Close to a decade ago, when I was healing my digestion, there was just a fraction of the gut-healing information available online today.
I don’t remember reading about the intestinal healing power of home made bone broth back then. But these days it’s hard to research digestive health without coming across bone broth.
If you haven’t read about it yet, here’s the deal. The high mineral content, healthy fats and gelatin content in chicken or beef stock repairs gut lining, tames inflammation and balances the nervous system, blood sugar and bile production.
Home made chicken soup doesn’t have a healing reputation for nothing. It really does work. And it’s become a gut-healing SUPERFOOD for it’s ability to seal up a leaky gut.
What is the down side of bone broth?
It has to be home made to have health benefits, and while it isn’t rocket science to make, it does take time and a bit of getting used to.
I made my first batch of beef broth a few weeks ago. I like most foods, but there are a few I don’t. Strangely, soup broth is one of them. Since I was quite small, I haven’t been a fan.
I decided to put my tastes aside in the name of health. If I was going to be recommending this to my clients I need to try it myself. And the health benefits of broth seem worth it!
Making bone broth was surprisingly challenging. The healing jelly-like fat seems to get everywhere and is hard to clean off. In this article I’ll share my bone broth making mistakes so you won’t have to make them.
But first, I’ll give you an easy and nutritious alternative to beef broth that packs some of the same healing benefits.
What’s the main healing ingredient in bone broth?
The answer may surprise you.
Apparently gelatin helps improve wrinkles, heart health and nail health. It reduces cellulite, detoxifies the liver, keeps bowels regular and soothes inflamed joints. Gelatin also contains minerals but broth is much more concentrated source. It can even remineralize teeth.
Gelatin helps ease arthritis and boosts the digestibility of food by drawing more water into the food. It is also packed with amino acids. So veggies cooked in bone broth will be much easier to digest than their roasted or sauteed counterparts.
But before you stock your pantry with Jello, be aware that the gelatin sold in supermarkets is not the good stuff. It’s full of sugar and chemicals. And most conventional plain gelatin powders are made from miserable, commercially farmed animals, shot up with hormones and antibiotics. Not ideal for healing.
I bought Great Lakes unflavored gelatin on Amazon. It was expensive but it will last me for years.
How to Make Bone Broth
I bought a pound of grass fed beef marrow bones at the butchers counter of my supermarket. If you can’t find grassfed animal bones locally, you can order them online at U.S. Wellness Meats.
I made my first batch in a slow cooker, which made it much easier because I didn’t have to watch a boiling pot on the stove.
I filled my slow cooker with water, threw in the bones, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and some portobello mushroom scraps (you can also use onions or carrots for more flavor). I turned the crockpot on low for 8 to 12 hours. This was the easy part.
If you don’t have a slow cooker and want to make broth in a stock pot, here’s a handy guide on how to do it.
And if you are thinking about buying a slow cooker… DO IT! My slow cooker was one of the best kitchen investments I ever made.
When the broth was done is became very fatty. There were globules of fat floating on the top.
I made the mistake of trying to skim off the fat when the broth was still warm. Much harder that way and kinda yucky. It’s best to put the broth in glass containers and into the fridge. Once the broth is cold the fat solidifies and is easier to remove.
You can use the skimmed fat to cook with. Beef fat/tallow has a high heating temp and is full of vitamins, minerals and cancer fighting properties like niacin, B6, B12, K2, selenium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and riboflavin.
This fat is also quite slippery and sticky, making it very hard to clean up. I used boiling water to melt the fat off my utensils and containers, then rinsed with regular soap and water.
Dealing with all the fat in the broth nauseated me. It got all over my hands and was so thick and sticky I couldn’t wash it off and had to wipe my hands down with paper towels. They did feel very moisturized afterwards. That fat was so intense that it made me toy with becoming a vegetarian for a good half hour.
But I pressed on. After transferring the broth to quart-sized mason jars using a cup ( you can also use a turkey baster) the hard part was done. Now I had several quarts of individually packed broth to freeze and use for soup.
Some people drink their broth straight, as a snack or pre dinner digestive tonic, but I needed to cover up the brothy taste with spices and other food flavors.
3 Bone Broth recipes
I made three different versions of healing soup. While some soups were tastier than others I had the same feeling of nurturing and nourishing myself. That’s a priceless, healing feeling in itself.
Chorizo Kale Soup
Add chopped kale to the beef broth let it boil down.
Add in pre-cooked chorizo-spiced ground beef, oregano, cayenne, smoked paprika, cumin and salt.
Garnish with chopped tomatoes.
This “SUPER SOUP” combines powerhouse nutrients, kale and bone broth, to heal you from every angle. Kale is much easiest to digest when cooked down in broth.
Tomato Broccoli Soup
This soup was a great opportunity to use up the extra veggies in the fridge.
And it was even yummier than the kale soup.
I added some tomato paste or sugar-free pasta sauce to the broth.
I threw in shredded broccoli, grated carrots, Napa cabbage, scallions and chopped tomatoes.
I added salt and garlic powder and curry spices.
My soups were getting better and better with each try. The third soup was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. You have to try this soup. It’s insanely good.
Carbonara Soup (like the pasta dish, minus the cream)
I sauteed big chunks of red onion with cubed pancetta (Italian bacon). I added frozen green peas and then broth.
As everything was simmering I added sliced jalapeno, salt, a touch of sriracha pepper sauce and dropped a pastured egg into the liquid. I scrambled the egg by mixing the soup.
The sweetness of the red onions, the saltiness of the pancetta and the creaminess of the egg made the perfect combination.
Next I’ll make Thai Coconut shrimp soup. I’m going to stock up on lemongrass and ginger and make some chicken broth this time. Recipe coming soon….
Have you ever made bone broth? Tell me in the comments.
Angela Privin is proof that IBS is NOT an incurable disease or a disease at all. IBS is a body out of balance. It’s an invitation for change. After solving her own IBS mystery more than a decade ago Angela trained as a health coach to help others.
Angela uses both science and intuition to help people figure out what’s out of balance in their body. She works with lab tests, dietary changes, supplementation and nervous system rebalancing. Get help rebalancing your digestive system and solving your IBS mystery here.