I recommend bone broth to so many of my patients that I thought it would be useful to tell you why, as well as to provide some resources for you to get this goodness for yourself. We'll discuss why you want bone broth, where to get it, and even how to make your own. Enjoy!
First off, let's think about why bone broth is a step above grandma's chicken stock. Conventional broths and stocks are ususally simmered for one to four hours and provide flavor, but don't cook long enough to pack the nutritional punch of bone broth, which is simmered for 12 - 24 hours or longer.
- Bone broth is nature’s multivitamin - full of minerals, proteins and amino acids such as glycine, gelatin, collagen, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and copper.
- Collagen, gelatin, glutamine and glycine contribute to repairing leaky gut by coating and healing the intestinal lining, fighting autoimmune conditions.
- In addition to healing your gut, collagen may encourage your skin to plump up and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. I notice a real difference in the fine lines around my eyes if I drink bone broth consistently (about a cup a day).
- If you are struggling with joint pain, or other issues involving your ligaments or cartilage, bone broth contains compounds that support the growth and repair of connective tissues.
- In Chinese medicine, feeling flighty, nervous or ungrounded (including anxiety, insomnia, and hot flashes) is often treated with animal products instead of plants because animal products are heavy, substantial, and yin in nature. If your acupuncturist has ever told you that you have "deficienct blood" or "deficient yin," bone broths might be a good dietary choice for you.
WHERE TO GET IT:
Okay, you're sold and want to start including bone broth in your diet - but where do you get it? Here are some resources for New York City locals, online retailers, and how to make your own.
1. For the locals:
If you are in New York City, there are several restaurants that provide delicious bone broths made using only pastured, organically fed animals. The best known is probably James Beard award winning chef Marco Canora’s broth kiosk, Brodo, which now has locations in both the East and West Villages (and if you want to make your own, Chef Canora’s cookbook Brodo has some delicious recipes). Also in the West Village is Springbone Kitchen, a good resource for grandma-quality chicken and beef bone broths.
2. For the tech savvy:
Online grocer Fresh Direct is now selling frozen quarts of Brodo broth. The company Osso Good sells broths in pouches out of California, with autoimmune protocol compliant blends as well as broths infused with Chinese herbs to aid in digestion, boost immunity, and increase stamina. Thrive Market, another online grocer, offers several 100% grass fed and organic broth options from their Thrive house brand, Epic, and Kettle & Fire.
3. For the home chef:
To make your own quality broth, save trimmings from root vegetables, celery, garlic, onions, or other vegetable scraps in your freezer until you are ready to cook your broth.
Greenmarkets throughout the city, Whole Foods, and local organic butchers are great sources for bones from organic, pastured, free-range animals. Buying organic is an important step because you will be consuming a concentrated version of what the animal has consumed throughout its life, and you will be sipping broth to get health benefits, not to put an extra burden on your liver.
- 2 to 6 lbs of organic, grass-fed bones from chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb in any combination (chicken feet add an impressive amount of gelatin, for example).
- Vegetable trimmings
- Water to cover bones
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Optional: roast the bones first in a pan at 375 degrees to boost flavor. 30-45 minutes of roasting should be sufficient.
- Place raw or roasted bones into your soup pot or slow cooker. Fill pot with enough water to cover the bones, but not more. Many recipes recommend adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to encourage the bones to release their mineral compounds.
- Simmer for 1-2 hours, skimming foamy bits from the top of the pot with a ladle. If using a slow cooker, use the "high" setting for the first 2 hours and skim at the end, then switch to "low" for the rest of the cooking time.
- Add vegetable trimmings and continue to cook at a low simmer for 12-24 hours, depending on the bones being used. Smaller bones like turkey or chicken take less time to access the mineral components, whereas something like beef bones could run from 24-48 hours. In a slow cooker, leave the pot covered and running at low heat for 20 hours or more.
- Once your broth has simmered long enough to form a rich, delicious stock, strain the contents of your pot and discard the bones and vegetable trimmings. The broth can be enjoyed immediately or stored for about a week in the refrigerator or indefinitely in the freezer.
Already a convert to bone broth? Have questions about how to make your own or if it's right for you? Stop by City Acupucnture to discuss with one of our knowledgable practitioners and let us know what you think!