Bone broth is one of the latest superfood everybody is talking about. Although it’s not really new at all, as your grandparents likely used to make their own stock from bones (aka bone broth) all the time! Drinking bone broth has many health benefits that warrant you whipping up some regularly. The magic of bone broth comes from the gelatin and minerals that are extracted from the bones during the cooking process.
Gelatin is a key component of connective tissue and is a great matrix for all kinds of healing in the body. It is formed from the collagen contained in the tendons and ligaments in the bones when heat is applied. In addition to gelatin you’ll find a wide range of minerals that are leached from the bones and marrow such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
There are so many great articles being shared about making bone broth that I thought it would be refreshing to share what NOT to do when cooking this health elixir. So, here are seven common traps to avoid to ensure your broth packs a medicinal punch every time.
Cooking at too high a temperature
Although you can make bone broth in a pot on the stove, you’re best off using a slow cooker. Using a slow cooker means you’ll avoid high temperatures that can destroy some of the nutrients.
Buy the biggest one you can and you won’t have to make it as often!
Not cooking it for long enough
To get as much goodness into your bone broth as possible you’ll need to cook it in a slow cooker on low for about 48 hours. You may need a little top up of water in this time.
After this amount of time the bones should be quite chalky, and in the case of chicken, very soft and brittle.
Putting too many veggies in
You want to include some veggies for flavour and added nutrition but use them sparingly. You’ll need quite a lot of water to draw out most of the gelatin and minerals and over packing the pot will prevent this from being possible.
Try adding just one onion, some garlic, half a carrot and a stick of celery (with the leaves).
Roasting your bones beforehand
Now this one is contentious because roasting your bones will definitely give you a richer broth with a more roasted flavour. But roasting in the oven can destroy some of the minerals so you will get at least some nutrient loss doing it this way.
If you have trouble with the taste of bone broth, then perhaps roasting might help you to consume more. Otherwise, it’s an unnecessary step.
Not adding vinegar to the pot
Adding vinegar to the mix helps draw minerals out of the bones. Add a generous splash of apple cider vinegar to help with the process. You can also use organic red wine vinegar in beef or lamb bone broths that give it a great flavour.
Neither of these on hand? Any vinegar will do the trick but the ones I’ve mentioned are more healthful.
Using the wrong bones
The goodness of the broth comes from the bone marrow and joints. So the more cartilage and joint pieces the better. Chicken feet actually make great broth for this reason!
Avoid bones that have a lot of meat on them. It’s also important to source your bones organically to avoid any toxic residues.
Storing it in plastic
Once your broth is made you’ll want to strain it and divvy it up to be frozen. Don’t make the mistake of pouring it into plastic containers. The liquid will interact with the plastic and you’ll get a dose of plastic chemicals like bisphenol A or other bisphenols in your healthy broth.
Instead save all your jars and reuse them to freeze your bone broth. Once the broth is cooled enough to touch strain it and decant it into jars. Leave an inch or so of room at the top before putting the lid on and freezing it to prevent it exploding.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most delicious and healthful bone broth possible. You can drink 1-2 cups a day and use it in any recipe that you’d normally use stock like soups, casseroles, risotto, sauces and much more.
About Katherine Maslen
Katherine Maslen is a naturopath, business owner, published author and media commentator dedicated to promoting the importance of preventative healthcare. She is also the founder of one of Australia’s most successful multi-modality clinics Brisbane Natural Health. She is an Endeavour College of Natural Health graduate.
Nutritionist Samantha Gemmell’s relationship with her mother Barbara has transformed over the years, from being a source of friction to the unbreakable bond it is today. Since nursing each other through cancer, now they are confidants, friends and roommates with a shared fascination of health and wellness and bold dreams for their future.
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