Broth (or “stock”-often used interchangeably) is one of the most nourishing traditional foods consumed. It is also one of the easiest and least expensive to make!
Since many components of the bones leach out during cooking, homemade broth from bones of healthy animals are a great source of:
*Gelatin (promotes HCl production for digestion)
*Collagen (amino acids-proline & glycine)
*Various minerals & electrolytes (esp Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous)
Consuming broth helps improve digestion, alleviate joint pain, and strengthen hair, skin, nails, and teeth. It also helps aid detoxification which might otherwise be limited by inadequate glycine.
Unfortunately the little bouillon cubes from the store don’t quite cut it in terms of the health benefits listed above. Most have MSG (hidden under “natural flavors”) and many other chemicals & flavorings and void of the collagen, gelatin & other minerals that naturally leach from real bones.
Broth can be made from any carcass of any animal-which is convenient because that’s the part we usually throw away. I still recommend throwing it away….but not until you get all your money’s worth!
The general rule of thumb is: the thicker the bone, the longer you cook it. I prefer to do mine in a crock pot as I can leave for the day & don’t have to worry about my place burning down. A crock pot uses very little energy so is cost effective as well.
1. Fill the crock-pot with bones (it’s fine if they have some meat on them) and cold filtered water to cover. I like to get mine here.
2. Feel free to add vegetables (ie. carrots, onions, celery) for flavor. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar (you don’t have to do this, but it helps leach minerals from the bone) and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
3. Turn the crock-pot on to high and skim off the scum that rises to the top (if you miss this, it will just melt back down into the stock). Then turn it to low.
4. That’s it! The longer you cook it, the richer the stock. Once the bones are soft, you’ve probably gotten as much out of the bones as you are going to.
Fish: 2-4 hours
Chicken, turkey, or duck: 12-24 hours
Beef, bison or lamb: 36-48 hours
5. Adding herbs the last 10 minutes or so of cooking will add flavor:
Bay leaf, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary
5. Strain the broth and refrigerate. At this point, you could also simmer it longer to condense it as water cooks off. Once it has refrigerated overnight, it will likely gel up due to the natural gelatin in the bones, but once reheated, it will re-liquify.
What to do with your rich, (cheap) stock:
1. Sip on it plain (esp soothing during sickness)
2. Use as liquids in soups, stews, or chili
3. Pour into jars or ice cube trays & pop out when needed
It will keep 5-7 days in the fridge or forever-ish in the freezer!