My family enjoys my cooking, most days. They love my savory dishes, my sweet dishes, and little snacks I create, just because I get the urge to create something. However, the one thing they do not like is the smell of my bone broth cooking. Why? It is likely because I have to cook it a minimum of 48 hours (if chicken bones) and 72 hours (if beef bones) and after a while, the smell does become a little overwhelming. However, the benefits are well worth it. I guess the point of all of this is if you end up deciding bone broth is something you want to make, you may want to find a safe spot in your carport, back porch, or barn to slow cook it if the smell bothers you.
I have been hearing a lot about the benefits of bone broth for a while now. Back in March, I had a neck injury that really got me down. I started researching the best things for spine health. After all, I have always been very active and I don’t necessarily need to be a 20-year-old gymnast, just a happy mobile 40-year-old mom.
This homework led me down a path that opened my eyes to many things, but I will start with my bone broth discovery. The benefits I knew about from before the injury were: it helps leaky gut (my daughter is autistic and they typically have leaky gut syndrome), helps promote healthy bones, and is supposed to make your skin glow. However, after some research (some in my own home natural health books), I started making discoveries. Bricklin (1976) told a story in his Natural Healing book about a woman who came in with arthritis in her knee for over a year. She said it was so bad she could not sleep at night and could barely walk. She started taking vitamin C, vitamin E, BONE BROTH, and dolomite. In two weeks, the lady had very little pain and was walking “freely” in one month (Bricklin, 1976, p. 26). There was another story in that same book that really hit home with me where a man came in with an arthritic neck for many years and after traction and painkillers, nothing worked. He thought BONE BROTH wasn’t for him. The author writes, “He did not believe that bone meal or anything else could help him because he had spurs on his cervical spine, but after beginning the bone meal regimen, the nurse reported the pain was 50% better in just five days” (Bricklin, 1976, p. 27). Okay, I thought, this all sounds good.
Another one of my resources was Dr. Amy Myers book. She is known for her book, “The Autoimmune Solution” where she discusses reversing inflammatory symptoms and diseases (Myers, 2015). I personally think if you live long enough, you’ll eventually have some minor issues or major issues associated with autoimmunity. Our environment has been tainted with chemical spills, pollution, GMOs, and too many other things to discuss here for even the purest eater to not have any exposure to something dangerous. If you didn’t know, autoimmune disorders can be everything from lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, to multiple sclerosis and skin disorders. (If you haven’t read her book, you must get it. It is a great resource for anyone.) She has a recipe for bone broth on p. 226 but my recipe is much simpler that I’ll share with you in this post. But wait, did you get that? She mentions this recipe in her book on autoimmunity! There must be something to this stuff! (Her book is below.)
If you think about your grandparents, or great grandparents, or even great-great grandparents, depending on your age,they cooked full meals. They cooked chickens with bones in them and didn’t order a quick boneless chicken nugget meal made with GMO meats. Granted, life was much harder physically, back then, but still they didn’t seem to have all these autoimmune issues that we’re having today. I like to say, “remember the good parts, leave the bad parts” when thinking about past occurrences. Use this same philosophy with foods from our ancestors.
All I can say is I have noticed when I drink bone broth regularly that my skin looks healthier, it has a nice color and a healthy amount of softness too, so that is a bonus. I also feel overall much more energetic, so there must be something to this stuff. And…I can’t say my neck is perfect every day, but it definitely helps. My easy recipe is below. I hope you enjoy it.
Chicken Bone Broth
1 organic whole chicken (you do not want to eat minerals from a genetically modified chicken, get the good stuff)
Chicken broth from cooked organic chicken
1 medium – large onion
¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother)
In a large boiler, add chicken and water to cover chicken. Boil until done. Debone chicken and make something fabulous with the meat. (You won’t need the meat for this broth recipe so this actually makes a meal!) Add bones to a large crockpot with enough water to fill crockpot about ¾ full AFTER adding the juice from the cooked chicken, an onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, and apple cider vinegar. Get this mix to boiling by putting on the highest setting for a few hours. Then, cut to lower setting for duration of cooking (for chicken, this will be 2 days). If you want carrots, I would add after 24 hours of cooking. Plus, you’ll stir once at the end of day 1 as well. This is literally a “set it” and “almost forget it” recipe.
After 48 hours, turn off crockpot and let cool. Once cooled, strain the broth. The apple cider vinegar you added to the water initially is what helps the wonderful nutrients such as collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin to leech out. However, there may be some minerals left in the bones. I typically eat a few right after cooking and save the rest for my dog. The bones are so soft that there isn’t an issue with splintering.
Lastly, I do my best to drink 6-8 ounces a day. If I can’t make it, I have been known to buy. The purchased broth is never as good to me. It is similar to a canned soup versus a homemade soup in regards to depth of flavor. Also, please consult your physician for any medical recommendations based on your personal circumstances.
Bricklin, M. (1976). Natural healing., Emmaus, PN: Rodale Press.
Myers, A. (2015). The autoimmune solution. New York, NY: Harper One.