Bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse and is well-known as an ancient elixir ideal to boost your health and vitality.
It has also been used to treat infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, digestive problems and various other chronic ailments.
Angus McIntosh, of Farmer Angus, a regenerative livestock farmer based in Stellenbosch, makes organic bone broth from his pigs, cows and chickens, both for the commercial market and for himself – he’s been drinking the broth daily for the last four years.
A nutritional powerhouse
The first thing you need to know is that it’s not stock and it’s more than just a regular broth.
Bone broth is a nutritional powerhouse because the cooking process extracts more nutritents.
It’s cooked over a longer time period than normal broths (about two hours) or stocks (about four to six hours). Bone broth, on the other hand, is made from bones, with or without meat. It’s cooked for between eight and 24 hours, depending on the type of bones used.
The healing properties of bone broth
Bone broth is full of collagen, which is known to improve skin tone and elasticity. Cooking collagen turns it to gelatine, which provides the body with amino acids – the building blocks of proteins. It also offers gut-healing benefits.
It can also reduce cellulite, and is great for arthritis and healing for the digestive tract. Depending on the bones used, the marrow is essential for blood health and immunity.
Brewing connective tissue into bone broth provides the body with natural compounds from the cartilage, which may help to fight osteoarthritis, reduce inflammation and support weight loss.
What you’re left with is jam-packed with flavour and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, so it has also been known to help quell cravings when trying to stick to a healthy eating plan.
The best ingredients for making a bone broth
To get the most from eating or drinking bone broth, ensure that it’s made with bones that originate from grass-fed and grass-finished livestock that were farmed using organic principles.
Farmer Angus uses UV-filtered and alkalised rainwater along with grass-fed and finished beef bones, organic vegetables, non-irradiated herbs and spices like turmeric and bay leaves, and Rozendal vinegar. No salt should be added.
Slow cooking is when the magic happens
There are numerous step to make the perfect bone broth:
- Soak the bones in water and vinegar for a few hours at room temperature. The vinegar starts the mineral extraction process before cooking takes place.
- Cook the bones at a temperature of 80-85°C for a long time to extract the nutrients from the bones.
Ways to use broth
- Drink a cup of ‘brothee’ daily, as you would a cup of soup or coffee.
- Use it when making a chicken or beef stew or soup.
- Splash bone broth on braised greens for a bit of moisture – while the liquid will evaporate, the minerals will remain.
- Use when cooking rice or other grains.
If you prefer the trendier ways to consumer broth, try this beef broth with chicken recipe, compliments of Chef PJ Vadas of Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery.
Beef Broth with Chicken Recipe
- 150g cooked chicken preferably leg meat
- 250ml bone broth
- 10g garlic chopped
- 10g chilli chopped
- 10g ginger chopped
- 5g coriander seeds chopped
- 15g diced mushrooms
- 10g spring onions chopped
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- 25ml rozendal vinegar
- Fry the spring onions, garlic, ginger, mushroom and chilli in the olive oil to light brown in colour.
- Add the cooked chicken then bone broth.
- Bring to the boil remove from heat and season with salt.
- Add the vinegar and coriander to serve.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.