I can’t believe how wasteful I’ve been over the years. I recently discovered bone broth. Maybe what I should say is I’ve re-discovered bone broth and cringe when I think about the number of bones I threw away.
As a kid, I remembered my mother saving bones after Thanksgiving, Christmas or any other cook fest of a holiday. After we ate the meat the carcass was saved in the freezer until she got around to making soup. We didn’t call it bone broth we called it soup.
Back then my mom would simmer the bones, season the water with all types of vegetables and add my favorite ingredient, dumplings. Soup was never soup without dumplings.
Soup to Bone Broth
Now since I’m living the low carb life, I sometimes make a variation of my mother’s soup (minus the high-carb dumplings) and other times I make stock. It wasn’t until recently that I learned about reusing bones over and over again to make bone broth.
Bone broth is even more forgiving than making soup. I toss a bunch of bones into the crockpot, fill the pot with water, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar, set the pot to low and allow it to simmer for at least 24 hours.
The first go round I used leftover turkey bones from Thanksgiving. I didn’t add any additional seasoning to the first batch. Once it was done, I strained it and used the broth for cooking. It’s a much more economical and nutritious alternative to store-bought stock.
Experimenting with Bone Broth
I recently purchased beef bones from my local health store. For just a few dollars I got several pounds of bones that are simmering in the crockpot as we speak. This time around I tossed in a bit of garlic, onion, red pepper and carrots. I also added a bit of apple cider vinegar. I hear the vinegar helps release minerals from the bones.
Beef bones are hardier than turkey bones and I’m sure I’ll be able to use them several times before they disintegrate.
Bone Broth Uses
The beauty of bone broth is its versatility. With the turkey broth I made, I used it instead of water in my cooking. From heavy cream sauces to seasoned quinoa, bone broth adds flavor and nutrition. Aside from cooking with bone broth, the broth can become a meal on its own. A warm seasoned cup of bone broth on a chilly day is a nice compliment to a slice of toasted nut bread and butter.
Bone Broth Benefits
Bone broths are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals. The best part about the minerals in bone broth is they’re easily digestible. No chewing or biting, just sip and swallow.
In addition to the minerals, bone broth has glucosamine and chondroitin, which is good for your joints. Plus, the gelatin is a building block for strong hair and nails (and your joints benefit from the gelatin too). Keep in mind the nutritional value depends on the type of bones and whether or not you include bone and cartilage.
Learning begets Learning
I spend at least an hour (one hour is an extremely conservative figure) every day learning about health. I’m thrilled about the amount of free information available online. In my research, I’ve learned bone broth is a staple in the GAPS diet.
If you’re not familiar with GAPS, it’s something you should look into. It’s especially important for families with children suffering from autism, hyperactivity and night terrors. The GAPS diet has also helped adults suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, diverticulitis and various types of chronic diarrhea.
Visit Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GAPS site, and read how bone broth is instrumental in gut repair. So many of our ailments result from nutritional deficiencies. In addition to the depleted food sources, our guts are unhealthy and unable to absorb the nutrients it gets. By consuming bone broth you’re helping your gut to heal and better absorb what you give it.
Just an aside: Dr. Campbell-McBride is a physician whose child was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. The good Dr. looked to the medical community for an autism cure and couldn’t find it.
Instead she did her own research and experimentation. She found the cause and cure for her son’s autism. The cause: a digestive defect. The cure: dietary change to correct the defect. By correcting the defect, the brain was able to receive the proper nutrition and her son is living a normal life.
I’m not on the GAPS diet per se, but as I continue on my road to health, my dietary habits are beginning to mirror the dietary recommendations on the GAPS diet.