basics

Bone Broth: The Essential Super Cheap Super Food

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It’s super cheap and super easy to make bone broth – the frugal superfood!

bone broth superfood

So what’s this all-important superfood and why do you need it? After all, I’ve voiced my scepticism regarding superfoods in the past.

Well, the picture gives it away a little bit.

Today I’m going to talk about bone broth, or stock for us Aussies (yep, it’s the same thing). Bone broth is a frugal staple – a must for every household. It’s so cheap and easy to make, versatile, and it just so happens to be one of the healthiest foods in your kitchen.

Bone broth is a traditional food found in almost all cultures. It’s rich in minerals and amino acids, which is what makes it so healthy.

Stock cubes just don’t cut it. They’re super salty, full of questionable ingredients and they don’t impart the health benefits of a good bone broth. Store bought stock isn’t too bad, but it’s also not as healthy as homemade and it’s sooo much more expensive.

You can make your own bone broth for practically free.

This recipe shows how to make beef bone broth in the slow cooker. Making bone broth in the slow cooker means there’s almost no hand’s on work involved. The method is similar to making chicken and pork stock, which I’ve shared in the past, so you can use the same recipe and interchange the bones.

the benefits of including bone broth regularly in your diet

1. GOOD FOR BONES AND TEETH

Bone broth is high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur, to name a few. These are all essential nutrients for building strong bones and teeth.

2. GOOD FOR HAIR, NAILS, SKIN AND JOINTS

Bone broth is high in collagen which strengthens hair and nails and improves the appearance of skin.

It also includes glucosamine, which is anti-inflammatory and good for joint maintenance.

3. IMPROVES DIGESTION

The gelatine and other properties of bone broth assist in healing leaky gut which is why it’s used extensively on the GAPS diet.

4. BOOST THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

There’s a reason it’s recommended you drink chicken soup when you’re sick. The minerals and amino acids in the bone broth boost your immune system and help it to fight infection.

Bone broth is also high in the amino acids arginine, proline and glycine. I won’t reinvent the wheel, you can read why these are important for good health here.

how to get your daily dose of bone broth

You can use bone broth in all the regular ways: soups, stews, gravies, sauces and reductions.

I make a soup using whatever leftover vegetables are in the fridge at the end of the week – it’s delicious, cheap, healthy and it reduces waste!

You can also drink the broth like you would a cup of tea. This can be a very calming way to wake up your digestion on a winter’s morning (I eat the soup for breakfast – after years of western breakfasts, you get used to it).

My father used to drink Bonox, which is essentially a beef extract and similar to homemade beef stock, but not as good.

You can also use the broth to braise vegetables or to cook grains like rice or quinoa, using the absorption method.

storing your bone broth

Your stock can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week. Keep the fat layer on to protect the stock.

Otherwise, it can be stored in the freezer for around 6 months. Skim the fat if you like (you can use this in cooking) and freeze in recycled glass jars, making sure to leave plenty of headroom for the liquid to expand as it freezes. You don’t want smashed glasses in the freezer.

how to make bone broth

bone broth ingredients

You can make bone broth on the stove, but it is much easier making it in the slow cooker because you don’t have to watch it over the long cooking.

You want to cook your stock for at least 8 hours, up to 12 hours for larger bones and if you don’t have any vegetables in your stock.

If you’re using the leftover roast bone, simply bung it in the slow cooker after your meal. If you’re using raw bones, you might want to roast them prior to making the stock to improve the flavour.

Don’t forget to add a splash of apple cider vinegar. This is supposed to help draw all those nutrients out of the bones and into your stock.

Yield: 2-3 litres

Bone Broth

bone broth superfood

Making your own bone broth is easy to do and very frugal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Leftover bones from roast or stock bones, purchased
  • Vegetable scraps (optional – onion skins, carrot tops, celery tops, parsley stalks, garlic).
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Peppercorns (approx. 5 – 10 – no need to count)
  • Good quality sea salt
  • Filtered water

Instructions

  1. After a roast dinner, strip any leftover meat from the bones and put the bones in the slow cooker.
  2. If you’re starting with raw bones, roast them at 200°C for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning halfway, until browned.
  3. Add vegetable scraps if using, throw in some peppercorns, a good teaspoon or so of good quality salt, the vinegar and the water to cover.
  4. Leave to cook for at least 8 hours.
  5. You can leave longer than this if you haven’t added vegetables. The long cooking time is what draws all the minerals out of the bones.
  6. Strain stock and refrigerate.
  7. Skim off the fat and freeze in batches until ready to use.

Resources

So many great blogs and resources about bone broth and the nourishing food movement, it’s hard to pick a few. Here are some I read myself.

essential superfood that you should eat everyday

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6 Comments

  1. In ‘olden’ times there was always a pot-au-feu as the french call it -on the back of the fuel stove .Not only bones but all veg peel (even tough stuff like pumpkin) was added. It could stay there for days ,but it was always strained then brought to the boil (to kill any nasties) and it is surprising how salty it could become with the natural salts in the veg.These are the natural salts and minerals that we need! Most people these days would have second thoughts about leaving their electric stove on while they were out all day. Thank god for the slow cooker.In Victorian England bones once used for stock were sold to the rag and bone man-ground up it was used in bone china.This must be the ultimate recycle.

    1. Wow, that’s fascinating! I’ve always wondered why they call it bone china and assumed it was because of the colour! I’ve read of people who dry the bones out and grind them up to dig into the garden.

  2. I have beef stock going on the stove today! It smells so good. Is it too late to add the vinegar? It’s been going for a few hours. Thanks!

  3. Whenever we were sick (kids) or older relatives who were very ill, no appetite at all, my mother would make beef tea. Had to have beef bones and 2 lb. gravy beef, fair amount of chopped onion, black pepper – nothing added that would give the stock an even slightly milky appearance (i.e. no rice, barley, milk products, cream etc.simmered for a long , long time, tested if it required salt, strained and given hot in a mug. This never, ever failed to kick off the appetite and my mother believed it was good for you as well.
    I am always surprised at the sweet food people are offered when they are nauseous – in hospitals, aged care facilities, palliative care etc. I can’t stand the sight of custardy, milky, eggy things when I am nauseous.
    I think the old beef tea would be good for anyone who has anaemia as a result of poor nutrition or in particular after chemotherapy etc. but have never seen it offered.