I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.
~ Andrew Wyeth
The First Healing Food
In last week’s success story, Robyn mentioned bone broth as one of the diet essentials which helped put her lupus into remission. All 3 of the healing diets on this website also recommend bone broth daily for people with autoimmune disease. So, what it is it, and what makes it so special? Made from slowly simmering a variety of bones, this broth becomes filled with bone marrow, collagen, gelatin, glycine, proline, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. If those words sound familiar, just step into the vitamin section of your local health food store and you’ll see them on the sides of bottles. Bone broth is a food that acts like a supplement, helping to maintain healthy bones, glowing skin, pain-free joints, and supporting the cellular processes that happen throughout our bodies every second of every day. What is more foundational than that? In particular:
“Bone broths provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut. That is why they aid digestion and have been known for centuries as healing folk remedies for the digestive tract.” – Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, author of the GAPS Diet.
In other words, bone broths help to heal a leaky gut and its connected autoimmune condition.
Can you buy high-quality bone broth from a store?
Below, I guide you through making this healing food at home. However, if you’re pressed for time and want to buy it instead, I recommend Bonafide Provisions. Most store-bought broth isn’t traditionally made and therefore lacks the healing benefits. Bonafide Provisions is the exception. Their broth is certified organic, uses only grass-fed and pasture-raised bones, is slow cooked and then frozen for freshness (no preservatives.) They also triple filter the water used in the broth, cook in stainless steel pots, and cool it completely before adding it to their BPA-free packaging. The company was started by a nutritionist and chef, after seeing dramatic changes in their son’s health when they switched to a real food diet which included bone broth every day. They sell four varieties: beef, chicken, turkey, and a frontier blend which uses a combination of beef, turkey, lamb and bison bones. Note: While all of their bone broths are compliant with the elimination phase of the AIP, they also sell some other products like soups, vegetable broths, and keto broths. Some of those are AIP and some aren’t – check ingredients before selecting. Use the code PHOENIX15 for 15% off your first order.
Which bones do you use?
You can use any variety of bones you want, from fish, chicken, beef, lamb, pig, bison, deer, you name it. Ideally you want some with a little meat on them (for added flavor), some with bone marrow (a nutrient-dense superfood found in the larger/longer bones), and some that are gelatinous (oxtail, knuckles and feet), because gelatin is especially helpful in digestive healing.
How do I get my broth to gel?
If your broth doesn’t gel, it’s not a failure. It’s still full of wonderful nutrition. Gelling is the result of two factors: (1) The bones you choose. Feet, knuckles and oxtail are especially gelatinous. (2) How diluted your broth is. At the end of your cooking cycle, you can remove the cover and increase the heat slightly to simmer for the final hour. This evaporates some of the water and concentrates the broth, often giving you the gelled look you’re seeking.
Where do you get the bones?
Save any that you cook (from t-bone steaks, ribs, pork chops, roast chicken, etc.) and you can make a bone broth from the blend. You can also buy bones inexpensively from your local farmer, butcher shop, Asian market, or the meat counter of your grocery store. Sometimes they’re sold as “soup bones,” other times they’re labeled “pet bones.” If you can’t find bones locally, White Oak Pastures is an online provider that sells a wide variety of grass-fed bones, which is ideal. Oxtail is my favorite – it brings a rich flavor to the broth.
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