Today I’m going to introduce you to gelatin-rich liquid gold.
Heralded as a staple in cultures across the globe, bone broth is a key ingredient in gut health and can be enjoyed as a healing elixir, soup, or a welcome addition to casseroles, and slow cooking.
While generally made from chicken or beef bones, my supercharged version is nourishing and comforting and provides similar nutritional benefits to traditional gelatin-rich recipes, but with the comforting flavour of lamb to add variety to your gut healing repertoire. It’s a recipe taken from my new book Heal Your Gut.
Rather than ditching the trimmings and bones from your next lamb roast, keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer and pull them out when you’re ready to make this healing soup. Lamb is a versatile ingredient, and, if prepared correctly, one of the healthiest meats you can eat. In addition to their love of olive oil, the good health of many Mediterranean populations has been partially attributed to their love of lamb.
Lamb is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that regulates the control of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in regulating your mood, and making you feel calm, relaxed and sleepy, three things I’m sure we could all use more of! Because your body can’t produce tryptophan on it’s own, including plenty of tryptophan-rich foods in your diet is helpful for a contented disposition.
Incorporating lamb in your diet will help you build a strong immune system, due to its generous antioxidant content. Lamb is rich in a very highly absorbable form of zinc, important for strength, hormone production, cardiovascular and bone health. When slow cooked as in this recipe, the succulent, slightly smoky flavours of the lamb are drawn out and absorbed by the fork-tender vegetables. The result is comfort food perfection and a helpful meal to heal and seal the gut lining.
Lamb bones in particular house a variety of powerful nutrients that become released when they are slowly simmered in water. Among these nutrients, bone marrow provides the raw materials for building healthy blood cells and a strong immune system. It seems our grandparents were onto something feeding us bone broth to combat the common cold.
Want gorgeous skin, hair and perfect posture? Other valuable nutrients in bone broth include collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, glycosamino glycans, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Known as “beauty nutrients” these components combine to promote beautiful skin and hair, as well as help the body maintain proper structural alignment.
Bone broth is also one of the best foods to consume for those suffering digestive issues, as it is rich in glycine and proline. These two nutrients are essential for connective tissue function – they literally heal and seal the gut, making this broth essential for those suffering chronic inflammation or auto-immune issues.
When creating your Lamb bone broth, try to use a variety of both large and small bones, as each have unique health benefits. Larger bones (such as the humerus and femur of the arms and legs) contain more bone marrow and can be beneficial for those with anemia, lung and immune disorders. Smaller bones contain more gelatinous materials, and are especially beneficial for promoting digestive health. This is why bone broth fasts are often recommended for treating leaky gut syndrome or Candida.
To get the most health benefits from your broth, look for grass-fed lamb. Conventionally raised animals are often fed a diet of inflammatory genetically modified grains, which contain herbicides, pesticides, and often contaminated with a range of heavy metals that can further weaken an already sensitive stomach.
In this recipe I’ve added another digestive aids – coconut oil – to increase the healthy anti-inflammatory fat content, and to promote nutrient absorption. There’s a reason a number of vitamins A, E, D and K are labeled “fat-soluble”. In order for your body to absorb these nutrients, you need to eat them with a healthy fat. Coconut oil adds a luxurious, creamy texture to any dish, it has also been found to be superior in aiding the absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients from the foods it is partnered with. It is also rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin, a nutrient found in breast milk that strengthens immunity. When choosing a coconut oil, look for an organic oil that is unrefined, unbleached, and made without heat processing or chemicals.
Make a large batch of this versatile broth over the weekend, and then store any leftovers to use throughout the week. It freezes brilliantly and can be placed in ice cube trays for convenience. You can use the liquid from this broth as a stock base in a range of dishes, or enjoy the soup as is. The longer it is left to sit, the more the tastes of the onion, garlic and bay leaf will meld and develop, and the more aromatic and flavoursome this dish will become.
I hope you’ll enjoy my gut healing broth. It’s comfort and nourishing food at its finest!
Supercharged Lamb Bone Broth
# Supercharged tip
You can make bone broth in a slow-cooker. Cook on low for up to 24 hours, topping up with filtered water if they reduce too much.
Think before you throw out the trimmings and bones from your next lamb roast. Lamb broth provides similar nutritional benefits to a gelatine-rich beef broth, but with the comforting flavour of lamb to add variety to your soups.
- 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) lamb marrow bones
- 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) filtered water
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Celtic sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- Place a flameproof casserole dish on the stovetop over medium heat and melt the coconut oil. Add the bones and stir to coat. Add the lid and transfer the casserole dish to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until bones are browned.
- Transfer to the stovetop, cover with the filtered water and add the remaining ingredients, including seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to as low as possible and simmer for 4–6 hours. Add a little more filtered water from time to time if necessary.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then strain and refrigerate until the fat congeals on top. Skim off the fat and store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, or freeze in ice-cube trays.