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Bone Broth for Gut Health + Fall Mornings

bone broth ingredients

Recipe first, in-depth blog post-recipe <3 

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken carcass (or preference). Feet, necks and backs are especially great;
  • 10-15 garlic cloves;
  • 1 yellow onion;
  • 3 inches of ginger;
  • 4 Sprigs of Rosemary;
  • 1 TBS Red pepper flakes (more if accustomed to the heat);
  • 2 TBS Whole peppercorns;
  • 1 TBS Turmeric;
  • Salt + pepper to taste.

DIRECTIONS

  • Remove the bones from freezer and place in a large stock pot.
  • Fill the stock pot with enough water that the bones are almost or completely covered (if not completely covered, the addition of the rest of the ingredients will also raise the water level).
  • Turn burner to medium-high heat to begin a simmer.
  • While the water is warming, cut your onion in half and place both halves in your stock pot.
  • Separate your garlic cloves and add them to your warming stock pot. I like to leave mine in their skins to allow for a slower release of their flavors into my stock as they cook for the day.
  • Grate or finely chop your ginger into the stock pot.
  • Add red pepper flakes, peppercorns, and turmeric.
  • I like to add whole rosemary sprigs instead of stripping them and chopping them.
  • Once everything is added to your stock pot, let simmer for approximately 9 hours. I like to layer my salt and pepper, so I taste and add more every couple of hours.

There are different beliefs around how long you should simmer your bones. In my experience, brittle chicken bones do not need as long as say, pork or beef joints. A lot of this requires that you trust your own nose and taste throughout. I like my bone broth to be rich but still carry the characteristics of each of the ingredients I added (each of which I will go into their benefits below). 

Additionally, roasting your bones prior to using them in your bone broth can also enhance the vitamins and minerals released into your stock. I typically purchase a whole chicken, bake or roast it in the oven, then use the meat for meals throughout the week. I store the bones in the freezer until I have time to dedicate to making this simple stock. 

STORING

The broth should keep in your fridge for a considerable amount of time, but if you don't think you can get to all of it within 3-4 weeks, then you can also freeze it. I keep mine in my fridge with a layer of fat on the top. This helps to preserve it even longer. 

ENJOYING

When you are ready to enjoy, take your jar of broth and scrape the yellow lid to the side (save for when you are re-storing your broth). Gently warm it on your stove until it is just about bubbling again, pour in a mug, and enjoy! I like to enjoy mine pre coffee and post morning workout. It wakes up my digestive system, warms me up, and nourishes my gut for healing. 

HERBS

Garlic - An immune stimulator, works well as an expectorant and decongestant for when your lungs have a lot of phlegm build up. It's powerful in lowering high blood pressure with regular use, and in conjunction with certain herbs is a powerful ally for treating certain bacterial and fungal infections.

Onion - Onions are high in Vitamin C and are a powerful antioxidant.

Ginger - A warming stimulant for the respiratory system, as well as for promoting and supporting circulatory flow. Ginger is also often used as an anti-nausea and is a darling of the gut, helping to relieve indigestion and bloating. 

Rosemary - Helps to soothe the nervous system, and is a great ally in improving poor circulation and reducing high blood pressure. Additionally, rosemary is beneficial to the gut, helps stimulate appetite, decreases gas, and assists the respiratory system. 

Red Pepper Flakes - Another great stimulant for the circulatory system. 

Peppercorns - Stimulates digestion and intestinal mobility to ease gas and bloating.

Turmeric - Stimulates digestion, aids in liver function, and reduces inflammation. 

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It’s Fall. Everything is slowing down. I have more time now that I’m not growing and tending to a garden of herbs and flowers (though not much more time), and as always, I must find a way to fill that void. 

Often around this time of year, I tend to refocus on my health. How am I feeling? What have I been eating? Have I been imbibing too much cider down at the river the past few months? Is my sleep good? How is my gut health? 

Likely, my response to all of those is “not great, not great, yes, no, and probably poorer than I’d like.” While someday I hope to be at the point of being able to be in my busiest season and still check off all the boxes, that didn’t happen this year. So Fall is a time to reacquaint myself with my favorite recipes, my health, sleep, rest, and intentional exercise. 

One favorite for Fall mornings is a mug of bone broth. I first read about bone broths probably 5 years ago, when I first began learning about the impact that our gut health has on our overall health. As it is packed with protein, good fats, collagen, and keratin, bone broth nourishes the body, helps heal the gut wall, and even helps strengthen joints, hair, skin and nails.

Generally, the differences I notice with regular use of bone broth range from recovering quicker from workouts, feeling fuller longer, and last but not least, getting sick less frequently (if at all). As someone who used to get seriously sick every fall or winter, I believe it's understanding these rich tricks of bone broths and beneficial herb combinations that has improved my constitution over recent years. Additionally, the improvements to my gut and energy are noticeable within the first few days of regular use, as I note less bloating pretty quickly and improved sleep (even with less hours of sleep). 

Here is a link to my favorite book on broths and stocks from The Nourished Kitchen, pictured below. 

(Chicken broth is more favorable to me than beef, pork, or fish for my morning broth, though you can definitely substitute bone preference for the recipe above.)

It is especially important to source your bones and ingredients from organic producers. Animals can be exposed to toxins and heavy metals that collect in their muscle tissue and especially their bones. I like to source mine either directly from a farmer or from my co-op down the street. 

Let me know what recipes you follow for your bone broth!