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3 Bone broth recipes to heal digestion

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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.

It’s gelatin.

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.

 

Gelatin and digestion

 

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.

 

broth

 

 

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

kalesoup

 

RECIPE

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

 

tomato soup

 

RECIPE

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.

YUM.

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)

soup

 

RECIPE

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.

 

 

  1. Faith Titus
    Faith Titus05-30-2013

    Sounds wonderful! Thanks, can’t wait to try it. Wish I had a butcher to go to that sold grass-fed beef bones… I’ll have to order some!

  2. Shoshana Frumkin
    Shoshana Frumkin05-31-2013

    Ah… the power of bone broth.
    Collagen from bone joints ( for face lift effect and cellulite fill in ).
    Glutamine ( gut healing ).
    Minerals ( more adsorbable along with the fats in the broth ).
    All in a neutral base to make yummy soup <3.
    Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Shoshana Frumkin
    Shoshana Frumkin05-31-2013

    check out
    http://www.threestonehearth.com
    they are a CSK ( community supported kitchen ) in Berkeley that makes big batch bone broths and other traditional healing foods for sale through membership.

  4. Shelly
    Shelly06-03-2013

    These look like some great recipes! I love my slow cooker and can’t wait to try some of these recipes. I checked out U.S. Wellness Meats and looks like I will be making a purchase from them.

  5. Wendy
    Wendy06-03-2013

    I realize the importance of bone soup and glad you showed us how to do it! Well done!

  6. cathy | The Health Coach Group
    cathy | The Health Coach Group06-03-2013

    Very interesting! My granddaughter came home from school with the new found knowledge of where jello comes from and absolutely refused to ever eat it again! Well…that is one thing I don’t have to worry about breaking her of…she has “learned” too many mainstream foods she likes from school.

    Aside from grass-fed, is there one animal’s bones that are better than another. Yes, I would say you did good trudging through the fat. My stomach is fluttering just thinking about it.

    Thanks!

  7. Outrageously Healthy You
    Outrageously Healthy You06-04-2013

    I enjoy beef and chicken broth a lot! Let me help you out with the cleanup. Put Palmolive dish soap directly on your utensils, without water, use a tissue to wipe it over all the surfaces or a paper towel wash them afterwards. It will cut through all the grease quickly occasionally after a thorough rinse I may have to wash again but not usually it gets it all. :)

  8. Amber Sowers
    Amber Sowers06-04-2013

    That is the worst part is the fat, but oh so worth it. Thank you for the reminder, I’m going to have to make some Chorizo Kale Soup, never had that before :)

  9. Hayley Hobson
    Hayley Hobson06-05-2013

    This one was a little tough for me to stomach. I am a vegan, but I know that bone soup is very good for certain things.

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN06-05-2013

      Sorry about that Hayley. I totally understand. I am glad that veganism works for you. That is wonderful. Being vegan can also be a cause for digestive issues for some people and I am trying to reach them, not the people who are happy and healthy vegans.

  10. Jessica Lopez
    Jessica Lopez06-06-2013

    I LOOOOVE BONE BROTH! So amazingly healing and dirt cheap! Thank you for the delicious recipes you included! Can't wait to try them!

  11. Angela Wilson Ursery
    Angela Wilson Ursery06-23-2013

    I look forward to trying the kale and chorizo recipe.
    I keep the fat in the broth. Although it’s a lot, I am on a modified ketogenic food plan, so the extra fat is fine.
    I do agree, however, that the cleanup is much more intense with this fat. My nearby health food store doesn’t care grass-fed bones, which is a drag, but a local store will be doing so in the next couple of weeks. Even though I used bones from a more-healthy (but not grass-fed) cow, I am looking forward to the grass-fed version. As well, a friend of mine is a daughter of a sheep rancher, and all of their sheep are grass-fed. I may talk with her about bones for broth, as well.

  12. Angela Wilson Ursery
    Angela Wilson Ursery06-23-2013

    Oh, forgot to mention: browning the bones in the oven at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes boosts the color and flavor of the broth.

  13. Floyd Rush
    Floyd Rush08-10-2013

    Pork broth! lol

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN08-12-2013

      Sounds yummy Floyd. Pork broth is not as popular as the other broths but must be very tasty.

  14. Stephanie
    Stephanie11-11-2013

    I’ve been making this for years and use it often in congee soup, traditional Chinese rice soup. Also save it in ice cube trays with each cube being 1/8 cup so I can take out as many as I need for sipping or adding to a dish.

  15. ANGELA PRIVIN
    ANGELA PRIVIN11-11-2013

    Thanks Stephanie, yes I have been freezing bone broth too. And lately been using it to cook veggies instead of water (ie: to steam green beans) and when making tomato sauce. Bone broth is a staple in our house.

  16. Susan Duffey
    Susan Duffey11-21-2013

    I love the idea of making these soups, however, with all of the digestive issues going on, I feel like the spices and jalapeños and tomatoes might be too much for my system?

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN11-21-2013

      Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. I always tell people that they are the best judge of what’s right for them to eat. These were examples of how I spiced my soup but if you intuitively feel like this won’t work for you or have had bad experiences with these ingredients in the past then you should leave them out. My unique experience when I was healing my digestion was that my body could not get enough spice. It asked for cayenne pepper and Habanero peppers. They are foods that fight inflammation so it made sense that my body asked for them. But I believe that everyone is different so please follow your intuition when it comes to what to put in your soup. Hope that helps.

  17. Trish
    Trish01-07-2014

    Hi! Great articles on your site! Thank you for doing them and sharing your healing journeys. You rock :)

    Two things:
    1) Where does the purchased gelatin come into play when making the bone broth?
    2) BEST cleaning product hands down is baking soda. I use it as a degreaser, and also as the most incredible yet gentle(!) scrub for everything cooking related. At anywhere from .99 to 1.49 a box it’s money saving, too.

    All the best to you and yours in 2014!

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN01-07-2014

      Thanks for your comment Trish. I do use baking soda for heavy duty cleaning. Sometimes I mix it with vinegar to clean burned on grease of pans. As far as the gelatin, if your broth doesn’t gel, you can simply add some powdered grass fed gelatin to make it stronger. I like Great Lakes. I don’t add gelatin to my broths anymore because they usually gel just fine. Hope that answers your question. Happy New Year to you.

  18. Zoe
    Zoe01-08-2014

    Hi,

    What an inspiring website. Finally to find something relevant and to the point about IBS and indigestion/leaky gut. I really want to try the bone broth and I think it will help (have to be positive!). Reading about the Great Lakes Gelatin, when do you consume it and how? It seems to be affective in treating this stuff.

    Thanks!

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN01-11-2014

      You can put the gelatin in broth or make jello out of it. There are some recipes on my site and you can make it with any liquid, including coconut milk. You can use it to make coconut milk yogurt too!

  19. Scott Blagrove
    Scott Blagrove01-18-2014

    Do you really need apple cider vineger for bone broth? or a alternative?
    also you don't seem to use apple cider vineger to bring the minerals out of the bones.
    Thanks.

    • ANGELA PRIVIN
      ANGELA PRIVIN01-19-2014

      Everything I have ever read says to use vinegar. I think Apple Cider Vinegar is the best kind to use. Hope that answers your question.

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