Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bone Broth - the Magical Brew of Awesomeness

First, the good news - my new RA drug regimen is working very well - I am experiencing frequent bouts of high energy, and pain stays on the creaky low-end instead of up in the "I just had a piano fall on me" range.

On Sunday, I realized after church that I'd been standing for over an hour without thinking about it.  Just four weeks ago, I was flatly incapable of being on my feet for more than a few minutes - and no more than a minute standing still without excruciating, giant baby-sobs of pain. So...wow to that!

My afternoon project was to haul all the various bones I'd been storing in the freezer out to make up a big batch of bone broth.  Every time we visit the farmer where we get our meat, or find another locally sourced provider for quality meat, we pick up a bone or two - they are very inexpensive, so making bone broth is an amazing way to get some high nutrients for a low cost.

Because my health has been so bad, I hadn't made broth in a long time (which is a shame, because I think my health would have improved if I had some!), so we had a big assortment of bones - some marrow bones, some meaty beef  bones, along with a leg of lamb bone and a small free range chicken carcass.  It was too much for my crock pot, so this was done in a big stock pot on the stove.

After putting the bones into the pot, splash them with some apple cider vinegar - I used about 3/4 cup - and let that sit a bit, then cover with water and add veggies if desired. (That is optional, and avoid getting too creative there, unless you know what's likely to make things bitter.  I used some carrot and onion - no celery because we were out, and no garlic because I forgot!  But I've done it with no veggies at all, leaving a very neutral broth that can be seasoned as it is used, and that's fine too.)

I brought all this to a low boil, then turned down to a low simmer for the next 24 hours.

Here's where things went a little bad - my intentions for Monday were to strain the broth, and then we were going out for the evening to have dinner with a group of friends.  All well and good, but as evening approached, I started to feel very ill - too ill to go near the broth, and way too ill to go out to eat.  I sent Michael off without me, and slept for 3 hours.  Then woke up after he got home, moved to the bed and slept another 12 hours.

This morning, I still felt very shaky and headachy - a good 24 hour bug (the downside of my meds is that I am very susceptible to anything that's 'going around'), but decided to try sipping a bit of the broth that was still simmering.

I've had 3 mugsful today, and am feeling human again - just a little sprinkle of sea salt and this is not only a healthy restorative, but also quite rich and delicious!  On a day when I am feeling better, I think I'd have some of this with a dash of hot sauce or a bit of lemon *just because it's awesomely delicious*.

Other than drinking it all up, this batch is destined to be strained and put into jars for the freezer in small batches, to be used in all sorts of recipes.  And  the bones are headed back into the pot to make another batch, repeating the vinegar to help the bones break down and release their minerals into the broth - I'm not sure how many batches I'll get out of my hoard of bones, but in the end I'll have gotten so much broth from them, for so little cost, that it's like having a free food supply that just happens to be insanely good for us, too.

Now, THAT is magical.

Shared with: Family Table Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Traditional TuesdaysYou're Gonna Love It, Eco-Kids Tuesday, Tutorial Tuesday, Tuesday Greens, Trick or Treat Tuesday, Living Green Tuesday, How To Tuesday, Backyard Farming Connection, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesday, Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, What's Cooking Wednesday, The Creative Spark, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Seasonal Celebration, Show & Tell Wednesday, Two Girls & A Party!, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Wicked Awesome Wednesday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday Wheat-Free WednesdayWhatever Goes Wednesday, Natural Living Link UpTasty Traditions, Down Home Blog Hop, The HomeAcre Hop, Creative Juice, Full Plate Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Delightfully Inspiring Thursday, DIY Thrifty Thursday, Hookin Up With HoH, Showcase Your Talent Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Transformation Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, Thursdays Treasures, Pennywise Platter, Fight Back Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday, Rattlebridge Farm Foodie Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Gluten-Free Friday, Simple Meals Friday, What I Am Eating, Farm Girl Blog Fest, Freedom Friday, Friday Favorites, Frugal Friday, Show and Tell Friday, No-Rules Weekend Blog Party, Your Great Idea Link Party, A Favorite Thing, Sweet Saturday, Show & Tell Saturday, Simply Natural Saturdays, SHOW-licious Craft Showcase, One Creative Weekend, Creative HomeAcre Hop, Weekend Show Off Party, Think Pink Sunday, Sunday Show Off Linky Party, Sunday School Blog Carnival, Craft - Create - Inspire Linky Party, Make Your Own Monday, Mealtime Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, On the Menu Monday, Mondays with Countrified Hicks, Clever Chicks Blog Hop.


  1. I'm visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday. I am glad you are feeling better and I believe your broth helps. I have made broth before, but I think I will use more bones next time. I often use lemon juice (instead of vinegar) to leach minerals from the bones.

  2. I haven't tried bone broth yet, but I'll have to give it a try. Glad you're feeling better!

    Thanks for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday :)

  3. I love adding bone to soups, when I have them. So, so awesome. Had no idea I could get more than one batch. Thanks.

  4. I love bone broth. I'd never heard of it until last year, but now I save all my egg shells and meat bones to make bone broth in my crock pot about once a month. It makes such a great base for other soups and is tasty as a warm beverage all on its own too. Plus my dog loves it and it's a great supplement for her grain free diet.

    1. I'd not thought to add egg shells - great idea! Our dog went grain-free a few months ago too - went from being a bit overweight,definitely aged, arthritic and low energy to sleek, shiny coated, high energy and back to being very playful. She loves getting broth as a treat, too!

  5. I'm glad you're feeling better. We love bone broth in our house, too. I have psoriatic arthritis (and am on a med that makes me catch every bug as well), and I've found this stuff really helps reduce pain and inflammation. My husband has brain cancer, and somethings this is about the only thing I can get him to eat. When he's had a cup or two, he always feels better and is usually ready to eat something more substantial.

    Anyway, I'd love if you'd come join my How To Tuesday link party, too.

    - Katie B. of HousewifeHowTos.com

  6. This is a nice share and I'm happy you're feeling better/energetic!

    visiting today from Thursday's Favorite Things.

  7. I enjoy homemade bone broth as well. I usually make a large batch of it & freeze it in about three to four cup quantities. So many uses and so healthy for you! And without the can that's too often just destined to be landfill fodder. Thanks for posting this. (visiting from Farm Girl Friday)

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas


  8. Thanks for sharing on Simple Meals Friday!


  9. You've surely had your share of aches and pains lately. I hope you're feeling better and that you have enjoyed your broth.

    Thanks so much for joining in this week.


  10. I have not made that in years. I had forgotten just how good it is . I will be saving bones. I pray you start feeling better. Smiles, Dottie

  11. I stumbled across your blog, when I noticed that we both posted bone broth recipes during the same week. Then I see that we both have RA as well. I agree that bone broth is magical. I'm glad you're feeling better. My blog is dedicated to healing autoimmune disease through diet. Have you heard of GAPS? It's made a huge difference for me. Here's my story, if you're interested: http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/01/12/eileens-story/

  12. Glad to hear that your energy is better. I am unfamiliar with bone broth thanks for sharing this with us on foodie friday... very interesting.

  13. The bone broth sounds amazing! I have only used chickens and turkeys, we don't have a lot of other meat around the house often. How many times are you able to use those bones? And how do you know when they are "used up?" Thank you for sharing at what i am eating!

  14. Hi Lynda,
    This is the best broth ever, what fabulous flavor.
    Hope you have a fabulous week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. This looks AMAZING! I have my very first batch of bone broth simmering on the stove at the moment, and you inspired me to dart upstairs and drool over it a bit. ;) I'd love to have you share this at my link party, Hearthfelt Hopes, over on The Aliso Kitchen! It's a perfect fit.

    So glad to run into your blog out here on the web! I'll be back often. :)


  16. Sounds really good and great for a cold day or in your case for an illness! Thank you so much for participating and sharing it at SHOW-licious Craft Showcase Party!


  17. Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can't wait to see what you share this coming Thursday :) Here's the super easy link to the next hop!

    If you haven't checked out Wildcrafing Wednesday yet, please do! :) It's a hop I co-host for herbal remedies, natural living, real food recipes, and self sufficient living. Here's the link for tomorrow's hop:

  18. Thanks so much for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre! I can't wait to see what you share next time at...

  19. We have some awesome recipes this week!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  20. I love the healing powers of broth! Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

  21. I have RA too. What meds are you taking? I just started a new regime myself. It is a tough disease cause besides the achiness, it saps your strength. Love that I stumbled onto your blog.