Bone broth is having its 15 minutes (months) of fame but healing food has been used for years to treat disease and boost overall health.
ROOTED LONDON is a plant-based company but I eat all foods, meat and fish included. Not much, but when I feel my body needs it. Our mantra is listen to your body after all. I eat meat once a week or every two but what I integrate into my diet every week is bone broth, not only for the benefits, but it tastes great too.
Bone broth is an ancient tradition dating back to 1000 CE. “Bru,” the Germanic root of the word, means to “prepare by boiling”1. Long studied, bone broth has been known to support gut health, especially where dysbiosis occurs, reduce inflammation and encourage healthy joints and bones. Given its support with the gut, there have also been studies to show it supports the body when dealing with food allergies and sensitivities – they are so tied to overall gut health.
When the digestive system is leaking toxins into the bloodstream, it contains tiny particles of food as well, which the body sees as additional toxins to fight. Thus, over time the body may react with more widespread and dangerous allergies. Bone broth is high in gelatin, which has been shown to block these particles from entering the bloodstream, which in turn, can help to reduce the occurrences of allergic reactions.
That’s a long time ago so you can imagine how many recipes there have been since then. The basis is the same but here in the ROOTED KITCHEN I have a few ideas up my sleeve to maximise the benefits of bone broth.
Here’s our guide…
Rule number one is to blanch your bones to remove any impurities. It’s a simple quick 30 minute step that shouldn’t be missed off the process.
Rule number two if you are going to make bone broth at home is patience. It takes hours, and careful preparation, to make it properly for a broth that offers maximum benefits. A key factor in the bone broth process is roasting the bones, which helps to release the key nutrients like proline, glucosamine, glycine and chondroitin sulfate. Yes, long weird words but trust me, they’re good for you! Roasting the bones also adds flavor, which let’s face it, is a key factor in making bone broth a part of everyday life.
Finally, rule number three, make sure you add lots of vegetables to the broth. By not adding herbs and vegetables, it will decrease the potency of the broth. My favourites are pepper, turmeric, ginger, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon. I also use apple cider vinegar to help to extract the minerals from the meat bones. Think about your food wastage here and keep any ends from smoothies or soups to add to the saucepan.
To make a large batch for the week ahead you’ll need:
- Bones of one chicken carcass
- 2 carrots (these offer a gorgeous sweetness)
- 3 crushed garlic clove
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cm fresh turmeric
- 2 handfuls of leeks, onion, celery
- 3cm fresh ginger
- 1 onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 liters of water
1) To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes before draining.
2) Add bones to a roasting tin and whack up the heat in the oven. Bake for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour.
3) Once you’re ready to boil the bones, chose a big pan and make sure to include the crisped brown bits on the bottom of the roasting tin. If they are stuck, just loosen them with a little water and add those to your pan. This adds flavor to the finished broth.
4) Add the remaining ingredients and boil until the vegetables are soft, then leave to cool.
If you’re hooked on the idea, check out these resources for plenty more knowledge bombs.
1- McGee 2010 - On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen