Bone Broth For Beginners

Bone Broth For Beginners

The doctor told my friend Jack, not to eat gluten, corn or dairy and to have 2 cups of bone broth a day. The diagnosis was Leaky Gut Syndrome. This happens when the processed food everyone eats creates little holes in your intestines. Food particles, not fully digested, seep out into your body, going places they were not meant to go, creating allergic reactions. Apparently, the syndrome is pretty common today and may account for premature aging and other maladies.

Bone broth is said to repair the holes. The collagen and amino acids coat the lining of your intestine. The doctor also told Jack to avoid gluten, corn and dairy, which are among the foods with the most allergens and hardest to digest. Okay, I am not a doctor, but I have a black belt in google-fu and I like to experiment in cooking. So here is what I figured out:

The Nutrients Contained In Bone Broth

1. Glycosaminoglycans, glucosamine, hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate.
2. Essential minerals and electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
3. Collagen which contains 19 amino acids, including glutamine, glycine, and arginine.


The Health Benefits Of Drinking Bone Broth

1. Protects joints
2. Benefits the gut
3. Maintains healthy skin
4. Supports immune system function
5. Boosts detoxification
6. Aids the metabolism, the chemical processes inside a living organism
7. Aids the storage of energy
8. Tastes good
9. Aids sexual stamina


How To Make Bone Broth

First, get lots of high quality bones. You can ask at the butcher counter. Try to get organic, grass-fed bones. Any kind of bones work. You can mix bones. Even use fish bones. If you buy large bones, ask the butcher to cut them in smaller pieces, preferably longways. That way the marrow in the center will come out easier. If you buy chicken bones, try to get stew chicken bones. They are older and bigger chickens and their bone marrow is better developed. They make a tastier broth. I haven't tried fish bones, but some people are using fish heads, tails, and skeletory bones. Just be careful you don't leave any of the little bones in your broth for people to swallow.

Second, choose your mode of cooking. I would limit my choices to crock pot or a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is quicker, but in my limited experience it didn't come out as well as the crock pot. In the pressure cooker, people on the internet say cook for 90 minutes after it whistles. I did and it was weak. I think this is not long enough, I would double it to 180 minutes.

With the crock pot, I put it on low and simmered for 48 hours. It filled the house with a wonderful smell. The smell of a kitchen that is used. A house where real people live and cook, not a showcase. The broth came out great the first time. Recipes always seem to come out well in a crock pot.

Third, add ingredients. Bones, water, apple cider vinegar, and salt is the minimum recipe. The apple cider vinegar is said to make the water slightly acidic and it helps dissolve the bone marrow. Everyone says to use apple cider vinegar but I am enough of a radical to use just white vinegar, because I don't think it matters what is the source of the vinegar.

Next you can add whatever vegetables and spices you want. Onions, garlic, celery, pepper, mushrooms, etc. It doesn't matter. Put whatever you like. I didn't put much in my crock pot because I was aware that every one of the vegetables displaced a little water and the more vegetables I used, the less broth I would have. Since it takes so long to make it, I want to make sure I don't run out during the week. Besides this is not about vegetables. Vegetables are best eaten raw when possible.

Fourth, add water. Simmering will cause the water level to go down. Add more water when your water level decreases. Add boiling water, so as not to cause the simmering to slow.

Fifth, after the cooking time is completed, let the broth cool and put it in glass containers. When they cool, put them in the refrigerator. When the glass containers get cold, then the fat will collect on the top. You can skim it off and throw it out, or use it for something else. Your choice. Some say fat is good for you, others say not. But bone broth is not about the fatty part, it is about the watery part. You will notice that the water will gel. This is what you want. The gel is the collagen present and waiting to heal you.

Sixth, you could scrape out the marrow from the cooked bones with a paring knife. I saved some from beef bones. Then I spread it on crackers and toasted it in the toaster oven. They were so tasty. The chef at Bakersfield Restaurant did this for a wine tasting and I am copying his technique. It is too good to throw out. Likewise, the bones can be donated to a worthy cause. Give them to your dog, or a neighbor's dog. Make his day! Maybe the dog won't bark at you anymore.

How To Buy Bone Broth

Okay, you are too busy to make it. It takes too long, you don't like to shop and cook and you don't like washing dishes. So you can buy it, but be forewarned, it is not cheap. You can buy 12 ounces in a glass jar at Whole Foods for $10. You can buy bone broth from your local Bone Broth Bar or Health Foods store. Expect to pay $12-15 for a small glass.

Sometimes you can buy bone broth in a cardboard carton from Trader Joe's, but it is a seasonal item, available before Thanksgiving Day. You can also buy K-cups that make a hot cup whenever you want.

It has occurred to me if a broth company adds more water to their bone broth, and they charge the same price, then it is pure profit to them. In the financial world this is known as a Moral Dilemma, when people are given an incentive to cheat. That is why I recommend making your own or buying powder.

It is easy to buy bone broth powder online. I saw a product for $28 for 8 ounces of powder. It says 15 grams, or 0.529 ounces, which is one serving, and makes 5 ounces of liquid. 8 ounces of powder will make 15.1 servings or 75.6 ounces of broth which comes to $1.85 per serving.

So enjoy a cup of bone broth everyday. Sometimes the old, old remedies are the best. It is amazing how as we progress technologically, we see that the low tech solutions have so much wisdom. Bone Broth is cheap and easy to make. And it is a nice tasting drink for a mid-afternoon break. I am going to have some now.


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Joseph J. Alotta, MBA, CFP™, a member of NAPFA, is a financial advisor in private practice in Oak Brook, Illinois. His main focus is retirement planning and investment management. He tries to drink a cup of bone broth every day, no matter where he is, but he is finding this easier said than done. It is pretty hard finding bone broth when traveling. If you have a broth question or any other question, please contact him at joseph.alotta@gmail.com. He likes to help people and finds health an interesting topic.