As I began to correct my hormonal and nutritional imbalances over the past year, I came to appreciate bone broth as an invaluable tool to wellness. The more research I do on natural healing, the more I am aware of the significance of mineral bone broths throughout history. Nearly every culture has a form of medicinal bone broth used for healing. Bone broth is such a simple, potent food that provides vital nutrients while making use of the entire animal, reducing our waste and fully honoring the animal’s sacred life.
I find I tolerate and enjoy seafood more than any other animal protein and began making this simple seafood broth with whatever local wild fish or shellfish I could get my hands on. (Secret tip: if you hit up your local fish market when they open, you can get all the FREE fish heads you want when they fillet the fresh fish every morning). Fish broth is quick and only takes about 4 hours. I like to start this in a crock pot in the morning so it’s ready for dinner.
Fish Bone Broth
Yield: about 1 1/2 quarts
- 1 lb non-oily wild fish, scaled and gutted or 1 lb shrimp with shells, deveined
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 bunch celery, roughly chopped
- 1/2 oz whole dried chaga mushroom
- Handful of kombu
- 1 yellow onion with skin, quartered
- 4-6 cloves garlic with skin, crushed
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
- Water to cover
Cover the fish with water and add the apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 30 minutes to help draw out the minerals. Add all the remaining ingredients except for cilantro. Cover completely with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 4 hours. Stir in the cilantro after 4 hours. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve. You can serve this mild clear broth as is or I like to add a little tamari, hot pepper and miso paste. It’s also a great ramen base.
It’s best to use a non-oily fish (like cod, sole or snapper) to reduce the risk of the omega-3 fatty acids becoming rancid from over cooking. Fish heads contain large amounts of iodine which is great for balancing the thyroid and hormones. Take a little time and do your research on the thyroid gland and it’s impact on overall health, you will be amazed at what you learn.
Change up your bone broths by using pastured poultry, grass-fed beef or wild game. The chicken should cook for at least 24 hours and the beef for 48 hours. You can also get creative with the aromatics you add, I like fennel and leeks sometimes. If you don’t mind the bitterness, wild greens such as dandelion and nettle would be great medicinal additions to the broth.
“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” ~ Rumi