Heard of the South African Proverb – good broth will resurrect the dead?
An all too common fad recently, but what is bone broth? I am sure most of you have heard of chicken soup or chicken stock. Well it’s something like that, but packed with more goodness in it.
Bone broth is a soup stock that is sieved after boiling bones and other flavourings until the bones crumble apart into the stock.
Bone broth is simmered for a min of 24-48 hours whereas you can get your regular chicken stock within several hours of boiling.
Chicken bones will be done in 20- 24hours but beef bones should be cooked for 48hrs.
Why do we recommend bone broth?
Bone broth is known to aid in healing leaky guts, help improve digestion, aid in a sickly/ elderly dog’s loss of appetite as it is such a nutrient dense liquid. The broth contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
After cooking the broth, this is what you get:
1/ Collagen – think botox, ladies and gentleman, enough said!
Jokes aside, they help repair/ rebuild worn down cartilage which will help in joint health (especially arthritis)
2/ Proline and glycine – both are amino acids that aid in wound healing and aid digestion by enhancing gastric acid secretion.
3/ Bone marrow – for blood health and immune system
4/ Gelatine – aids digestion and soothes the GI tract
5/ Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate – reduces inflammation and joint pain
6/ Chockful of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium
Our easy stock guide:-
1/ Get a slow cooker (no need for unattended fire)
2/ Fill up pot with raw bones (leave 1-2 inches from the cover to top of liquid so it does not boil over)
Use joint and connective tissue parts eg. chicken & duck necks, a whole chicken (skin and feet intact), beef/pork knuckle with the cartilage ends, marrow bones, tails and chicken/duck feet with lots of collagen. Grass fed and pasture raised animal highly preferred.
3/ Add in a generous splash of Apple Cider Vinegar (for a medium sized pot about ¼ mug)
Acid in the ACV helps you extract all the goodness like calcium, phosphorous glucosamine and minerals out of the bones boiled.
* In replacement of ACV, you can use lime or lemon juice. However, when we tried it, the broth somehow did not “jellify” as well as using the former.
4/ Optional – you can add some root vegetables like carrots, celery and ginger
5/ Remove the greyish scum floating on top as that contains impurities. You can also lessen scum by pre-blanching the bones for a few mins to remove these impurities.
6/ Bring the pot to a boil and after simmering for a few mins, put it on low heat all the way. The desired heat is when you get light gurgling of the water as this process helps extract more minerals out.
7/ If using a whole chicken or bones with some meat, once the meat is cooked and drops off easily from the bones after 30-60mins, pick them out and you can feed your dog/cat those. Continue cooking the bones.
8/ Once done (20-24hrs min), check to see that all skin and cartilage from the knuckles has dropped off / melted into the soup.
Use a sturdy metal colander to strain all the ingredients, preferably into a metal pot.
9/ Most recipes will advise discarding of bones however if your bones are boiled to the extent that you can crush it with your fingers, esp the chicken neck and feet, you could feed your dogs. We do!
10/ Cool stock in room temperature before distributing into several glass bottles (chemicals leech in plastic containers). You can cool all bottles in the fridge before putting a few in the freezer the next day to prevent breakage. Cap all bottles tightly.
For feeding, serve fresh as a soup or use it to rehydrate dry food.
The gelatine will turn your bone broth into a “jelly” after being kept overnight in the fridge.
Simply scoop out daily (medium dog, 2 large tablespoons) to add to your dog’s food or you could warm them up again as soup. As this contains no preservative, do not keep them for too long.
However, the broth should stay fresh in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or 3-4 weeks in the freezer.
Once cooled in the fridge you will find a layer of fat covering the top rim.
Remove just before use of that single bottle. The fat acts as a bacteria barrier for the unused bottles so leave it till the bottle is used. The fats can be kept to use to stir fry food (for human and dogs).
Enjoy and we hope your dog benefits from this!