The Healthiest and Best Bone Broth (plus video!)Updated: November 23, 2016Broth, Stock, and Soups
Have you ever wondered if all bone broths are the same or if one in particular is the healthiest and best bone broth of all? If so, this article should help clarify this for you!
Most people would agree with the old adage that chicken soup is good for the soul as well as for colds and flu. It’s also a great remedy for digestive problems, arthritis, pain, and recovery from all sorts of illness.
When it comes to how to truly prepare healthy soup from scratch, however, the majority of folks would not have a clue where to begin.
Let’s be very clear about the dangers of store bought soups, canned broth or stock, and bouillon cubes. They are never healthy options even when organic as they are loaded with neurotoxic MSG, and artificial flavors with little to no redeeming nutritional benefit.
This is due to the rise of agribusiness which, since the 1950s, caused the consumer to gradually lose contact with a local butcher who would sell them a variety of bony leftovers which our thrifty forebears would use to make nutritious stocks and soups.
Almost all culinary traditions from around the world include meat or fish stocks, yet the stockpot has almost completely disappeared from American kitchens.
Dr. Francis Pottenger MD promoted the stockpot as the most important piece of equipment in the kitchen. He advocated liberal use of homemade stock because it attracts digestive juices to itself in a manner similar to raw foods. Foods that attract digestive juices are much more easily digested and assimilated by the body.
Homemade stock also contains natural gelatin which not only aids digestion but assists with the healing of many chronic intestinal disorders such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and others.
During time of frugality, homemade stock helps keep the food budget in check by allowing health to be maintained with only small amounts of meat in the diet. This is due to large amounts of two amino acids in the broth which act together as a protein sparer, allowing more efficient utilization of the complete meat proteins that are eaten once or twice a week.
Homemade stock used frequently in the diet offers protection from gastrointestinal illness, as the natural gelatin acts a neutralizer of intestinal poisons helping to relieve diarrhea and even dysentery.
Ok, enough already! You’re already sold on the benefits of bone broth?
Which Bone Broth is the Healthiest?
In our modern era, time in the kitchen is limited at best.
Which stock should you focus your time on given the many options available: chicken, turkey, goose, duck, venison, beef, pork, fish, shrimp etc?
While I would argue that it is a good idea to rotate your bone broth and make them all if possible as each contains a slightly different profile of nutritional benefits, for those with thyroid problems, the winner is fish stock as it is the best bone broth of all!
Broth and soup made with fishheads are rich in iodine, thyroid-strengthening substances, and fat soluble vitamins.
Although a fish does not have an actual thyroid gland, but rather diffuse thyroid follicles with many located in the head (notably around the eye area and the pharynx), the good news is that these follicles are very similar to mammalian thyroid tissue.
Make Fish Broth with Non-Oily Fish
Bone broth made from fish should be made with a non-oily species like snapper, rock fish. Classical cooking texts do not recommend making fish stock with oily fish like salmon possibly because the smell can be overwhelming and the plentiful amounts of unsaturated fish oils become rancid during the hours long simmering process.
If you live anywhere near the coast, you should be able to find a good fish merchant who will save the fish carcasses and heads for you if you ask. They should even be free as they are normally thrown away, but even if there’s a charge it should be minimal.
I personally feel that fish stock is one of the top five basic cooking skills to teach your children before they leave home. It’s so easy to make, it’s the fastest of all bone broths and fish heads are cheap and easy to find in most major metropolitan areas.
I recently taught my teenage son how to make a super fast bone broth from fish heads. He couldn’t believe how easy it was. Make it once and you won’t forget!
It’s also great for a young adult on a limited budget with limited space. Because you can make a pot in just a few hours, you can make it as needed rather than making huge batches and freezing large quantities. Just a dollar or two can make a gallon of stock in a hurry.
This compares with a pot of chicken stock which takes 24 hours to make with quality pastured chicken very expensive and sometimes hard to find. Beef bone broth takes even longer with quality grassfed bones also a typically expensive purchase.
Below is a video I filmed on this most important and best bone broth to incorporate into your culinary routine, not just because it is the best bone broth of all, but also because it is the fastest and most inexpensive to make too!
The argument “I can’t afford Real Food” does not apply here!
Best Bone Broth
3 quarts of filtered water
2 lbs of fish heads and bones (fish heads alone will suffice)*
1/4 cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to taste
Place water and fish heads/bones in a 4 quart stockpot. Stir in vinegar while bringing the water to a gentle boil. As the water first begins to boil, skim off any foam that rises to the surface. It is important to remove this foam as this is impurities and off flavors. Reduce heat to a simmer for at least 4 hours and no more than 24 hours. Cool and then strain into containers for refrigeration. Freeze what you will not use in one week.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources and More Information on Bone Broth
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