So I finally made my first batch of bone broth this week. I’d been meaning to try it for quite some time, but it always seemed so intimidating. I procrastinated and put it off for as long as I could, but with its long list of health benefits, I knew it was time for me to get over it and just do it.
And I’m so glad I did. It actually was much easier than I thought. Yes, it does involve a little planning. But because I used a slow cooker, it was virtually stress-free.
If you haven’t already heard, bone broth is pretty amazing stuff. It’s a staple in the Paleo world and is considered one of the most nutrient-packed, healing foods in existence. Not that you need to be Paleo to appreciate its healing properties. New Yorkers are enjoying a convenient taste of it: a unique a store-front window in New York City has recently opened, serving up bone broth in to-go cups and allowing customers to sip and enjoy bone broth just like they would a cup of coffee. The funny thing is, although it seems like the hip, trendy thing to partake in right now, bone broth has been around for ages, and it’s the reason that good old fashioned chicken soup — the kind that’s made from scratch — is still one of the best things you can consume when your body is in need of a little TLC.
Bone Broth Health Benefits
Among its many health benefits, bone broth:
- is rich in minerals that are easily absorbed
- reduces inflammation
- supports connective tissue and joint health
- promotes strong hair and nails
- aids in digestion and supports a healthy gut
- boosts immunity
- helps prevent bone loss
- supports a healthy nervous system
- is especially beneficial to those with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions
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I used this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo (because, admittedly, it was the easiest version I came across) and simply substituted chicken bones instead of beef bones (I used leftover bones from a roasted chicken I made earlier this week; I just froze the bones until I was ready to use them). And I used this slow cooker and this strainer. Of course, in order to get the most health benefits, be sure to use bones from organic, pasture-raised sources.
Turns out that it was the perfect time to start my bone broth-making adventures, because I seem to be fighting a minor head cold this week. I divided my batch of broth into mason jars and froze them: some for later use (as a stock for soups, for example) and some to warm up and continue sipping as I fight off this pesky little virus (I just sprinkle in some turmeric and a little sea salt before warming it up). With its immune-boosting, medicinal properties, it’s the perfect remedy during cold and flu season.
Homemade bone broth sure beats the canned stuff I used to have to drink when I was sick and stuck consuming a liquid diet. Unfortunately, commercial broths do not contain the nutrients that homemade bone broths do, not to mention they’re often filled with additives (and don’t taste nearly as good).
For my first try at making it, I cooked my broth for about 10 hours. But next time, I plan to cook it even longer (I think I’ll aim for 24 hours) because the longer you cook the bones, the more nutritious and effective it becomes. And now that I’ve gotten a little bone broth-makin’ under my belt, I feel more confidant taking it to the next level. I got this.