Crackpot theory: Because of breastfeeding, my nutrients are being drawn out. The good stuff like calcium, magnesium, and other types of nutrients is being given to my daughter via my breastmilk, and while I probably have "enough" there may not be enough for my gut to help me process foods like dairy and wine. The conclusions of this, at least in my own mind, was that if I drank bone broth I could help replace these "stolen" nutrients and maybe resume my normal digestive functioning.
So, I gave it a try. For a week I drank chicken bone broth, and I loved it. My stomach felt great. I wasn't completely cured, but I felt like I was on my way. Next on the list? Beef bone broth. I got some great organic, grass fed bones from a local place, and I made this broth.
My husband and I have both been enjoying the broth, and I daresay, I am feeling so good, whether it's the broth or my own placebo-laced mind, I don't care! Now I need a bigger slow cooker so I can make EVEN MORE BONE BROTH!
Really, though, in all seriousness, the benefits of drinking bone broth are pretty amazing. You can read more about that HERE and HERE. Best of all, if you've got a slower cooker, you're just a day or two shy of a good bone broth. Now, for beef bones you have to slow simmer a little longer (48 hours), but for chicken it's just 12-24 hours. I'm giving you the recipe for beef bones, but you can apply this across the board, depending on what you fancy.
The nice thing about using the beef bones was that I got a huge amount of high quality lard that I can use for cooking, and some of the top bones were still firm enough that I could give them to my dogs. So everyone won! **Do be sure to check your bones thoroughly if you are going to give them to your dogs, as many do soften considerably and that would be clearly unsafe for your K9 friends.**
I do suggest you vary your bone broths, and also, when you're making it, be sure that your bones are high quality. Consider the life the animal lived, as well as what they were fed and whether it's organic, or at the least all natural and hormone free.
Bossy Italian Beef Bone Broth
<<Say THAT three times fast>>
Time: 48 hours | Makes 2 quarts | Difficulty: Easy-ish
You will need:
Approximately 5-6 pounds beef bones
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg's)
Optional (to be added in the last 6-12 hours)
Onion (with the skin on)
Add your bones and apple cider vinegar to the crockpot. Add enough water to cover the bones. Simmer (I mostly leave it on high) for up to 48 hours.
While it's cooking, you will notice a lot of the fat going to the top. I skimmed my fat and got quite a lot off. It's great for cooking with, so save it if you have use for it. At a certain point, I gave up on trying to skim and let it cool in the fridge and scraped off the rest. Be sure you top it off with water as the fat comes off and makes more room.
|This is what the fat looks like separated from a bit of broth|
As you are nearing the end of the cooking process, you can add the optional vegetables and spices. I wait to salt mine until it's all done. At the end, strain the solids out and let the broth cool.
To consume: Heat and serve in a mug. If that doesn't turn you on, you can add it sauces, soups, or anything you would find a use for regular beef broth.