“An important part of the nutrition of the children consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration.” Pg. 233 Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
My mother has told me the story of being called into the kitchen when she was younger to eat bone marrow and fish eggs. In her home growing up, there was a nutritional wisdom passed on from generations that put an emphasis on reserving the most nutrient dense foods for kids. Our ancestors knew the powerful nutritional benefits bone marrow had.
97% of bone marrow is fat, which is what makes it so delectable on a piece of crusty sourdough bread. In addition to the amino acids, it is loaded with vitamins and minerals that help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Bone marrow has four times the amount of Vitamin E and two times the amount of Vitamin A than muscle meat. It also has high concentrations of calcium, in comparison to other parts of the animal.
Babies need high quality heme iron to replenish their stores beginning around six months. Prized foods such as: liver, dark chicken meat, certain cuts of beef and lamb, shellfish, and bone marrow are naturally rich in heme iron. It is also a mini factory for producing white blood cells, red blood cells, bone cells, and fat cells. Talk about immune boosting support!
I can’t recommend enough making bone marrow a first food for babies just starting solids or any child. There are many different ways to incorporate bone marrow into your meals on a regular basis.
- whipped bone marrow butter on top of steaks or sourdough bread
- bone marrow broth
- bone marrow mixed in with veggies
- bone marrow custard, see below for recipe!
One of my kids’ favorite ways to eat bone marrow is my Pumpkin Bone Marrow Custard. This dessert is as delicious and nutrient dense as they come and such a wonderful way to incorporate bone marrow into a meal. The following recipe serves 4 to 6:
- 2 lbs of beef marrow bones (or ¼ cup marrow)
- 4 pastured eggs
- 1 cup organic canned pumpkin purée
- ¾ cup of whole milk (use coconut milk for dairy free)
- 1 TBS homemade pumpkin pie spice (2tsp ground cinnamon, 1tsp ground ginger, 1/4tsp ground cloves)
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- ¼ – ½ cup maple syrup (or raw honey) depending on your sweetness preference
- Bring marrow bones to a boil and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. While you’re waiting on the marrow, preheat oven to 350°F and place four ramekins in a large roasting pan.
- In a blender, blend together egg yolks, egg, milk/coconut milk, maple syrup, spices, pumpkin purée, and salt.
- When the marrow is ready, scoop the bones out with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl to drain. After they’ve cooled a bit, use a butter knife to extract the marrow. Place it in a small bowl.
- Spoon marrow – but not the oil that has collected at the bottom of the bowl – into the blender with the eggs, milk/coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, maple syrup, and pumpkin purée. Puree until smooth.
- Pour custard mixture into ramekins, dividing equally.
- Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of cups. Bake until custards are set in the center, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with raw whipped cream if desired or fruit.