Bone Broth - The Ultimate Gut Healing Superfood (AIP, Whole 30, Paleo)
Posted on October 25 2018
Importance of Bone Broth
Bone Broth is a nutrient-dense gut healing food and is an important part of the Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) diets.
Bone broth is packed with gut healing amino acids, vitamins and minerals (including electrolytes). It is beneficial for joints and skin, reduces inflammation, boosts immunity, strengthens bones and improves gut health.
Bone broth can be expensive to buy but it is cheap to make – in fact if you are saving bones it hardly costs anything at all!
Methods/Equipment for cooking bone broth
Method #1: Stove top
Bone Broth can be simmered on a stove top in a large pot. This is a good option to begin with as it does not require any extra gadgets.
Method #2: Pressure Cooker
Using a pressure cooker is hands down the fasted way to cook bone broth. Once you enter the world of pressure cooking your bone broth you will never want to go back to the stove top method because pressure cooking your broth is 45 hours less cooking time than making it on the stove! 45 HOURS!! It really is a game changer.
I use this pressure cooker, it is very affordable and actually has a setting to also be used as a slow cooker or a Yogurt maker!
It is important to look for bones from healthy animals (pastured and/or grass-fed). There are two options for getting your hands on some quality bones:
- Purchase your bones: A good place to start is to ask your butcher or farmer if they have any soup bones they are willing to sell you in bulk for a good price. Any bones from a good source will do but if you can request beef knuckle bones they can help give the broth the sought after ‘gel’.
Save bones from bone-in meat: Purchase your quality meat with bone-in so you can save your leftover bones! I always save leftover bones and throw them in a bag or a container in my freezer until I am ready to use them in a broth.
Larger bones that are still intact can be reused!! Bones that are still intact have so many nutrients and gut healing properties to offer. When I first learned about this I was SO excited. We here at The Autoimmune Nutritionist are dedicated to not wasting any parts of the animals and plants that nourish us. Better for the planet and better for your wallet too!To reuse bones, pick through them after each batch and save those that are still intact. Generally, small bones will not be intact but large bones are usually good for a few batches!
I assess if a bone is still intact by first pressing on it between my thumb and fingers. If it is soft it gets put into the green bin, if is still hard I test it one more time by gently knocking it against the side of the pot. If it doesn’t break or crack I save it! Its not as complicated as it sounds, I promise!
It is important to add a few new big bones when you make your next batch.
- Blanche your bones! Simmer them in water for 20 minutes before draining and roasting.
- Roast bones at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Transfer bones to a pot, crock pot or pressure cooker fill with filtered water and 2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar and a Bay leaf (optional). Ideally the pot is ¾ bones!
- If cooking in pressure cooker (fastest method) let the broth cook at high pressure for two hours for chicken bones and three hours for beef bones (if using a mix of both go for the full three hours). If preparing on a stove top, bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 24 hours for chicken bones and 48 hours for beef bones (if using a mix go for the full 48 hours).
- To cool broth, strain out bones right away (don't forget to save and freeze the big ones that are intact for future broth!) and add ice cubes. The broth should be just slightly warm before putting it into the fridge. It is very important to cool the broth, if it is screaming hot going into the fridge it could spoil other food!
Frequently Asked Questions about making bone broth...
Why Doesn’t My broth Gel?
Common reasons for broth not gelling include:
- having too much water and not enough bones.
- not having enough variety in the type of bones – a good broth will include as many different types of bones as possible including knuckles, marrow and even feet!
Tip: Sticking the broth on the stove and boiling it uncovered to let some of the water boil off can sometimes do the trick to get it to gel.
Why do I have to add Apple Cider Vinegar?
- The vinegar is necessary to help draw the minerals from the bones
Why should I blanch my bones?
- Blanching is key to keeping the broth from getting funky with bits of stuff floating around and removes any impurities!
Why should I roast my bones?
- Roasting your bones browns and caramelizes them giving the broth better flavour!
How long does bone broth last?
- Generally, broth is good for a few days in the fridge (longer if you leave the layer of fat on the top) and up to 1 year in the freezer! I will go through 1 batch of bone broth over 2 weeks so I will usually freeze half of it and thaw after 1 week.