Medicinal Treats: Herb Infused Bone Broth
What's better than a warm cup of nourishing bone broth, especially in this second winter we're currently going through? Add in supportive herbs and you've got a nutrient dense, gut healing, protein rich beverage that your body will thank you for.
Bone broth is a superfood that's been used for centuries and it's a staple in our kitchen at home. We make a big batch and freeze it to use in soups, stews, cook beans, grains, and to just sip on with extra herb infusions.
It can feel a little daunting at first, if you've never made it before, but trust me when I tell you, it's so easy to make, you'll be coming back to it over and over again.
First things first, what's the difference between bone broth and regular broth or stock?
Regular broth and stocks are made fairly quickly, by simmering bones and meat for 1-3 hours. Bone broth is made using collagen rich bones like feet, neck, marrow bones, knuckles and joints that are simmered low and slow for 12-48 hours. While it takes much longer, it's pretty hands off once you get it going, especially if you use a slow cooker or an instant pot. The long, slow simmer draws out the nutrients and amino acids which is why this broth is so healing and high in protein. The collagen and gelatin are supportive for our body's cartilage and joints, making it a great supplement for arthritic joint pain and giving our bones extra cushion.
Infusing your bone broth with herbs.
You already know we love to add medicinal herbs to everything we make and bone broth is no exception. While it's great to add culinary herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, etc., it's also great to add others in like calendula, rue, yarrow, ashwaganda, shiitake, chamomile, etc., the list is truly endless. Bone broth is a great way to get creative and try different herbs for different needs. Tune in to your body and add things in based on what you're feeling. For example, calendula supports the lymphatic system and encourages moving stagnation. Shiitake is adaptogenic and supports your immune system based on what you need in the moment, for example, giving you an extra boost if you're feeling under the weather. Rue has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, and menstrual pain, it's also great for blood circulation. Either way, having the base recipe down for a healing bone broth is all you need to get started, here we go:
-1-2 lbs collagen rich bones (chicken feet, necks, carcasses, marrow bones, knuckles, etc.)
-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (this draws out the nutrients in the bones)
-water to fill pot
-sea salt to taste
-classic herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, etc.)
-medicinal herbs & mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, calendula, chamomile, rue, ashwaganda, etc.)
This first step is optional but highly recommended if you're using beef bones.
-Pre-heat oven to 375F, line bones on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes until slightly browned.
Another optional step, but recommended if you have the time because it draws the collagen and gelatin out extra good.
-Place bones in the pot or inner pot of your slow cooker or instant pot, add apple cider vinegar and water to cover the bones.
-Cover the pot and place in the fridge. Let soak for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Now for the standard steps.
-If you did the above steps, add your herbs to the pot and add additional water, if needed. If you didn't have time to roast or soak, just add all the ingredients to the pot. Add water up to the max fill line of your slow cooker or instant pot, or if using a large stock pot, leave a couple inches of space from the top.
-If you're using a regular pot, bring the broth to a slow simmer, cover and keep heat on low.
-Cook for 12-48 hours, checking every few hours on the water level and heat. You may need to adjust the heat or add more water.
-If you're using a slow cooker or instant pot, set it to low for 12-48 hours and just let it cook.
-The longer you can cook it, the better.
-Once it's done, strain the brother using a fine mesh sieve, add salt to taste and store it in the fridge or freezer. We like to put it in jars and keep some handy in the fridge and put some away in the freezer for longer storage.
-Making a larger batch comes in handy so you can have it for awhile.
You can sip on it plain, add in extra spices like turmeric and black pepper, or use it to make soups, stews, beans or grains. It's a great base for so many recipes and such a great way to add extra nutrients and protein to your daily meals.
We hope you enjoy this healing herbal bone broth as much as we do familia, buen provecho!