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One of the main reasons to learn how to make bone broth as a base for homemade soups and sauces is to supply hydrophilic colloids to the diet. This opens up the door to obtaining the numerous benefits of gelatin to health.
The hydrophilic nature of the gelatin in homemade meat broths has the unusual property of attracting digestive juices to itself. This is in the same manner as raw foods.
There is an extensive amount of research on gelatin benefits in the diet. Gelatin obviously aids digestion by rendering digestive juices more effective by attracting them to itself. It also has been found successful in treating digestive disorders such as IBS, colitis, and even Crohn’s disease.
Anemia and other blood disorders respond in healing fashion to gelatin in the diet. Interestingly, the first known reference to gelatin is from 204 AD. Chinese writings of that time describe gelatin as an agent to arrest bleeding or hemorrhage.
Benefits of Gelatin as a Home Remedy
Homemade stock is indispensable when a stomach flu makes its way around a household. It can slow and stop diarrhea when small amounts are consumed every few minutes.
In addition to stopping the runs, gelatin assists in neutralizing whatever intestinal poison is causing the problem. Unlike anti-diarrhea medicine from the pharmacy which only masks symptoms, gelatin goes to the root of the problem and facilitates healing.
Households where gelatinous broths, soups, and sauces are frequently consumed often get passed by when a stomach bug is making the rounds. Time spent in the kitchen preparing this age old remedy will be repaid many times over with fewer sleepless nights from ill children. No doubt fewer visits to the doctor and ER too.
How to Enjoy More Gelatin Benefits
A frequent question from folks new to Traditional Cooking who are enthusiastically seeking the benefits of gelatin to health, is “how do I get my stock to gel?” What does this mean? A successful batch of homemade bone broth turns into a jelly like substance in the refrigerator. This is due to the gelatin solidifying into a semi-solid state as it cools.
The #1 most common reason for stock that does not gel in the refrigerator is too much water was used to make the stock.
The amount of filtered water should just cover the bones. As the water boils off, feel free to add more water as the stock simmers for the required 4- 24 hours (or up to 72 hours if making beef stock), but only ever add enough additional water to cover the bones.
Stock can always be boiled down on the stove if too much water was inadvertently used. You can even boil it way down to a very concentrated, syrupy, reduction sauce, known as fumee, and then reconstitute with water when you are ready to use it.
Get More Gelatin in Your Stock
Is your stock is already gelling nicely but you want even more gelatin in the final product? Then be sure to ask your local poultry farmer for the heads and feet from your pastured chickens. They add loads of nutritious and healing gelatin to stock.
Another tip is to scald the feet in boiling water to remove the skin before placing them in the stockpot. This will allow even more gelatin to get into your stock.
One final tip is to always start with cold water. Let the bones sit in the water with the bit of vinegar for 30 minutes to an hour before turning on the heat. This allows the fibers of bones and cartilage to open slowly. When this occurs, the maximum amount of flavorful juices and gelatin are released.
The Reason You Need More Gelatin in Your Diet
Gelatin and Collagen Hydrolysate: What’s the Difference?
Hydrolyzed Collagen Benefits
5 Reasons Your Stock Won’t Gel
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Source: Gelatin in Nutrition and Medicine, Gotthoffer
Finally, after wondering WHY I’m instructed to put the bones in cold water and vinegar in my Nourishing Traditions cookbook, and making my own broth for 20 years, I know WHY I should do that! Often I brown all the bones and skip this step. I usually have lovely gelled broth, but struggling with diverticulitis is motivating my broth making now. Thank you so much for this info!
thanks so much for this info… very helpful !!!!
What are the health benefits of Great Lakes Unflavored Gelatin compared to Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate? Which is better? I am concerned about joint health, skin, hair and anti aging.
Here’s an article on the differences. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/gelatin-and-collagen-hydrolysate-whats-the-difference/
Dear sarah, can I make bone broth using commercial gelatine instead of bones ?
Commercial gelatin is fine to add to properly made bone broth, but it isn’t going to substitute for it added solely to water.
Do you have a recipe for making dessert “jell-o” or gummies out of homemade broth. I don’t want to use commercial powders.
I only have this recipe that uses grassfed gelatin powder. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-healthy-jello-dessert/
i am wondering what the shelf life of homemade gelatin is in the fridge? i’m starting my son on stage one of the gaps diet next week and i’m doing a lot of prep work making gelatin, broth and stock this week. how soon should i be freezing the gelatin to use later on?
Only about 4-5 days. Freeze what you will not use in that time.
Can you please answer a question for me: I roasted a chciken last night and in the bottom of the pan was a ton of beautiful gel. Can I put that back into my stock when I make it? If not, will the stoc still gel or was that it. As well if I can’t put it back in my stock what can I do with it? How doi I prevent that if I’d rather have it in my stock. Its was gorgeous from the best pastured, organic chicken I’ve had yet (got it from my local farmer- must have been a good breed and fed right).
Yes, you can put the gelatin at the bottom of the roasting pan in your broth. It will add tremendous flavor and nutrition!
I have read that roasting the bones and vegetables before making stock adds a richer flavor. If I wanted to roast them would I skip the soaking in vinegar water step or not? If not soak before or after roasting? I appreciate any thoughts.
I really need some clarification re using the pressure cooker. some comments are saying it is o.k. because it uses pressure and not high heat but when I open it up it is boiling. Am I doing my family more harm serving broth that has been pressure cooked. However when you do it on the stove top it still has to come to a boil and continues to gently boil.
Re using a crock pot…is there not a concern for trace amount of lead from the ceramic liner?
Also wondering how do I use bone broth to succesfully make a dessert jello. Do I have to boil it down and make a powder somehow or is there anyother way.
Here’s the thing … if you remember from high school chemistry, pressure can denature a food just the same as heat! Boxed breakfast cereals are subjected to such intense pressure that they are liquified into a slurry to make the shapes required for the given cereal. And, the proteins in the grains are denatured and rendered allergenic as a result.
Hence, why I don’t trust a pressure cooker and don’t use one. There simply is not enough credible information that it does not create MSG in the broth.
I just found out about Nourishing Traditions when searching for a natural remedy for our teeth problems. I am in the middle of reading the book as well as watching your wonderful videos on the Weston Price website. I have a question regarding bone broth. I know it is recommended to use chicken feet or pigs hooves. I have seen pigs hooves and chicken feet at my local grocery store – but I know they are not from healthy animals – not organic or grassfed. My local whole foods doesn’t carry them. Is is better to skip the feet until I can find a better source? Thank you for all of your great information.