|My 2nd batch o' bone broth|
Bone broth is very tasty, filling, and nutritious. It is also the foundation (along with fermented foods like sauerkraut, which I also eat) of the Gut and Psychology (GAPS) diet, which I don't. I do, however, believe that years of taking antidepressants and neuroleptics, living with lots of anxiety, and eating mounds of carbs and other sugars all contributed to poor health (including excess weight)--and a condition called leaky gut. That was one of the reasons I started eating sauerkraut (a known--and cheap--probiotic) and am now slugging down bone broth every day, with the goal of healing my gut. For more info on gut healing and leaky gut, see this thorough intro to the topic from paleomom.com.
Why bone broth? It's loaded with gelatin and minerals that are good for you. (Here's more info and a couple of recipes from DIYHealth blog. The one downside to bone broth is that it may contain high levels of lead, so--if possible--get your bones from healthy, preferably grass-fed cows. As bones are cheap, the difference in price isn't all that noticeable.
Making bone broth is simple and cheap: get 1 1/2-2 pounds of bones (including knucklebones, if possible. Brown them in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 325 degrees for greater flavor. Take 'em out, throw 'em in a stock pot with garlic, sage, thyme, some seaweed--and filtered water to the within 1 inch of the pot's lip. Then bring it to a boil.
Most people suggest leaving it on a low burner on the stove for 4 hours or so, but I put mine in the oven (after adjusting the shelves and covering the stock pot with aluminum foil--with holes poked in it) on 250 degrees overnight. It had a much smoother taste (IMO) than the batch I made on the stove.
Next, take the bones out. If you can, dig out the marrow before throwing them away. Some folks cool the broth and then skim off the fat, but I leave it in. I'm on a moderately high fat diet, so I'm fine with it. Also, if there are chunks of fat bobbing around (and you want to keep the fat), take them out and put them in the blender with maybe a cup of broth. Blend until the fat is pulverized and dispersed, and pour it back in the pot.
I keep most of the broth in the freezer, and it keeps wonderfully. One curious side effect I've noticed is that the lines on my face have lessened since I've been consuming it. I didn't expect that at all. It might be because bone broth has a lot of collagen in it, replacing some of the collagen lost with ageing. Who knew?