We've found ourselves in a time where our health has become a priority and constant topic of discussion. Right now, we all know about the many ways that we can try to protect ourselves from outside factors, but what about building our health from within? For the past few years, bone broth has started to surface in stores, markets and magazines. It has been noted as an amazing superfood that really goes back to our roots; in the way that our grandparents used "scrap" food to create wonderful, flavourful soups & stocks. At the time, they probably were not aware of all the health benefits of their home made broth, and were really just being resourceful. But isn't it the perfect time now, for us to also slow down, be thoughtful in the use of our groceries and also build up our bodies with food?
Bone broth is really quite simple to prepare, but its health benefits are complex and plentiful! One of its most important and known qualities is its ability to improve gut health and function. The collagen and gelatin from the bones help to coat the digestive tract but also aid in relieving other ailments like arthritis and inflammation. And how can we forget, the time old cold and flu fix that is homemade soup? There's a reason we continue to use soup as a "medicine" when we are sick. A stock full of protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals does wonders for immunity and fighting infection. And if those benefits weren't enough, bone broth is also amazing for your hair, skin and nails!
However, one important factor to note in making bone broth is that the quality of your broth is really only as good as the bones you put in it (funny how the saying of having "good bones" really applies here). To reap the most benefit from your broth, it's important to look for and use quality bones that aren't from an animal raised with hormones, antibiotics and poor nutrition.
We are so pleased to be partnered with Bouw Farm, who supply our restaurant with grass fed ground beef and now, with their grass fed beef bones - both of which are sold through our online grocery and delivery program. We are proud to support this local, third generation family farm. They uphold many of the values which we aim to align our restaurant with; such as wholistic and sustainable farming practices. These practices mean animals that are better cared for, an environment that is healthier and food that is more nutritious.
So, you're ready to dive in to making your first batch of bone broth. A great way to prepare is by saving scraps of veggies and herbs (or bones and rinsed egg shells) from other meals you have prepared and keep them in a resealable bag in the freezer until you are ready to make your broth. If you follow our recipe you'll need about 3-4 cups of veggie scraps to make your broth, but this recipe is in no way an exact science! If you follow our ingredient list - no need to peel your veggies first! And leave the skins on your garlic and onion. They add colour and will be strained out of the final product.
And what will you do with it after? Many people enjoy drinking bone broth on its own - as a warm, comforting, savoury drink or snack. You can use it as a base for soups and stews, or in place of stock or broth in any recipe - for you foodies out there why not try your broth in an upgraded bowl of ramen or delicious risotto?! Bone broth will stay good in the fridge for 5-7 days or you can freeze it (in an ice cube tray or in a resealable bag) to pull out and thaw whenever you need!
Please find our simple slow cooker recipe for bone broth below and purchase your Bouw Farm's grass fed beef bones for delivery or pick up HERE.
3-4 lbs of beef bones (you can also use chicken bones!)
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
1 onion roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic chopped in half
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
your choice of fresh herbs & spices (parsley, basil, bay leaf, whole peppercorns - feel free to be creative!)
1. Place bones in slow cooker and add all other ingredients. Don't skip the apple cider vinegar! It helps draw the nutrients out of the bones and you won't notice it in the flavour of the broth! Fill the rest of the slow cooker with water until everything is covered.
2. Simmer on low for 24 hrs (ideally, anywhere from 18-72 hours is recommended).
3. Remove large chunks from broth and strain through a sieve into desired containers.
4. Cool the broth before putting in the fridge or freezer - it is normal for the broth to gel (this is a good thing! It's all those healthy nutrients) but remove any excess fat on top before storing.