For the best, most nourishing bone broth, harvest your bones’ broth at least two times: once after 2-3 hours for a very healing, high-fat broth, once after 24 hours, and again, optionally, between 48 and 72 hours. Each time you gather the broth from the bones, you simply add more water and sea salt, and keep going! If you’re using a crock-pot the whole process is easy and mess-free.* For healing the gut, restoring good general health, reducing inflammation, fighting viruses, and a host of other benefits, here is the most healthful tonic of all: mineral, collagen, and gelatin-rich bone broth.
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Here’s how to make it:
Chicken bones and cartilage (preferably from a pastured chicken), beef bones (grass-fed), or other sustainably-sourced animal bones, joints preferred, or exposed marrow- approximately 1.5 lbs. total
2 T. raw apple cider vinegar, optional (not ideal for those with FODMAP or fructose sensitivities)
Filtered Water, about 1-1/2 gallons
1 T. + 2 t. sea salt, (adjust according to pot size and to taste)
1. Add bones to crock-pot.
2. Fill with filtered water.
3. Add apple cider vinegar and sea salt.
4. Cook for 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours; harvest all the fat, or fatty broth, for a very healing Intro. GAPS Diet feast. If you harvest all of the broth, add new water, salt, and apple cider vinegar and simmer on low at least 24 hours and up to 72 hours. (Within 30 minutes of the broth’s first boiling, scum will rise to the surface; skim this off.)
5. Strain and use.
- The fat from the first 2-3 hour boil NEEDS to be consumed (or skimmed off and saved) after this time period has elapsed. If the fat continues to boil it will become rancid.
- My favorite broths are made from 1) chicken feet (or the whole leftover carcass of a chicken) or 2) beef marrow bones.
Chicken feet yield a very gelatin-rich and flavorful broth, buttery and unbelievably sustaining in nature. The many joints in the feet are a key source of the needed gelatin and collagen.
Beef marrow bones yield a rich 1-2 tablespoons of marrow for every bone used. The marrow makes such a good breakfast: floating pieces of good nourishing, flavorful marrow amidst a fatty broth and poached eggs. This might sound crazy; but I kid you not: first harvest beef marrow broth with the marrow itself and soft poached eggs is one of life’s most hidden, kingly culinary pleasures.
Remember what Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride says about the marrow, fat and fatty broths? From the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, “Avoid lean meats; our physiology can only use meat fibers when they come with the fat, collagen and other substances that a proper piece of meat will provide. GAPS people need plenty of animal fats…” (p. 132) and “…the bone marrow provide[s] some of the best healing remedies for the gut lining and immune system; your patient needs to consume them with every meal.” (p.145) And regarding runny egg yolks’ nutrition she writes, “There is no need to limit the number of egg yolks per day, as they absorb quickly, almost without needing any digestion, and will provide your patient with wonderful and most needed nutrition.” (p. 149)
So Dr. Natasha has the authority to convince us about the nutritional importance of these foods. I, Megan Stevens, have the super-food-lover authority to tell you, cultivating a taste for, and truly appreciating, a good, rich, fatty broth is one of life’s ironies. You do it to heal your body. And you end up giving yourself pleasure.
P.S. Many customers ask me about adding vegetables to their bone broth. I say no. Vegetables actually taint the flavor of bone broth, a lot in my opinion. Any bone broth soup can be made with the vegetables once it’s complete. But do not add onions, carrots, celery or herbs to your initial pot of simmering bone broth. The pure, rich flavor that comes from just the bones, fat, connective tissue, and any small amount of meat that may still be on the bones, is not something that needs or wants amending.
P.P.S. The first 2-3 hour broth (or 30 minutes in the Instant Pot is even better [see notes on the IP below]) is low-histamine, for those of you needing that. The bones must be very fresh, or frozen very fresh.
*There has been some skepticism about the safety of modern crock pots. The ceramic is said by some to leach lead into food; and the FDA wording in their guidelines for safety is vague and not reassuring. Here’s a link to a helpful article, explaining one person’s testing of many popular-brand crock-pots and their almost-complete vindication. Our business has just invested in a HUGE stainless steel crock-pot. But the above research should be reassuring. Using a crock-pot to make bone broth really makes the whole process easy.
Instant Pot Bone Broth- the easiest method!
Instant Pots are the latest rage in broth making. I finally purchased mine about 8 months ago and LOVE it for bone broth. It’s much neater and faster. The first stage of soup (the 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hour batch) takes only 30 minutes to cook. The 24-72 hour batches takes 3-4 hours to yield the same nutrient-dense broth, in an Instant Pot. It’s certainly a good product to consider.