Bone broth is one of the most versatile things I cook, I make it almost every week.
It is delicious as it is; sweet, warming, soothing and nourishing. But it’s also great as a stock for other soups, used in curries, stews, to flavour rice or quinoa, or in any savoury dish where you would normally add water. The possibilities are endless!
When stored and cooled, the fat will rise to the top and solidify, which you can also use for sautéing in place of oil.
Simmering the bones and vegetables in water with apple cider vinegar (I use this one, or check your local health store), helps release the nutrients from the marrow, as well as the tissues.
A lot of people make chicken bone broth with a leftover roasted chicken carcass, which is also a great way to make it but there is a difference. A world-renowned chef friend of mine told me that what you actually have there is chicken stock, which is more suitable for using as a base for other soups. To make real bone broth, you want to use raw chicken. So that’s what I refer to in the benefits and recipe listed below. This only goes for chicken though, as these bones are much smaller. If you want to make a bone broth using larger beef or lamb bones I would definitely suggest roasting them beforehand.
See below the top reasons for drinking bone broth before you get started making your own!
1. It is Highly Nutritious
Bones themselves are rich in vitamins and nutrients including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous. Both the bones and the tissues contain collagen, which is needed in the body to protect our joints and keep our skin supple. When collagen is cooked, it turns into gelatine, providing the body with essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
Bone marrow is rich in nutrients such as iron, vitamins A and K, essential fatty acids, selenium, zinc and manganese. Drinking bone broth may provide trace amounts of these nutrients in an easily digestible form.
2. It Can Help Your Gut
The amino acid glutamine, which is present in bone broth, has been studied widely for its beneficial effects on the gut. ¹
Glutamine is a major nutrient to maintain intestinal barrier function in animals and humans, it is one of the most abundant amino acids in our plasma (the largest component of human blood), and it plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of our gut. It can also help protect against intestinal permeability, (more commonly known as leaky gut), where this barrier is weakened and things that should stay inside the gut leak into the bloodstream.
Since the intestines are one of our greatest detoxification organs, both in its ability to protect us from toxins and to safely remove toxins as waste, we want to make sure we keep our gut functioning at its best with whole and nourishing foods.
3. It May Aid Sleep
The amino acids in bone broth may aid sleep in some people. Bone broth contains glycine, which is a safe therapeutic option to improve sleep, so having a warm cup of broth with your dinner may help you sleep better. And we know how important sleep is for detoxification!
5. It May Assist Weight Loss
Bone broth is high in protein, which helps you feel full for longer. Making chicken soup with the bones provides more protein than regular chicken soup. Drinking a cup of chicken bone broth with your dinner can help you feel more satisfied without consuming too many calories.
6. It Can Help Soothe a Cold
That age-old knowledge of chicken soup for a cold? It’s not an old wives tale, chicken broth is great for soothing cold and flu symptoms. It’s also a soothing way of rehydrating and replacing minerals after suffering a stomach bug.
Aside from the other nutritional reasons listed above, chicken also contains an amino acid called cysteine, which helps thin mucus, and the hot broth helps to keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration and fight inflammation in the throat.
*My tip – Freeze any leftover broth from a batch and keep it for those unavoidable times when you might suffer a cold and don’t feel like cooking. It will help to nourish your body even if you don’t feel like eating.
So, now you have a few great reasons to drink this delicious broth, are you ready to make your own?
*You will need a large pan or stockpot (anything from 5 litres is good). Try your local supermarket if you don’t have one, or this one from Amazon is good value.
Chicken Bone Broth
- 1 Whole chicken OR 4 Chicken Legs local butchers are the best value for legs in my opinion
- 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Leek
- 2 Onions
- 3 Stalks Celery make use of the leaves
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- Filtered Water
- ½ tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
- Handful of fresh Parsley
- Place the raw chicken in the stockpot.
- Drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the meat and place the vegetables on top.
- Pour over filtered water, covering all the ingredients. Fill as much of the pot as possible, leaving a little room so it doesn't boil over. Add salt.
- Bring to the boil, skimming off any white scum as it gets hot. Once it's reached a rolling boil, reduce down to a simmer, put the top on and leave it for a minimum of five hours, and then as long as you wish, up to eight hours. Some of the liquid will evaporate during that time so you can occasionally add some extra water to it, if you wish.
- When it's done, take the meat off the bones and use in the soup or for another meal.
- Discard the bones and all the vegetables.
- Serve broth with a few sprigs of fresh parsley.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge for four days, or in the freezer for three months.
Have you made bone broth before? Any experiences with it or tips you’d like to share? Comment below!