An Update 2 Months On: Whilst having bone broth helped my joints, I fear it has recently caused my acne to flare up. This could possibly be due to the fat which rests at the top of the broth, where the collagen can be found. For the time being I am not including broth in my diet, after one week the flare ups have calmed somewhat. This may be due to cutting out the broth, or could be due to something totally different. Bone Broth? On here...Peta are you okay? I usually stick to non animal protein recipes and foods on the blog, because my diet is about 90% plant based. However, recently I've discovered the endless benefits of drinking homemade bone broth and I knew I had to share my findings with you.
Let's quickly recap why I eat the way that I do - I follow what most would presume to be a very strict diet - no refined sugar, no dairy and a very small amount of organic, well looked after animal protein. Refined sugar and dairy both cause havoc within my body- vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain and an overall feeling of poorliness.
Animal protein causes benign tumours to grow in my body, which can also cause chaos too! Finding the balance is important though, after following a 100% vegan diet for two years I decided a little animal protein was needed - I had several bouts of anaemia and my face was covered in painful cyst acne from the lack of essential amino acids, iron and zinc, something was obviously not quite right.
Once you find a diet that works for you, although it looks complicated for those on the outside, it becomes routine and easy when you feel well and comfortable within yourself. Every one is different, and therefore I believe everyone should experiment to find the diet that works best for their body. Being open to change is always important, as we grow and change so do our bodies and our nutritional needs. Learning to listen to my body and what it needs is one of the very best things I have ever done.
So why bone broth?
I have very painful joints at times, due to a chronic illness called Ehlers Danlos Sydrome flare ups happen... I was about to write a few times a year but it depends. The past year has been rather jam packed with flare ups - a recent one lasting for four months, but other years I have experienced a handful in a year lasting around a week long.
The flare ups can be caused by the weather, stress, illness, a lowered immune system or exhaustion. It causes my ligaments to shrink and my joints to be incredibly painful, it's as though someone is stabbing a knife in various points all at once. Along with the joint pain, my stomach struggles, migraines make an appearance and my energy is all consumed by pain. It's not fun at all, but it is something I have had all of my life - yet I'm only really just learning to properly manage it now. On the last flare up I visited my doctor for a various tests, one thing that really worried me was the noise my joints were making. It wasn't just the usual cracking which I've always had, they sounded like creaky floorboards every time I moved. My doctor wasn't too happy about it and referred me for more tests. The results? You have EDS...this is part of it. These are always the results from my doctors so I thought I'd do a little research of my own, this is where the bone broth comes in.
I have a lack of collagen in my joints. Collagen is a vital ingredient of cartilage. Bone broth is the only natural direct source of collagen. I don't seem to take well to supplements, my body tends to ignore them however it has definitely not been ignoring bone broth.
I've been drinking a cup of bone broth every day for the past six weeks. The floor board creekiness has gone and I have noticed the cracking of my joints isn't quite as loud or as often. My biggest worry of experimenting with bone broth was the possibility of tumours growing again, this has not happened. So it's a great source of protein for me, with all nine essential amino acids without the side effect I have from other sources of animal protein.
What does it taste like and how much do you drink?
To me it tastes like a mix between gravy and soup. It smells very strong but doesn't taste quite as strong as it smells. I find it rather warming and have really gotten used to the taste. I usually drink a cup a day.
What other benefits does bone broth have?
The large quantities of collagen also improves the skin's appearance and boosts super healthy shiny hair. I can definitely vouch for the hair as I have a crazy amount of baby hairs growing through strong. My skin has improved remarkably since drinking bone broth every day - I think this is down to both the broth and having started acupuncture around the same time.
Bone broth has been noted to improve mood, higher energy levels, the immune system and boasts a good night's sleep among it's results. It helps the digestive system and is very friendly to the tummy as it's easy to digest. Bone broth contains potassium and glycine which aid liver detoxification. It's been shown to rid cellulite and truly make a difference to those who have arthritis.
There is a reason Chicken Soup is and always has been prescribed when feeling under the weather - it's absolutely packed full of goodness, with a large amount of minerals and vitamins in every cup full.
How do I make my homemade Bone Broth?
It's taken me a little while to find the right butchers. I tried the supermarket first, the broth wasn't great and I was upset to discover how the animals were looked after beforehand. I finally found a butchers in town that produces organic, hand reared, free range meat and this was exactly what I was looking for. They sell the bones cheaply as they're really just the leftovers from what their every day clients are looking to purchase. I try to purchase beef bones when possible as they have the highest amount of collagen however any bones will do.
I use a slowcooker to make my broth, if you don't have one you can use a big pot although I think a slow cooker is safer. It takes 18-36 hours to cook the broth. I got the Morphy Richards 48715A Oval Slow Cooker, 6.5L - Silver rather cheaply from amazon, it's the larger of the two which I find handy as it makes a whole week's worth of broth. (This is an affiliate link to amazon. If you click and were to buy this product I would receive a commission from the peeps at amazon.)
Apple Cider Vinegar is a must when making homemade bone broth, the vinegar draws out the collagen, minerals and vitamins during the cooking process. Be sure to use unfiltered apple cider vinegar as that too is full of goodness. Save any vegetable peelings you have, some people even add egg shells which have high levels of calcium.
I tend to keep a bag of peelings, eggs shells and cuttings in the freezer as I cook throughout the week ready for broth making on a Monday morning. Fraser calls me his little witch cooking up potions in the kitchen...I'm not sure how to feel about that!
Bone Broth Ingredients:
- 8 bone pieces
- vegetable cuttings from the week and eggs shells if you have them
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3-5 carrots
- a good glug of apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to season
- water to cover
Pop all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, don't peel the onion just chop into quarters and throw into the pot along with the rest of the ingredients. Cover with water and cook on low for 18-36 hours. Strain and poor into containers - it will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Heat before drinking!!
From what I've read online, the best broth is one which has a very thick layer of fat on the top once cooled. You want to drink the fat as well as the rest of the broth as that is where the collagen is.
If you have any questions, I will try my very best to answer them! You can leave a comment below or tweet me @pe_taonline or message me on instagram @pe_taonline. If you're feeling really fancy you can e-mail me email@example.com
you can pin the recipe here: