If someone told you that there was a beauty elixir that could help erase wrinkles, smooth out cellulite, and make you look younger overall, I bet you would dash to the nearest store to buy it. Well…. this elixir does exist and it is just a few steps away in your own kitchen.
It is bone broth or stock!
Bone broth is basically the liquid or stock obtained from boiling meat, bones and vegetables, and it has been a food staple of human kind for millenia, as well as a key ingredient in most if not all traditional cuisines. Unfortunately, nowadays the art of stock making has been relegated only to chefs while most people are content to just grab a package, can, or cube from the supermarket and call it a day, sadly unaware of the many nutrients they are missing (and the additional toxins they may be inadvertently ingesting).
Bone broth is chock full of essential nutrients and minerals, in fact everything that is found in bone and joints, including collagens and glucosamine. And since collagen is the building block of bones, joints, skin, hair, and all tissues inside and out, drinking broth can help rebuild collagen.
Collagen is the substance that makes skin firm, soft and supple, and its breakdown is what causes wrinkles to appear. Similarly, connective tissue deficiencies is what makes fat deposits show up as cellulite. Haven’t you noticed how many beauty creams with collagen claim to reduce wrinkles? The truth is that it is almost impossible to absorb collagen dermally–so this is just a marketing ploy–but by incorporating bone broths into your diet you will go a long way to help smooth out your skin.
Yet the benefits of broth are more than just skin deep. Stock is above all a superfood. An excellent source of amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and a wide variety of easily assimilated minerals (including calcium and magnesium) it supports the immune and digestive systems helping heal food allergies and digestive disorders, while keeping viruses at bay.
I am sure at this point you are eager to get started!
- Put some bones, a splash of vinegar, some salt and pepper, and enough water to cover into a pot. Add some vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, garlic, anything rotting in your fridge)–this is optional, although it does increase the nutrient content and flavor. You can get usually get bones from your farmer’s market or by buying whole chicken instead of parts (a lot cheaper and you can get higher-quality, pastured chicken). The bones can be either raw or cooked, although any non-marrow beef bones need to be roasted first for better flavor.
- Slowly bring to a boil and then let simmer for 4-24 hours (at least 2 hours for fish, 4 for chicken and 6 for beef, but the longer they simmer, the richer in nutrients your stock will be). Also if you see foam forming, take it out periodically with a spoon as this creates off-flavors–I personally find that broth made from pastured chicken bones does not release any, but you will get some with beef broth.
- Let cool and put in the fridge overnight.
- Remove any hardened fat from the top and strain into containers. The stock will last about a week in the fridge, and of course much longer in the freezer.
- If you keep the bones, you can strain most of the stock and start another batch by simply adding more water and simmering again–you can repeat till the bones become brittle.
And that is all. Easy, right? You will now have stock that you can use as a base for soups or as a nutritious replacement for water when cooking rice or milk when making mashed potatoes. Some people also drink it plain every day but this is not my cup of tea. But no matter how you choose to use it, you only have health and beauty to gain.
- Traditional bone broth in modern health and disease – Townsend Letter
- Broth if beautiful – The Weston A. Price Foundation
- Cooking with Bones – Mark’s Daily Apple
- What do all the healthiest diets have in common?
- How to make chicken stock by Gordon Ramsey, Channel 4 UK
(this is the short version. I still recommend you cook it a lot longer!)