Warm your bone broth, then flavour it to taste with a combination of soy/tamari, fish sauce, crushed garlic, sriracha, lime juice or miso paste. Pour the hot, flavoured broth over top of your beetroot, buckwheat noodles, spring onions and chillis and top with a generous handful of coriander leaves and a wedge of lime.