There’s a popular folklore about the man who made stone soup. While the man in that story was a hungry but quick-witted fibber, replace the stone with bone, and you actually have an amazingly nutrient-rich liquid which would please even Hippocrates – in that it’s food that’s also medicine. But seriously, what’s so great about boiling some bones in water, and then drinking it?
The benefits of bone broth
- A healthier gut: According to research and many bone broth savoring experts, a cup of bone broth can actually help seal up the holes in your gut, i.e., the intestines. The gelatin in bone broth that comes from the cooked-up joints protects the digestive lining like none other and works miracles in curing chronic diarrhea, food intolerance, IBS and constipation.
- Happier joints: Bone broth is rich in glucosamine (taken by many as a supplement to ease joint pains) and so makes those creaky joints suppler. It is also rich in chondroitin sulfate which has shown promise in helping to prevent osteoarthritis.
- Sleep well, and be on a high: Bone broth is rich in glycine which has shown promising results in helping people sleep better, feel better and even improve a pockmarked memory.
- A stronger immune system: When you boil and soften the bones, all the minerals leach into the broth. The marrow in animal bones can strengthen the immune system (remember grandma’s chicken soup that staved off the cold?).
- A fountain of youth: Okay, a bit of an exaggeration there but bone broth is rich in collagen (found in all anti-wrinkle and plumping products). So instead of wasting money on products you apply on the outside, why not drink in collagen instead?
- Bones root for bones: Remember the minerals leaching into the broth? Well, they also make your bones that much stronger – think magnesium, phosphorus and, of course, calcium!
- It’s energizing: While the jury is still out on the whys and the wherefores, most bone broth aficionados swear by its boosting powers, and we agree…
- It saves moolah: Frankly, wasting bony pieces, as well as those slightly mushy veggies in the fridge, seems a colossal waste. Why don’t you turn them into a healthy dinner broth instead?
A simple bone broth
All cultures have their own variety of bone broths. Like the Indian paya (goat trotter soup) or the Hungarian bone soup… You can get into those of course, or if you are just starting your journey into the wonderfully nutritious world of bone broth – here’s a simple, no frills recipe that helps you use any and all ingredients you have at hand…
1kg of soup bones (neck, knuckles, feet, ribs, oxtails)
100-200gm of any old (but not moldy!) veggies in your fridge
Salt and pepper to taste
Any herbs, seasonings and spices you prefer (or the ones you have in your next-to-bare larder)
- To make the soup, wash the bones well and then put them in the largest crockpot you have.
- Drop in the chopped veggies and add in enough water to fill up the crockpot to nearly full.
- Add in the salt and season as you like with fresh or dried herbs and spices. A good combination would be ginger, garlic, lemon zest, tarragon and a couple of bay leaves, with some peppercorns and turmeric. Another combination could be oregano, garlic, curry leaves and asafetida. Play around as per your liking.
- Let the broth simmer for 1-3 hours, depending on whether you are using poultry bones (less time) or meat bones (more time). Once the bones have softened, the broth is done.
- Strain and sip the warmth and nutrition.
We hope you like this rather adaptable recipe. Do write in to us in the comments section below with any feedback or queries. Happy sipping…