Bone broth is a gut-healing super-star ingredient. This wonderful, natural liquid is bursting with essential proteins, minerals and anti-inflammatory goodness.
Today, I’m encouraging you to give broth-making a whirl - all you really need is a few leftovers and a bunch of vegetables from your crisper drawer, to create a delicious broth that will liven up many of your dishes.
Homemade bone broths are healthier for you as they are without extra ingredients that some store-bought ones contain, such as genetically modified ingredients, processed salt and additives.
Making bone broth yourself is also an excellent way to add a little flare to your cooking, with very little effort. With a few minutes of sieving and storing at the end, all that really goes into the recipe is the ingredients you have on hand and very minimal effort.
All broths provide a wonderful unique flavour to your favourite soups, casseroles, curries or tagines. Even just simply using broth when cooking rice dishes or quinoa can give your dish more taste and a healing boost.
Which bones should I use?
You can use any kind of bones - beef, lamb, chicken or fish - or you can even make a vegetarian broth by simply using lots of glorious vegetables.
You can add whatever vegetables you want to your broth. However, root veggies like parsnips and carrot always work well as they have an earthy flavour which really compliments the meat.
My autumn recipe uses lamb bones, which can be purchased from your butcher. Lamb bones can be a very cost-effective option, as you purchase them in bulk and freeze some for a later date. Don’t be afraid to throw in any old bone, quite often the ones that look more terrifying, like the knuckle, are actually better for you.
Using left over bones from a roast is a great way to recycle what’s already been used, reducing your food waste dramatically too.
Bones naturally have two incredible proteins which nourish and heal us from the inside out, found in the collagen, these proteins become available when broken down during the cooking process and turned into gelatin.
- Glycine is a complete amino acid, proven to not only help with the breakdown of foods within our digestive system, but to aid natural detoxification by revving up our livers. It also goes as far as helping us relax and improve our sleep quality by inhibiting neurotransmitters.
- Glutamine is an amino acid that helps maintain the function of the intestinal wall. Intestinal permeability is common for people with Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease, it is when molecules in the intestine pass through the walls and into your bloodstream, causing aches, pains, rashes, fatigue, general ill feeling, bloating and cramps. Therefore intestinal wall integrity is essential to optimum health.
Aside from the protein content of bones, they also contain an abundance of minerals.
If you need inspiration or feel a little apprehensive about where to start, then follow my Lamb Broth recipe which is perfect for the cooler autumn weather.
Lamb Broth Recipe
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) lamb marrow bones
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped?
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Place a flameproof casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and melt the coconut oil.
- Add the bones and stir to coat.
- Add the lid and transfer the casserole dish to the oven.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bones are browned.
- Transfer to the stovetop, cover with the filtered water and add the remaining ingredients, including seasoning.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 4–6 hours.
- Add a little more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then strain and refrigerate until the fat congeals on top.
- Skim off the fat and store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, or freeze in ice- cube trays.
Supercharged tip: You can make bone broths in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for up to 24 hours, topping up with filtered water if they reduce too much.
By the way, when the broth is ready and left to cool, you may not want to eat the fat that starts to set on top, but I recommend using the fat for both preserving the broth and to use for sauteéing vegetables.
Your broth will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks, this is ensuring it has a good layer of preserving fat. If it doesn’t have the fat then it will last about a week.
If you don’t think you’ll get through it within a week, you can also freeze your broth.
Simply warm the bone broth up on the stovetop and sip if you’re in need of a warm drink, or pop a few frozen ice cubes into a pan ready to add your dishes.