Bone Broth for Fertility
Healthy, warming soup to help you on your journey to natural conception
Bone broth is at the heart of Chinese Medicine and a strong part of my philosophy as an acupuncturist and health professional. Forget health food fads and diet myths, or the latest expensive exotic supplement, the simple Bone Broth is my ultimate super food!
Just as green juice is the super concentrate of green vegetables, bone broth is the essence of goodness that only animal foods can offer. Potent, enriching and overflowing with health benefits, it is a champion all rounder. Bone broth is packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, collagen and keratin, making it amazing for skin, digestion and natural conception.
What is Bone Broth?
Bones, water and a really long simmer (with some veggies to boot, if you wanted an added health kick!) A few bay leaves if we have them and a squeeze of something acidic like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar will help further extract nutrients and enrich the natural flavour. This exceptionally nourishing dish is simplicity at its finest. To be eaten by itself or as a base for some of your kitchen favourites – stews and soups!
Why ‘bone broth’?
Bone Broth is key to gut health and good digestion – it’s not just what you eat, it’s what you digest that counts. Without a healthy gut lining, your body will not be able to efficiently digest and absorb vital minerals and nutrients. So even if you are eating nourishing foods, you may not be getting all their benefits. To help heal a damaged gut lining, you need large amounts of easily digestible substances like amino acids, gelatin, glucosamine, fats, vitamins and minerals, all found in good-quality bone broth.
How to enjoy it
Make a large batch and freeze it, dipping into it throughout the week to enjoy daily. Dish out in a bowl or mug for a nourishing meal or bed time elixir or add as a base to lots of meals to make it extra tasty!
Making bone broth
Slow and steady is the key. It’s a labour of love, care and attention, but not half as difficult as it may seem. Quite simply, it’s just bones, water and a really long simmer.
Bone broth can be made with : Chicken, beef, lamb, game and fish (rich in iodine). But quality is key! Ensure that your bone broth is made out of the best quality, organic animal carcass you can get your hands on. Get these from a good butcher to ensure they are free from synthetic hormones, pesticides and genetically modified feeds.
If you aren’t comfortable with going to the butchers and asking for this (they will likely give you them for free!) then you can purchase organic bones online from Ocado.
If you’re new to making bone broth you may want to embellish it with aromatics such as carrots, leeks and peppercorns. Some of our Vietnamese friends insist on using meat as well as the bones (such as oxtail) for making the ultimate tasting broth for their pho but this is a more expensive way to do it.
Make your bone broth with a good old-fashioned pot on the stove or a handy slow cooker that allows you to step out of the kitchen without the worry of it evaporating away. Another method is with bit of kit that has fallen by the way side – the pressure cooker. We use a stainless steel pressure cooker to cook up broth in 3 hours. By cooking the broth at a higher pressure the nutrients are extracted at a faster rate. As a rule, the thicker the bones the more nutrients they have to give, so it’s well worth cooking for a little longer or making 2 batches out of it. For example with beef bones we’ll let them simmer away overnight, strain the broth and then top up with fresh water to cover and go again.
How to //
1. Place the bones and any additional ingredients into a large stainless steel cooking pot and cover with cold water. The water level should cover the bones by 5 cm whilst still leaving room at the top of the pan.
2. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, lid on, for at least 6 hours for chicken and 12 for beef or lamb, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. The longer the bones simmer, the more nutrients are released. We like to boil the chicken carcass for up to 12 hours until the bones begin to crumble and keep beef bones going for 24 hours until they look as if they were washed up on a beach.
3. Fresh chicken carcasses from the butcher usually have a fair amount of meat on them. We tend to poach the carcasses for 20 minutes, then pull off the meat (and save it for another meal like a chicken salad or chicken pho) before returning the carcasses to the pot and continuing to simmer to make broth.
4. Strain the liquid, using a fine mesh strainer for poultry. Use immediately or leave to cool before storing (preferably in glass/ceramic rather than plastic). Bone broth will keep in the fridge for several days or up to a week if you leave it undisturbed, as a layer of fat will form on the surface and keep it sealed from the air.
Ingredients // Serves 3–4 litres depending on your pan size
2–3 kg beef bones, chicken carcasses, lamb bones
2 handfuls of any onions, leeks, carrots or celery ends
1 tbsp black peppercorns
A few dried bay leaves
Optional // A generous splash of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice (this can help to extract the minerals from the meat bones)
Broth will happily keep in the fridge for up to a week. Divide your batch between 2 containers. This will allow you to use up one jar over the first few days while the second forms a fat layer which will keep it good for the second half of the week.
Small portions of Bone Broth are great for cooking up quinoa or braising vegetables and larger containers are great for making batches of soups, curries and stews.
Beef Bones produce a lot of nutritious fat – (skim some of it and save it for roasting vegetables). Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to three days or freeze the stock in a glass container.