Having a pitcher of refrigerated bone broth is a staple in our house.
Every week we make a beautiful pot of bone broth from the bones of grass-fed and finished animals from our local farm where we live in rural Nova Scotia. The bone broth we make at home is often beef or chicken broth, sometimes turkey.
The kids have gotten used to this lovely tradition and making the bone broth makes me feel good. I believe that I am helping boost my children’s immune systems, teaching them about the preparation of simple but healthy and life-giving food, and I cherish the ritual of my little one climbing up on his wooden stool to stand beside me and watch the broth simmer, hoping that soon enough he’ll get to sip some.
Funnily enough, my 5-year-old can name all the reasons his bone broth is good for his growing body: he will tell you that it is good for his teeth and helps with mineralization (yes, he this exact word), heals his stomach and you can't forget how delicious it tastes! My eldest who has been the recipient of bone broth the longest (since he was about 4 which is when his mam got serious about making it) loves to get the bones roasted and has become an expert at prepping all that goodness and getting it ready to go into the pot.
An All-Day Affair
With all its restorative properties: amino acids, protein, gelatin, and fats, bone broth is one of the easiest things to make! You do not need to be a whiz in the kitchen to figure out how to make delicious and healthy bone broth to enjoy.
It usually is an all-day affair, a slow simmer on the stove, which is why we do it on the weekends when the days are slow, lazy and we have the luxury to lounge around reading a good book.
The pot simmers on the stove for several hours, and at the end, one of my favourite things to do is pour off the bone broth into a pitcher, several mason jars, and in muffin tins (to freeze). In the past, we would freeze more of our bone broth but we go through it so fast, that unless we’re doing larger amounts, most of it is done within 5 days.
How To Make Bone Broth
After getting your collagen-heavy bones; so bones and cuts of meat with lots of connective tissue, like marrow and knuckles, it starts with roasting the bones for about half an hour in the oven at 450 degrees.
Some people add veggies to roast with them, I have done it both with and without depending on how I’m feeling. If I don't roast the veggies, I will add them later in the simmering process. Our bone broths usually have onions, garlic, and celery, along with bay leaves to enhance the flavour (as bone broth is quite strong) but you can add any veggies you like.
Once we’ve roasted the bones, we put the bones in a stockpot or slow cooker (I know that people have made their broth in a slow cooker, but we haven’t tried it yet) and start it with a little apple cider vinegar to draw out the minerals, cover the bones with cold water from our Berkey Water filter and then we simmer!
I will remove the veggies after simmering awhile as I don't want them to break down completely.
I first heard about bone broth over 15+ years ago from very health-conscious family members.
What I didn’t realize is that my mother has been making a variation of bone broth for years, using marrow. Then because of personal health issues in my family, I heard about the Gaps Diet and was also introduced to the book, “Nourishing Traditions” from a Naturopath we consulted. These health issues with my family included myself but when my oldest son at the age of 4 started experiencing problems we got serious about bone broths, the GAPS DIET, and healing his gut.
The Amazing Health Benefits
Bone broth is restorative. Such a simple food with amazing health benefits.
The benefits of bone broth are:
That it helps boost the immune system.
- That it helps boost the immune system.
- It aids in digestion and aids in gut repair – I know that when I suffered from a gastritis flare, bone broth was extremely healing and soothed the lining of my stomach.
- Is a good source of collagen, it is great for joint and easing pain and is wonderful for hair, nails, and skin.
- There are so many minerals in the bone broth too that it can help replenish electrolytes (great for my son who plays elite-level soccer over 20+ hours a week)
- It's also great for remineralizing teeth!
A Cup A Day
We try to have a cup of bone broth a day, to maximize the health benefits. I like to have it first thing in the morning, either when breaking a fast of 16 hours or on an empty stomach.
The great thing about bone broth is that it is so refreshing to drink in the morning. My kids have been enjoying having bone broth in the morning as an accompaniment to our traditional Canadian breakfasts. My kids like to have the warm broth in the morning as well, or the last thing at night.
With all its restorative properties, bone broth is simple to make and along with sipping it by itself, making it the base of flavourful stews and other soups is beautifully rich and delicious.
If you haven't tried making this healing food in your own kitchen, give it a try!