Over the past few years there has been a bone broth "craze" from cafes serving bone broth lattes to food bloggers adding it to everything with amazing herbs and ingredients (guilty here too, as a momma I try to put it in everything for my son and that's how bone broth pumpkin pancakes were born).
While I am happy it has become more mainstream (except when I can't find my bones in my local market! haha just kidding), we actually have been making this nourishing broth for centuries. It is an ancestral food, a healing food, and something that should stay long after the trend dies down.
I will admit that my first take at bone broth did not go well. It took a few tries to get that jello-like consistency once cooled and the flavors just right. I was initially introduced to this amazing, healing food by coming across one of Sally Fallon-Morrell's cookbooks, "Nourishing Traditions". Below is a great excerpt:
"Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate.
The public is generally unaware of the large amount of research on the beneficial effects of gelatin taken with food. Gelatin acts first and foremost as an aid to digestion and has been used successfully in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis, and Crohn's disease.
Although gelatin is by no means a complete protein, containing only the amino acids arginine and glycine in large amounts, it acts as protein sparer, allowing the body to more fully utilize the complete proteins that are taken in. Thus, gelatin-rich broths are a must for those who cannot afford large amounts of meat in their diets."
For bone broth, it is truly important you use animal bones from grass-fed or pasture-raised animals that were not fed antibiotics or genetically modified feed.
There are many ways to make broth and "Nourishing Traditions" has an amazing assortment of recipes. You can mix different types of bones (beef, pork, poultry) or just use one type. You can cook on the stovetop, crockpot or instant-pot (pressure cooker). You can roast the bones (like this recipe) or not. You can play around with different herbs and spices (bay leaf, parsley, turmeric, etc.).
As long as you have a good ratio of bones to filtered water, with some real sea salt and seasonings of choice - you are good to go my friend!
You can use bone broth in soup or stew recipes, boil gluten free pasta or rice with it instead of plain water, or simply enjoy in a mug with a liberal amount of grass-fed butter (yum!).
I hope you enjoy and, as always, feel free to make it your own!
Grass-fed Beef Bone Broth (Crockpot Recipe)
2 lb. grass-fed beef bones
3 medium organic carrots
3 celery stalks
1-2 tsp of garlic powder
3 cloves of garlic (or more!)
1 whole onion
1 quart filtered water (or enough to cover bones in pot)
Preheat oven to 425F
Cover bones with avocado oil and season with salt. Add in a few cloves of garlic (or sprinkle granulated garlic). Roast for 25-30 minutes.
While bones are roasting, chop onion, carrot, celery and place into crockpot (large chops/messy are fine!). Place the garlic and other seasonings of choice as well.
When bones are done, add to the crockpot and fill with filtered water.
Cook on low for 12-24 hours
Strain broth into separate pot or glass mason jars. Refrigerate for a few days and if you do not consume within 3-5 days freeze for later use.
If your broth cools and does not gel or harden, you can either cook on the stove top to boil down or add 1-2 tsp of gelatin powder to the broth.
If there is too much grease on top for your liking, you can wait until broth cools and then skim it off the top.
Tip: I turn off the crockpot off around 18 hours or so and let it naturally cook while cooling off before straining (but not too long that it gels in the crockpot with all the bones/veggies).
If some of your bones are meaty, or if you have marrow bones, save the meat/marrow to eat!
Tip: if you have a compost add all the veggies/bones into it! No waste :-)
Do NOT feed your dog/pet the cooked bones - they can splinter.
*Please use organic and natural ingredients whenever possible.