Hi Friends! Thanks for stopping by. I have been receiving tons of requests from customers wanting to know how we stay healthy during this season. If you haven't read my other blog post, "Our Anti-Viral Regimen- 10 easy tips" be sure to check it out! You guys have asked what vitamins/supplements I take, what kinds of food we eat, how to help with reflux/digestion- you can probably name it and I have had a customer ask me. I LOVE to share with each and every one of you that reaches out, so starting up a blog was the next logical step to give you all a peek into what we consume and why. Obviously the first line of defense that we take is our elderberry & honey tonic- one tbsp a day for adults and one tsp a day for kiddos over one. If we know we will be traveling (especially in an airplane) we up it to three times a day the week before, during and after traveling.
Nourishing Herbal Bone Broth- the WHY
Every weekend I whip up a batch of homemade bone broth for us to drink on all week. I am especially diligent about making it during cold/flu season. Why would I take the time to do this you ask? So. Many. Reasons.
#1 - DIGESTIVE AID/ GUT HEALING -
Bone broth is one of the best digestive aids you can consume prior to eating your food. You may or may not be familiar with the benefits of betaine HCL for low stomach acid. Betanine HCL helps to boost the bodies supply of hydrochloric acid, which most of us are low in (if you have heartburn/acid reflux I can almost guarantee you have too LITTLE stomach acid..not too MUCH). I take betanine HCL a few times a week with my food to boost production, specifically this one because it has no fillers. I choose not to take it with every meal, as I do not want my body to become dependent on the supplement and stop producing hydrochloric acid on it's own. Apparently, our bodies can become lazy like that. I tend to rotate between herbal digestive bitter tinctures (fennel, ginger root, dandelion root, burdock root, and many more wonderful herbs in tincture form), apple cider vinegar, betanine HCL and bone broth to boost my bodies ability to produce sufficient hydrochloric acid. A great source for herbal bitter tinctures is Mountain Rose Herbs, I 100% trust their quality. You can check out their digestive herbal bitter tinctures here that are made and ready to go. Or if you are feeling adventurous here is a great DIY recipe for digestive bitters. Why do we care about stimulating digestion and hydrochloric acid levels? Check out this article here that explains why.
Back to bone broth. It is also a great addition to your diet if you are trying to heal your leaky gut. I plan to do a separate blog post on leaky gut since so many of you have asked about it so make sure you are subscribed to our newsletters that give notifications on new posts! I personally LOVE the taste of bone broth so we aim to drink about 1/2-1 cup before meals and it is hands down my favorite way to get my digestive juices flowing. Healthy Gut = Healthy Life
#2 - IMMUNE BOOSTING -
You know when you would get sick as a kid and your mom or grandmother would feed you chicken noodle soup? They were definitely onto something (check out this interesting article), except bone broth is like chicken noodle soup on immune boosting steroids. There are so many amino acids in bone broth - like glutamine, cysteine and arginine- just to name a few. Amino acids help to boost immune function. When we are sick our bodies are inflamed, the L-glutamine helps to ease that inflammation in our guts.
Hydration, hydration and more hydration. Bone broth is chalked full of electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium and since 70-80% of your immune system is located in our guts, it's kind of important.
I've never met anyone that doesn't want to have beautiful skin and I am no exception. As much as I loathe cellulite, even my sweet, perfectly healthy 3.5 year old has a tiny bit of cellulite so I have come to embrace mine. Isn't it awesome when your kiddo teaches you to have grace for yourself? If bone broth has even the slightest 1% chance of helping cellulite- then I am on board. Here is an interesting article explaining why it can help our precious dimply spots. Essentially it helps to make our skin more supple as cellulite comes from a lack of connective tissue- even super skinny people can have cellulite if they don't have a proper diet. Bone broth is extremely rich in collagen which is what we need to build up our connective tissues. This is exactly why I add chicken feet to my recipe below as they are loaded with collagen. There is always a method to my quirky madness. Collagen can also help to reduce wrinkles, stretch marks and reduce puffiness. Bone broth shots anyone?
HERBAL BONE BROTH RECIPE
Side note- I don't make anything the "simple" way (as shown in my 12 herbs and roots elderberry & honey tonic). As an herbalist I am always looking for ways I can sneak herbs into our everyday foods, and bone broth is one of my favorite ways to do just that. There are plenty of basic recipes you can find online that will work well too. I add astragalus, parsley, turmeric, fennel and nettle to my recipe which are obviously optional for you. But they are HIGHLY nourishing and I always sneak them in when I can. I grow fennel so I used fresh and not dried, dried can be a little more potent in taste so I would probably use 1 tbsp if all I had was dried fennel. I purchased fresh turmeric and ginger from a local farmer and the rest of the dried herbs from mountain rose herbs- about a handful of each for this recipe.
Heavy-Bottomed Stock pot or crock pot (my choice because I'm lazy)
One gallon of filtered water- honestly I just fill my crockpot up so I am not 100% sure on the amount of water I use.
Organic/Free Range/or local chicken bones from cooked chicken carcass (for extra collagen add feet, neck and even the head). I get a whole chicken from a local farmer and cook prior, remove the meat which we eat on all week and then use the bones/neck/feet for the bone broth.
1 cup organic carrots and/or parsnips
4 organic celery stalks
1 large organic onion
8 organic peeled and diced garlic cloves
Basic herbs/spices- 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp thyme, 1/2-1 tbsp whole peppercorns, 1-2 tbsp celtic or himalayan sea salt
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar- 2 tbsp at a min, but I have been known to add up to 1/2 cup. Just test and see what you like. This ingredient is crucial as it helps to release the minerals, amino acids and collagen in the bones.
Optional but awesome herbs/roots: fresh fennel, raw ginger, raw turmeric, nettle, parsley, astragalus root (about a handful of each, with the exception of ginger- I only use about 1 tbsp of peeled and diced raw ginger since it has a strong flavor)
Also Optional: chicken feet (2-4)
Let bones and veggies sit in the cool water with the apple cider for at least 30 minutes.
Add the basic herbs and spices (We will add the optional ones later)
Cover and bring to a simmer. This requires the high setting on my crock pot for about an hour. Skim off any scum that might rise to the top and discard.
Simmer on low for a min of 6-8 hours adding water if necessary. I personally keep mine on low for 24 hours, letting those bones become super soft and drained of all their goodness.
If you decide to add in the optional herbs and roots, which I highly encourage you to do- even if it's just one of them! Add them in the last two hours of cooking. You don't want to overcook the herbs, and two hours on a low simmer is sufficient to absorb their nutrients and minerals.
Strain out the solids and store the broth in glass jars.
Broth will keep about 1-1.5 weeks in the refrigerator, but can also be frozen into ice cubes or any other container you choose. I still have a ton of breast milk bags so I freeze them in those because I'm cheap and efficient like that.
You can scrape off the fat and store In a jar for later use in cooking.
Enjoy drinking this delicious, immune boosting, cellulite popping, gut healing drink everyday! If you are still reading this long post, keep scrolling and I will show you how we made this bone broth into dinner tonight......
Finished product, pre-straining. Yep..that's a chicken foot. (if adding chicken feet see below additional instructions)
Chicken Feet Instructions:
We choose to take the raw chicken feet and boil them for five minutes, cut off the toes and peel them before adding to the broth. I may or may not have not known to do this the first time and I just threw them into the broth as is. We may have consumed dirt and chicken poop in that first batch of broth, but we survived. I don't think my grandmother peeled and boiled them first so you decide what is best for your broth!
How we turned this broth into dinner:
We just made this up on the fly, so no "measurements" to share. We were staaaaarving and we needed something quick style! The possibilities are truly endless with broth! I freeze leftover broth in my breast milk bags that work great for freezing and don't leak.
We added the following in a pot and simmered for about 20 mins:
2 cups of broth
1/2 cup water
Two big handfuls of raw spinach
Tons of raw chives
Noodles of choice
10 or so cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
About 10 banana pepper rings
A few splashes of coconut aminos
Shake of chili powder
The beautiful result!
Our little ones preferred way to eat bone broth is with diced avocado and carrots- she ate a TON for dinner! Mommy win!