Why I LOVE This Stuff!
First of all… I am not a nutritional therapist, specialist, chef or dietician. I have no degrees, no qualifications, and no background in this arena and this is not in any way medical advice, and I do advise that you should ALWAYS consult your GP or specialist before making any dietary changes.
However after living with IBS, and having a close family member live with the misery of Diverticular disease (which is f*cking HORRIBLE by the way!) , we did not find any of the above professionals terribly helpful either.
What we DID find helpful, was recipes and changes that were self researched, and through lots of trial and error, we found bone broth in particular to be damn near magical. Sorry Vegans.
Vegans – please look away now, this post is NOT for you!
Managing Diverticulitis symptoms is generally best achieved by switching to high fiber diet when NOT having a flare up, meaning eating a very clean, very minimally carnivorous diet and in fact vegetarianism or pescetarianism works pretty well.
But during a flare up there are very few things you can do to treat the problem and speed up recovery, and believe me – you’ll try ANYTHING!
I’m not keen on eating a high meat diet anymore, so I hate to admit it but bone broth has worked really well for both recovery, and general maintenance, and I am usually making it once a week during a flare up, or fortnightly-ish once recovered for general maintenance and health plus immunity support. Hoping to reduce that to once a month.
Why Bone Broth Tho?
Bone broth or stock was a way our ancestors made use of every part of an animal. Bones and marrow, skin and feet, tendons and ligaments that you can’t eat directly can be boiled and then simmered over a period of days. This simmering causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds like collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine.
Honestly, I can’t tell you how magical this stuff is and how ultra GOOD it is for your body.
I have included my sources down below for you to read further about the benefits of drinking bone broth but just for the sake of ease and quick reading, I’ll just chuck this little list at you:
- Helps to heal the digestive tract due to it’s high collagen content
- Helps with the growth of probiotics (good gut bacteria) & strengthens the gut lining
- Boosts the immune system & improves disorders like asthma, arthritis and allergies due to the natural source of amino acids.
- Reduces cellulite & maintains healthy skin, reducing wrinkles & puffiness plus other signs of ageing due to the high collagen content
- Reduces inflammation, arthritis & joint pain naturally due to it’s content of chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine
- Aids digestion as it’s highly absorbable
- Provides essential nutrients in an easy absorbable manner
- Collagen, Proline, Glycine & Glutamine found in bone broth have the power to transform your health, and that’s why they are found in expensive supplements, treatments & beauty products!
- Home made broth (unlike store bought powders & cubes) doesn’t contain neurotoxins like MSG
- Treats leaky gut syndrome
- Can help overcome intolerances
- Improves joint health & protects joints by helping to repairing cartilage through the absorption of collagen
- Promotes healthy sleep, boosts daytime energy and supports a healthy mood
- Boosts detoxification by helping the body expel waste from every organ, promoting healthy ageing
- Repairs muscle & connective tissue
- Supports bone mineral density
- Promotes cardiovascular health, circulation & nerve functions
- Aids metabolism – this bit is too sciency for me to explain in one line, you really should read THIS if you have the time
Bone broth benefits literally every part of your body, from your gut to your brain, heart, muscles and ligaments.
Bones & what to do with them first…
The best bone broth uses a mix of different bones. Go for large, nutrient-rich bones, as well as some smaller meaty cuts so your broth has some flavor.
I use a mix of big beef bones, meaty short ribs or oxtails, and knuckle or neck bones. Those knuckle and neck bones have a lot of collagen, which give the broth body and rich flavor. Sounds gross but feet too have high collagen and marrow content.
You can use any bones – beef, lamb, pork, chicken etc…
You could use bones left from a roast (I eat a lot less of that nowadays though), or you could go to a decent local butcher or wholesale for them.
If you ask nicely, any decent butcher slice the bones lengthways for you to expose marrow. To make the very best bone broth at home, you need to get grass-fed bones from your local farmers market or from an online health food store.
Let’s get started…
First thing we’re going to need to do here is ‘blanche’ any raw bones that aren’t left over from a roast, because raw bones will have nasties in them, plus your broth will taste funky without doing this first.
In a large stock pan, cover the bones in cold water and bring to the boil, then leave them at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes.
It’s going to smell great but look GRIM! And that’s ok, that’s what we want, we want all the grim GONE! But it’s going to look murky, frothy, and not too dissimilar from a witch’s potion! (the villainous kind). It’s going to look kinda like this…
Meanwhile, grab a smaller pan and a couple of eggs.
Wash your eggs (yep, really) then boil them as you normally would. Eat the eggs for your breakfast or add them to your salad lunch but KEEP THE WATER BACK, and add it to the slow cooker for your broth!
Eggshell has a ton of nutrients, providing a serious amount of health benefits that we literally throw away with the water!
We’ve always been taught to throw it away, or some nutters do drink it (it’s me, I am nutters) but… it tastes pretty awful like that, so rather than lose out on all of the nutrient rich benefits of eggshell, let’s add it right back into your superbroth!
Eggshell contains 90% calcium, plus zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, iron and other minerals, all of which can help to:
- Eliminate joint pain
- Strengthen bones
- Stimulate bone marrow
- Regulate high blood pressure
We’re going to take the bones out of the mingy potion with some tongs, and place them in an ovenproof dish. Discard the mingy water.
Bake the bones at around 230°c for about 30 minutes. This browns and caramelises the bones for a deep, rich flavour, as well as softens them plus any marrow for a more nutrient rich broth.
When done, transfer the bone plus any delicious brown crispy bits into your medium to large sized slow cooker, using your tongs again.
The leftover clear fat can be poured into a jar and used later for making candles, or cooking roasties if that’s your thing!
Add your eggy water to the slow cooker now too, plus these other key ingredients.
- Eggy water
- 2lbs Bones (blanched then baked, or pre-roasted as above)
- 2 Celery sticks (very roughly chopped into 3 chunks)
- 2 Carrots (same as above)
- 1 Medium sized onions (quartered)
- 1/4 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 Cloves Garlic (squashed but not cut)
- A Bay Leaf
- A couple of sprigs of fresh Thyme
- A couple of sprigs of fresh Parsley
- 1 tsp salt – ideally Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
Tempting as it is, go steady with the salt!
When added sodium levels are kept low, bone broth contains an ideal balance of sodium and potassium to support cellular health and efficiency and prevent electrolyte imbalance.
Top up with boiled water from the kettle to cover the ingredients if required, then…
Leave it in the slow cooker for a full 48 hours
I’ll warn you now: after day 1, the air in your whole house will get thick with the smell. It’ll get absolutely liftin’.
When it’s done, grab a sieve and carefully pour everything through it, keeping the liquid but discarding the mush.
Once cooled, it should reach a gelatinous texture at room temperature. Yummyyyyy. Also, you might find a solid layer of white fat on the top, now’s a good time to skim that and discard it.
How To Enjoy Your Mega Broth…
If you’ve made a batch for medicinal purposes and intense recovery, then you’ll want to drink at least a cup a day and use it within a week.
Let the broth cool on the counter to room temperature before covering & keeping it in the fridge.
Due to it’s intense flavour, you’ll need to dilute it before drinking, or it’ll blow your head off.
Fill your mug 1/3 full with broth jelly, then top up with freshly boiled water for a comforting, healing drink.
For extra Welshness, pour hot broth into a pre-warmed flask and take it to the woods, mountain or beach. It’s heavenly!
You can freeze your broth into convenient cubes for up to 3 months.
Use It As A Base For Soup
Take your frozen broth cubes and add them to your pan of home made soup instead of your usual stock cube.
This works for gravy, hotpot, casserole, stew etc…
Give It To The Dog
Those frozen broth cubes make the ultimate treat for any dog!
You can pour it over their food if it’s fresh, or put some in a bowl for a poorly dog to drink.