Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bone Broth

Bone broth is something which features quite regularly in our meals here in the Keast household.  It is common to find half the freezer filled with tubs of this good stuff.  In fact prior to my surgery in May I made up lots to aid my recovery. 

What is so good about Bone Broth I hear you ask.  Here are just some of the amazing things about this amazing diet staple.

Firstly you will have made it yourself so you will know exactly what is in it! More on that later..

Bone broth is fantastic for aiding with healing.  There really is some truth in the saying "Chicken soup is good for the soul" and also why when we are unwell our bodies often crave soup.  It will help it fight infection and also help to fight inflammation (which was music to me with all my autoimmune issues).  It is so useful for all this healing because it contains arginine which is an amino acid, used in cell division, wound healing, removing ammonia from the body and boosting immune function.  Another amino acid found in bone broth is glycin, this is particularly useful as it has a calming effect on the body which is beneficial for sleep. 

Bone broth also contains many valuable minerals, these include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, glucosamine and chondroitin and also a few trace minerals.  In the broth all of these minerals are in a form that is easily absorbed by the body and therefore easily used by the body.  The absorption of these minerals will aid in having strong bones, reduce inflammation and pain in joints, healthy.

Gelatin is also found in bone broth, when ingested gelatin helps to control digestive juices as it attracts and holds juices.  This is useful in appropriate digestion.  Gelatin is also very useful in hair and nails, many who take gelatin will have extremely health hair and nails. 

This is definitely something I recommend you add into your diet.  Often I am ask if increasing the amount of stock e.g from store bough stock or stock cubes is ok.  The answer is no, it is not the same as making your own broth.  I have taken a couple of photographs of the ingredients list in store bought stock and we can compare it to what is needed to make your own. 

Below are some photographs that I took of mainstream stocks from in my local supermarkets.  Click the pictures to see the image a little larger.

The 2nd one in particular has me scratching my head.  Ingredients are listed in order of most prevalent in the product.  Salt is number one!!! I am at a loss for words when I see that sugar has been added to these stocks, caramel food colouring, rice flour, maize and other things I can not even pronounce.  You do not need to use these products and I will show you how to make your own and even better it freezes well whilst helping to heal your body and help every single cell function to the best of it's ability.

Firstly to make bone broth you need

Approximately 1kg mix of meat bones and marrow bones.  Do not skimp on the marrow bones.  Most butchers will have these.  I make sure mine are from grass fed organic animals.
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, rough chopped
1 Leak, washed and chopped
Mixed herbs
2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar

I make my bone broth in the slow cooker but I have previously done it on the stove top.  I'm just more comfortable with leaving something unattended in the slow cooker.

I add a tablespoon of ghee or oil of your choice to the slow cooker and have the browning function on.  I saut√© the onion, carrot, celery and leak for a couple of minutes.  In this picture I have also add some parsnip.

Then I add the bones and a good pinch of mixed herbs.  Followed by 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar - do not skip this part, the apple cider vinegar helps to extract the minerals from the bones without altering the taste of your broth. 

I then add enough water to cover all the ingredients, place the lid and set the slow cooker to LOW and leave it for minimum 12 hours, often I will simmer it for 24 hours.  If you are doing it on the stove place a lid on your pot and let it lightly simmer on low for the same length of time.

Once the 12-24 hours are up I then strain my broth.  All of the flavouring will be gone from your veg into your broth so you don't need to keep it.  I just sieve the broth and then place it in a tub in the fridge overnight.  In the morning you will find that the fat has gone to the top and can be lifted off and your broth should have set.  If it hasn't do not panic, it just means that there wasn't enough gelatin in your bones but the broth is still good and still packed full of all those minerals.  I then portion my broth into 1 cup amounts and freeze.  In the fridge it will keep for a few days, in the freezer it will be a few months. 

Ideas for using your broth include

- Drinking it straight.  I had to work up to this as at first I found the flavour too strong, now I love it.
- Use it as the base for a soup
- I use mine to cook bolognaise, I add the broth straight from the freezer to my pot of mince and veggies and then add some tomatoes. 
- I also use it to slow cook some other meats in.
- As the base of a stew.

Enjoy making your bone broth.  Let me know how you go. 


  1. Good to know you're doing as well as can be Kat and GOOD LUCK going back to work, as I am sure you will make a terrific impact and be able to carry on doing something your heart was born to be fantastic at.

    Take care and best wishes

    :-) :-).


    1. Thanks Matt. First week back has been good. Got days off now to rest.

  2. Well that's something I have never made before! Looks good .

    1. Hey Chris. Yup it is so good and cheap to make! Fantastic in my eyes. Hope you are well.

  3. On a lchf diet why do you lift the fat off?
    At this point in time I will try anything to be healed and gut healthy. So over the dramas.

    1. Hi Fiona. I read somewhere (can't remember where exactly at this point but the likes of Sarah Wilson also recommend it to be removed) that the fat is damaged in the long cooking process and isn't good for you. I wasn't prepared to risk upsetting my system any further, so remove it and then just add good fats when I use it in cooking other dishes. I hope it works for you and your health settles down soon x