GAPS Diet Bone Broth & Meat Stock

If you’ve been in the holistic health, Paleo, GAPS, SCD, WAPF world for any time at all, you’ve heard about bone broth. In GAPS™ & the Gut and Psychology Syndrome™, there is a further distinction made between bone broth and meat stock, and we use them at different times, for different situations. Below is my guide to the GAPS Diet bone broth & meat stock.

I remember years ago when I was transitioning my family to a Real Food diet, making bone broth was one of my most significant hurdles. Generation by generation we have lost food arts, and this was one tradition I couldn’t wrap my head around.

As I finally made my own, I realized it couldn’t be simpler. Soon I was making soups that other people loved and that nourished the bodies of my family.

This broth preparation would become a huge part of our days as we started the GAPS protocol.

Taken in therapeutic amounts daily, broth and stock is remarkably nourishing and building for the digestive tract, bones, muscle, skin, with benefits ranging from stimulating growth hormone to getting rid of cellulite.

Basic method

The primary method is to place bones and meat into a slow cooker or stockpot, cover with pure water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for the desired time, based on whether you are trying to achieve bone broth or meat stock. I will explain these differences below. You will then strain your broth through a strainer. You can cool it down to freeze or refrigerate, or use it immediately.

Basic components

We’ll go into more recipe options and details, but here are the basics:

  • Bones and meat (preferably pastured & organic poultry, lamb, beef, pork, or game)
  • Pure water
  • Time to simmer
  • equipment
  • Stockpot with a lid or slow cooker
  • Strainer (for straining the broth from the animal pieces when finished)
  • Jars for storage (preferably wide mouth glass mason jars, quart or 1/2 gallon)

Benefits of Stock & Broth

Rich as a source of absorbable minerals

Let me state that again. Absorbable, meaning the minerals in broth are accessible for the body to use. The broth is a source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, in an easy to absorb form. 65% of the mineral mass of bone is made of calcium & phosphorus, which are also the two principal minerals that compose our teeth.

Rich in nutrients for joints, cartilage, tendons, & gut healing

Broth contains the building blocks glucosamine, chondroitin, and other glycosaminoglycans…so essential for gut healing, and necessary for joints, cartilage, tendons, and skin.

Rich in nutrients for fingernails & hair

The gelatin in broth, along with supporting the connective tissues in your body, helps fingernails and hair to grow strong.

Can help reduce cellulite & wrinkles

It’s time to add broth/stock to your beauty regimen! The smoothness of skin comes from plenty of connective tissue, which broth/stock are great for building.

Unparalleled taste

Broth/stock provides a luxurious base for soups, sauces, gravies and can be used for cooking grains and vegetables.

Inexpensive

Especially when compared to its nutritive value.

Traditional

Nearly every traditional culture boiled bones of meat animals to make a nourishing broth.

The original reduce, reuse, recycle

Bone broth is not wasteful, it uses almost every part of the animal.

Stimulates digestion

Enjoying some sips of broth/stock before your meals will naturally stimulate your body to secrete the gastric juices that are so necessary for healthy digestion.

Important in Chinese medicine

According to Chinese medicine, bone broth nourishes our kidneys, builds blood (bone marrow is where the red & white blood cells are manufactured) and supports our vital essence (chi), and supports our bones and teeth.

Supports adrenal health

Broth/stock contains nutrients that promote the adrenals, which in turn has a cascade effect on hormone functions vital to our immune system and overall health.

Contains important fats

Minerals & fat need to be a package deal, as minerals require the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Broth provides the fat that is necessary, all in one package.

Ideal for convalescing

Broth/stock is the perfect, gentle food for those recovering from an illness, or suffering from diarrhea.

Stimulates human growth hormone

Especially beef bone broth. Alongside a nutrient dense diet, it can nourish the malnourished, and help grows healthy bodies. A good feature for the sports enthusiasts in the house!

Differences Between Broth & Stock & When To Use

From a GAPS perspective, both bone broth and meat stock are the “backbone” of the dietary protocol (pun intended).

If you are not incorporating broth or stock into your general daily routine, you aren’t doing GAPS. Assuredly, there are times when its difficult or even impossible to have broth/stock (i.e., when moving, camping, or traveling by airplane) but if you are on GAPS to heal, the majority of your days need to include this healing elixir 🙂

So, when to use which one?

Below are the key profiles, followed by guidelines on use.

GAPS Meat Stock

  • Cooking time: short, generally simmered for periods of 20 minutes – 4 hours (cooking in InstantPot can cook a whole chicken, including stock, in 20 minutes).
  • Includes: always includes meat and meaty bones.
  • Convenience: a short way to cook your meat and have healing stock.
  • Histamine & glutamates levels: has less histamine & glutamine/glutamic acid than bone broth.
  • Amino acids: 2-4x fewer amino acids than bone broth.
  • Primary healing components: gelatin, amino acids, absorbable minerals, healing fats, & building blocks like glucosamine, chondroitin, and other glycosaminoglycans.

GAPS Bone Broth

  • Cooking time: long, generally cooked for periods of 4 – 48 hours (depending on meat used).
  • Includes: bones, and may or may not incorporate meat.
  • Convenience: can “set & forget” and go about your day.
  • Histamine & glutamates levels: has more histamine & glutamine/glutamic acid than meat stock (cooking broth at a very slow simmer will minimize the formation of free glutamates).
  • Amino acids: amino acid levels that are 2 – 4x higher than meat stock (see below).
  • Primary healing components: gelatin, amino acids, absorbable minerals, healing fats, & building blocks like glucosamine, chondroitin, and other glycosaminoglycans.

When To Use Meat Stock

  • During the 6 stage Introduction Diet, or first 30 days of GAPS. Longer depending on individual needs
  • Beneficial for children with autism/ADHD who can’t tolerate high levels of glutamates
  • Ditto for folks with neurological issues like MS, epilepsy, Tourettes, tics, etc.
  • Ditto for folks with histamine intolerance
  • Ditto for folks sensitive to MSG

When To Use Bone Broth

  • After the Introduction Diet or first 30 days of GAPS
  • After uncomfortable “die-off” symptoms are gone, as bone broth (being more therapeutic) can exacerbate die-off
  • To speed your healing, when you are ready. It has 2-4x the amino acids, which have different nutritive properties of their own
  • Bone broth is also a better source of minerals

Approximate levels of amino acids in chicken bone broth, compared to meat stock (varies with meat & cooking time)

  • Aspartic acid – 3x more
  • Cystine – same
  • Threonine – 3x more
  • Histidine – same
  • Serine – 3x more
  • Glutamic acid – 3x more
  • Proline – 4x more
  • Glycine – 4x more
  • Alanine – 3x more
  • Arginine – 4x more
  • Methionine – 3 – 4x more
  • Valine – 3x more
  • Lysine – 2x more
  • Phenylalanine – 3x more
  • Tyrosine – 2x more
  • Leucine – 3x more
  • Isoleucine – 3x more

**NOTE about histamine: The levels of the amino acid, histidine, remain virtually the same in both broth & stock, but it is the action upon the histidine that makes the difference in levels of histamine.

Meat cooked very fresh and for shorter times = less histamine.
Meat that is not freshly butchered, left to cook for long periods of time, and perhaps not frozen or consumed immediately = more histamine.

From Dr. Joneja, an expert on histamine, “Cooked meat uneaten should be immediately frozen. Histamine rises while cooked foods are resting or refrigerated. Freezing halts histamine rising in cooked foods”.

Recipes

Meat Stock Recipes

Poultry meat stock recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole bird (optional: feet, neck & heads)
  • 4 quarts of pure water
  • 2 medium onions, peeled & quartered (save skins for stock)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (save skins for stock)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2-3 teaspoons peppercorns
  • Bouquet garni of fresh sage, rosemary, thyme & bay leaf (Stage 2)
  • OPTIONAL FLAVOR ADDITIONS FOR STOCK: turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, jalapeno or chilies, lemon juice, mushrooms, tomato paste

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in an 8 quart, or larger, stockpot.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours (until meat is fork tender & fully cooked).
  • Skim any foam that rises to the surface, and discard.
  • Remove meat from the carcass, for eating.
  • Strain meat stock for eating in soups, beverages, etc.

Beef (or lamb) meat stock recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 5 lbs beef or lamb marrow bones
  • 3 lbs meaty bones (can be ribs, chops, bone-in roast, neck, etc.)
  • 4 – 6 quarts pure water
  • 2 medium onions, peeled & quartered (save skins for stock)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled (save skins for stock)
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • Bouquet garni of fresh sage, rosemary, thyme & bay leaf (Stage 2)
  • OPTIONAL FLAVOR ADDITIONS FOR STOCK: turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, jalapeno or chilies, lemon juice, mushrooms, tomato paste

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in an 8 quart, or larger, stockpot.
  • Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 4 – 5 hours (until meat is fork tender).
  • Skim any foam that rises to the surface, and discard.
  • Remove meat from the carcass, for eating.
  • Strain meat stock for eating in soups, beverages, etc.

Fish meat stock:

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium whole non-oily fish (like cod, haddock, sole, halibut, flounder, or tuna)
  • 4 quarts pure water
  • 1 onion, peeled & quartered (save skins for stock)
  • 1 leek, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • Bouquet garni of fresh sage, rosemary, thyme & bay leaf (Stage 2)
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

  • Rinse fish in clean water.
  • Remove most-but-not-all of the fish meat from the bones (fish meat cooks very fast & loses delicate essential fatty acids if overcooked).
  • Put remainder of ingredients in 8+ quart stockpot with fish bones, tail, fin, etc.
  • Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours.
  • Skim any foam that rises to the surface, and discard.

Bone Broth Recipes

***Note*** To make things simpler, you can use the meat stock recipes above for bone broth. Debone the meat and refill stockpot with fresh water and raw apple cider vinegar. Let the stockpot sit for about 5 – 10 minutes, to allow the apple cider vinegar to draw out more minerals. Bring to a low boil, and then simmer according to the methods below.

Poultry bone broth recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 chicken carcasses, deboned (or 4 pounds of necks, backs, and wings)
  • 4 chicken feet (optional)
  • 1 head (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 quarts pure water
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • Bouquet garni of thyme, sage, rosemary, bay leaf

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a large stock pot or slow cooker.
  • Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes, allowing raw apple cider vinegar to draw minerals from the bones.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Skim and discard any scum that may surface. (High quality, pastured-raised chicken usually produces no scum).
  • Lower to a slow, surface simmer (tiny bubble on the surface) and allow to cook for 6 to 24 hours.
  • Strain broth & let it come to room temperature. Tip: If you want to freeze your broth, cool it in the fridge first, leaving 2 – 3 inches of headspace between broth & lid so that it has room to expand.

Beef (or lamb) bone broth recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds bones (marrow bones, knuckle or joint bones, necks)
  • 3 pounds meaty bones (roast bone, chops, ribs, etc. ) for flavor
  • 4 quarts pure water
  • ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • Bouquet garni of fresh thyme, sage, rosemary, & bay leaf

Method:

  • Roast bones on a baking sheet in 450F oven for 15 minutes.
  • Place bones and all other ingredients in a large stock pot or slow cooker.
  • Leave at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes to allow the apple cider vinegar to draw minerals from the bones.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Skim and discard any scum that may surface. (High quality, pasture-raised meat usually produces no scum).
  • Lower to a slow, surface simmer (tiny bubbling on the surface) and allow to cook for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Strain broth & let it come to room temperature. Tip: If you want to freeze your broth, cool it in the fridge first, leaving 2 – 3 inches of headspace between broth & lid so that it has room to expand.

Fish bone broth recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 fish carcasses, deboned
  • 1-2 heads (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 quarts pure water
  • 2 leeks, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onions, coarsely chopped
  • Bouquet garni of parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a large stock pot or slow cooker.
  • Leave at room temperature for 15 – 30 minutes, allowing raw apple cider vinegar to draw minerals from the bones.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Skim and discard any scum that may surface.
  • Lower to a slow, surface simmer (tiny bubbling on the surface) and allow to cook for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Strain broth & let it come to room temperature. Tip: If you want to freeze your broth, cool it in the fridge first, leaving 2 – 3 inches of headspace between broth & lid so that it has room to expand.

Three Kettle & Fire Recipes

The recipes above are the basic recipes. But you don’t have to stop there with your culinary adventures. As an example, I found these recipes in Kettle & Fire’s Broth Sipping Guide and with their permission I’ll add some variety to the mix. 🙂

Hot apple cider turmeric bone broth

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. cup chicken bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
  • A dash of garlic powder
  • 2 fresh sage leaves

Chili & cardamom bone broth elixir

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 oz. cup beef bone broth
  • A dash of chili powder
  • A dash of cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • A dash of Himalayan pink salt
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • A dash of aniseed
  • A dash of cacao (for advanced GAPS)
  • A dash of cinnamon

Pineapple mango ginger bone broth smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup mango (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple (frozen or fresh)
  • 3-4 chicken bone broth ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric
  • 1/2 cup water

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend on high-speed for 30-45 seconds until smooth.
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Cooking Videos

Below are some short videos that show how to make meat stock.

GAPS beef or lamb meat stock

GAPS chicken meat stock

 

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