Let’s talk about our GUT. Did you know that 80% of our immune system’s health is found in our gut? That means if our gut and digestive systems are out of whack, our whole body suffers. When my clients find out that they are recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance, one of the first things I want them to do is start healing their gut. Preserving proper gut health is one of the most beneficial modalities for battling an autoimmune disease or just striving to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you already love bone broth-awesome. See below for my recipe. I’ve experimented with TONS of different recipes and think this is the best. If you’ve never heard of bone broth or only know a little about it…I know what you’re thinking…bones? Wtf? Gross! And I get it. I felt the same way…so bear with me and hear me out.
If you have an autoimmune condition, you mostly likely have what is called a leaky gut. Leaky gut causes inflammation, and inflammation (although no one is totally sure why or how) causes autoimmune disease. When we eat things that are hard on our digestive systems or foods we are intolerant to (i.e. gluten) it tears up our intestinal lining. I visualize it like little shards of glass in my gut that slowly tears it apart. When our gut becomes damaged, substances are then able to leak out into our bloodstream, hence the name, leaky gut.
This is why drinking bone broth daily is so beneficial! Bone broth contains collagen, which can build and rebuild the tissue in our digestive track. So while foreign substances tear apart our gut, the nutrients in bone broth can help heal our digestive linings. I picture bone broth coating my gut and filling in the damaged areas.
Still not convinced? Bone broth is also full of:
* Calcium: good for your bones and teeth!
* Glycine: can help relive the effects of sleep deprivation
* Collagen: builds digestive tissues, creates healthy looking skin/hair/nails and can help ease joint pain
* Electrolytes: hellllllloooooo hangover helper
I drink my bone broth first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach. I prefer to water it down just a touch and heat it up. I also find bone broth nourishing right before bed.
Making bone broth for the first time is challenging. Know that it might take a couple batches before you really get the hang out it. I find that making it at home is a labor of love, but it ends up being much cheaper (and tastier) than buying it from a store.
First, make sure you get grass-fed beef marrow bones. I’m lucky I can get mine in my neighborhood in Denver for around $10 a lb. Shout out to Western Daughter Butcher shop in Lohi. If you do not have a local butcher, you can get them at Whole Foods. At some locations you can find them frozen by the butcher. I’ve also been to Whole Foods locations where they did not know what I was talking about, but were finally able to cut some bones for me fresh.
Either way, place the bones in a deep dish. It’s ok if they overlap a bit. DO NOT use a cookie sheet. The oily fat will go everywhere in your oven and it is a hot, greasy mess.
Roast the bones on 375 for one hour. Your kitchen will smell…interesting…
While the bones are roasting, squeeze the lemon juice, peel and dice the ginger, and measure out the turmeric and salt.
Place the bones and liquid fat in a crock pot. Add filtered water and other ingredients until the bones are covered.
Turn on low for 24-48 hours. I usually stick to 24 hours. If you do choose to do 48 hours, and depending on your slow cooker, I would switch it to “warm” instead of low. You may also need to add a little more water if it evaporates too much. This is why I choose 24 hours, although I’ve had doctors recommend 48 in order to suck out all the nutrients in the bones.
When time is up, take off the lid and let the broth cool until you are comfortable pouring out the liquid. Add a strainer on top of a large bowl, and strain into the bowl over a sink. Throw away the excess bones.
Place in the fridge until a hard coating of fat covers the bowl. This can take up to a few hours.
When the fat hardens, use a spoon to pick it off. You can save the fat to use a nutrient dense cooking oil, or toss it. It’s ok if there are little chunks of fat left in the broth-they will melt when you heat up the broth to drink.
Since I use spices in my broth (turmeric is AWESOME for anti-inflammation) stir the broth before placing in mason jars. Make sure the broth is cool before you store them in glass jars in the freezer. I usually keep one jar in the fridge at a time, and when it’s almost empty thaw another one overnight.
Want one more amazing healing ingredient? Top the warm broth with 1/4 teaspoon of reishi mushrooms-the "queen healer." I use the one pictured below.
Pour broth into a mug, add a little water, and enjoy. Happy healing!
Bone Broth Recipe
1 lb. of grass fed beef marrow bones (available frozen at Whole Foods or Western Daughters Butcher Shop-Denver clients only)
Pinch of fresh, diced ginger (about 1-2 inches)
2 tbsp. of turmeric
1 tsp. of salt
Juice of 2-3 lemons
*Roast marrow bones at 375 for one hour. (Use a deeper Pyrex dish-NOT a cookie sheet-liquid fat comes out of the bones and can create a fire hazard in the oven if baked on a cookie sheet)
*Place bones and liquid fat in a crock pot
*Pour filtered water over the bones until covered
*Add diced ginger, lemon juice (keeping out seeds), turmeric, and salt to crock pot
*Cook on low for 24-48 hours
*After 24-48 hours, let broth cool. Place a strainer on top of a large bowl, and drain the liquid from the bones
*Take the bowl of liquid bone broth and refrigerate until a hard layer of fat forms on top (this will usually take 1-3 hours)
*Scrape the fat off of the bowl and save in an air tight container if desired (the fat can be a nutrient dense cooking oil, or you can simply toss it)
*Pour broth into mason jars and freeze
*When you want to drink broth, it may taste better to add 3/4 broth and 1/4 water to a mug.
*Heat and enjoy. Often times broth tastes and heals best on an empty stomach.