Bone broth has been really trendy lately with a lot of people, especially those involved in the paleo diet, who talk about bone broth’s many health benefits.
Yes, bone broth is linked to a slew of benefits ranging from improved immunity to better digestion. However, you don’t have to use bones to get these benefits. Instead, try making vegan bone broth.
Why Is Bone Broth Healthy?
Traditional bone broth is made by boiling down the bones and connective tissues of an animal for a really long time. As Sylvie McCracken talks about in her eBook The Gelatin Secret, these parts of an animal are particularly rich in the amino acids glycine and proline. By boiling the bones and tissues, it breaks them down so the amino acids get into the broth.
Historically, people would consume the entire animal – including using the “leftovers” like the bones. Today, most people just eat the muscle meat of animals. Muscle meat has a lot of an amino acid called methionine but virtually no glycine or proline. Methionine is known to be pro-inflammatory whereas glycine and proline are anti-inflammatory. So, it is no wonder that eating meat is associated with many diseases related to inflammation. This includes heart disease which, as rheumatologist Jon T. Giles, MD points out, is linked to inflammation and is the #1 killer in the United States.
When you boil the bones to make bone broth, it also releases a lot of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other minerals into the broth.
Since broths are liquids and we consume them when they are hot, they are really good at breaking down mucus. This alone would make broth good for fighting cold symptoms. However, when you factor in the high dose of nutrients that bone broth contains, it really becomes a superfood.
Vegan Bone Broth Recipe
The key to making vegan bone broth that rivals the real thing is to choose foods that have lots of the amino acids glycine and proline, as well as other immune-boosting nutrients.
The recipe below contains seaweed, which has glycine and proline. Seaweed also contains the amino acid cysteine, which is found in chicken and known to have a calming effect. The ginger and turmeric in the broth are potent anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and digestion-helpers. Caraway is very rich in glycine and chives are a good source of proline. The spirulina you add at the end is also loaded with these amino acids.
Drink this broth when you are sick or whenever you are in need of a nutrient boost.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, halved
- Handful of dulse or kelp seaweed, reconstituted in warm water first
- 1-inch of fresh ginger, cut into strips (or 1 tsp of powdered ginger)
- 1-inch of fresh turmeric, cut into strips (or 1 tsp of powdered turmeric)
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp caraway seeds*
- 1 tsp dried chives
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 10-12 cups of water
- Heat the olive oil in a big pot. Add the onions and saute until fragrant.
- Add the carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, and turmeric. Saute for about 7 minutes.
- Add all of the other ingredients except the spirulina.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 45 minutes. You can also make this in a slow cooker and cook it for as long as 24 hours.
- When done cooking, strain the broth out through a colander. If you aren’t going to use all the broth at once, you can freeze it for later.
- Before serving, add a pinch of spirulina to each bowl.
*Caraway seeds have a really strong taste, but are one of the key superfoods in this recipe. Omit if you don’t like the taste.