With new light shining down on different health trends as of late, you may have heard the buzz around bone broth! Bone broth is so good for you due to all of the amazing benefits it has to offer. Many people find that bone broth helps with things like joint pain, cognitive function and even weight loss, but where did it come from?
Where Did Bone Broth Come From?
Sipping a deliciously warm cup of broth derived from healthy high-quality bones has been something that people have enjoyed dating back to the beginning of recorded time. Our ancestors who were hunters and gatherers cultivated bones out of necessity. They did not have the luxury of conveniently driving up to a grocery store to purchase food products to fill their family’s bellies.
Instead, they spent days if not weeks searching and hunting for their next meal. Throwing out anything from the animals that they hunted, such as the bones or hooves, was completely unthinkable. Our ancestors used the entire animal from nose to tail, eating what they could and making use of the parts that they could not.
Our hunter and gatherer ancestors realized that they could not eat the bones, so they decided to burn them. By doing this, they found that the bones broke down into a liquid which was easy to digest. This was the start of bone broth!
Fast forward a few centuries to ancient China for the first documented creation of pots. Traditional Chinese medicine began right around the second century BC which is where bone broth started to become widely known for its incredible healing properties. In fact, bone broth was a remedy that was actually prescribed by practitioners. Bone broth showed to help with improving the immune system to help fight things like the common cold, leaky gut and nourish the kidneys. Many people would even claim that bone broth was the elixir of life!
Moving forward to the beginning of the 12th century, bone broth was documented to be used in Egypt. It was reported that a physician named Moses Maimonides used bone broth as a medicinal remedy for asthma and colds. Moses happened to be a Jewish philosopher which many feel is one of the reasons as to how bone broth entered the Jewish community. In fact, bone broth was given the nickname of “Jewish Penicillin” due to its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Now looking into the 40’s, this was when many companies did what they could to become more profitable. Take Campbell’s for an example. Campbell’s soup company replaced their real ingredients with artificial flavors to help mass produce their products at a cheaper cost. They substituted their nourishing ingredients with things like MSG and flavored water- not good!
Today, we live in a society that is truly trying to become better at what we put into our bodies. This is why reading ingredients on food labels has become so popular! Scientists have worked hard to uncover the truths behind ingredients like MSG opening our eyes to actually how harmful it really is. People have really started to reject purchasing processed food products made by large companies and are interested in going back to their roots.
What is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is simply a broth that is made by boiling the bones and connective tissues from an animal down into a liquid. This is a highly nutritious broth because the bones are rich in vitamins and nutrients including magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. The bones and tissues also contain collagen which when cooked, turns into a gelatin. This gelatin is known as the building blocks of protein because it is loaded with amino acids.
There are so many different bones and tissues that make up an animal and each one holds different nutrients. For an example the bone marrow will give you vitamin A where connective tissues provide glucosamine to help with joint pain. There is also a difference in nutrients from the bones from each animal like a chicken vs a cow. One of the most popular types of bone broth today is beef!
What is Beef Bone Broth?
Beef bone broth is when the bones you use to boil comes from a cow. The bones and connective tissues are boiled down into an easily digestible liquid creating your broth. Many people claim to experience higher energy levels from drinking beef bone broth over other types of broth.
This could be due to the cattle bones being much denser and containing a larger amount of minerals. Beef bones are rich in collagen and protein which makes it really beneficial to your bones and muscles. Beef bones also contain essential amino acids and are rich in Glutamine which keeps your gut and digestive tract healthy!
How Do You Make Beef Bone Broth?
Everyone has their favorite bone broth recipe. However, when making beef bone broth, we want to extract only the best nutrients possible, so it is important to opt for grass fed and organic beef bones. Some of the best bones to use from the cow are the meaty bones like oxtail, shank, and short rip. You will also want to use the beef knuckle, neck bones, cow feet and marrow bones to get the best nutrients!
The first step when making beef bone broth is to blanch your bones! Simply place your bones in a pot and let them cook at a low boil for about 20 minutes. Once completed, drain your bones in a strainer and place them on a cooking sheet and pat dry – it is time to roast them!
Many people like to roast their beef bones because it helps to add more flavor! It’s no secret that roasted bones can do just that. Crank your oven up to 450 degrees and throw your bones in for approximately 45 minutes or until they are a caramelized brown color. Pull them out and let them cool.
Now you need to grab the largest cooking pot in your kitchen and pack in your beef bones! Fill the pot with enough filtered water to cover the bones generously. This is usually around 10-12 cups of water. Now it is time to add in the key ingredient that makes bone broth as nutritious as it is – vinegar! Adding in a couple tablespoons of vinegar will help the bones to cook down and release all of the vitamins and minerals within. Many people will use white vinegar or even lemon, but most commonly used is apple cider vinegar.
To get the best flavor, it is now time to add in your seasonings! Add a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper to taste. You can add in veggies like carrots, celery and onion to give your broth a hearty flavor as well! Once you have all of your seasonings, you will want to put your pot on the stove and bring it to a quick boil. Once it is boiling, bring the temperature down and let it simmer for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, take it off the stove and enjoy! Beef broth can be stored in mason jars in the fridge for about 4 days or in a freezer bag for up to a year. Some people use ice cube trays to freeze their bone broth until they’re ready to defrost and use it.
Can You Make Beef Bone Broth in the Slow Cooker or Stock pot?
Absolutely! There is an abundance of recipes that call for a variety of ways to make bone broth. You can make bone broth in the slow cooker or crock pot, stock pot, pressure cooker or instant pot, stove top, etc. The best part about this paleo and keto friendly favorite is that you can customize the bone broth recipe to your preference. If you love the taste you get from bay leaves or celery stalks, add in extra!
Just about any bone broth can be made in the same way, so don’t be afraid to venture out and try to make chicken bone broth or turkey bone broth. Bone broth in general has amazing health benefits.
Society has really advanced over the years causing us to forget our roots. Bone broth has amazing benefits that will truly nourish our bodies, but not all bone broth is created equal. Many people opt for a quick and simple alternative not realizing what they are purchasing is full of sodium and MSG. Bone broth truly has incredible nutrient packed benefits that our bodies need, but it is so important we are getting the best of the best!