Bone broth is the new chicken soup.
It restores and nourishes your entire body, helps you fight colds and the flu, it even gifts you with incredible long-lasting energy throughout the day.
What’s not to love about food that makes you feel great about yourself?
You could follow a recipe to make bone broth, but you don’t really need one, it is this simple:
- 1 gallon (4 liters) of water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg) animal bones – bison, beef, pork, poultry
- Salt, to taste
- Vegetables, optional
Choosing bones for bone stock
All bones are good for adding to soups. But a bone broth is not just about the bones, you can make a super nutrient-dense broth with bones that still have meat attached, think oxtail.
It is best to use a variety of bones in your gelatin-rich healing broth: marrow, oxtail, knuckles, feet and joints. Chicken feet are loaded with gelatin and are relatively cheap. Add them to the pot every chance you get!
Adding apple cider vinegar to the pot ensures that the valuable nutrients will transfer magically from the bones to the water, making it available for you.
While land animal bones are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and other trace minerals, a broth made from fish bones will contain more iodine. The latter is important for maintaining an efficient metabolism, and for a healthy thyroid.
Like chicken soup, not only is bone broth easy to digest (extremely helpful when you are feeling under the weather), it also helps in the digestion of other foods.
The more gelatin you can get in your broth, the more healing benefits you will feel. You see the difference when you simmer various kinds of bones – your broth will gel when cooled, like when making an aspic.
How to make bone broth
Once you have gathered the few ingredients needed for making bone broth:
- Place all ingredients in your stock pot or slow cooker.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and allow the broth simmer for 6-12 hours.
- Let the broth come to room temperature, remove marrow from the bones and strain if desired.
- Learn multiple ways to use bone broth in everyday recipes.
Optional ingredients for making bone broth
Eating diversely is the ultimate best way to stay fit and healthy.
Outside of the nutrients you receive from the bones, you may also want to add a little green to your basic bone broth – for more complex character and flavor.
Now is a wonderful time to use up leftover veggies and get creative in the kitchen.
Toss into the bone broth pot:
- sprigs of rosemary
- herbs from the garden – parsley, dandelion leaf, dill seeds
- dash of turmeric
- cloves of garlic
- small onion
- carrots and their leaves
- celery stalks
- apple chunks
- bay leaves
- whole black peppercorns
Basically, anything goes!
Once you learn how to cook recipe-less, you are on your way to become the best cook in the world.
When you have plenty of marrow bones, go ahead and roast them with meat and potatoes for an hour in the oven. Then add the roasted bones to your next pot of bone broth and see what happens. You’ll feel the flavor change in the end product.
Tools you need to make bone broth
If you don’t have time to tend to the stove, you can always use your trusted slow cooker to bring the nutritious bone broth together. Put all ingredients in the pot, turn it on low and wait 18-24 hours till it is truly and deeply simmered.
When you are short on time, you can make bone broth in an Instant Pot, too – in about 5 hours, it is done and ready to eat.
Bone broth will last for a week in the fridge, and you can also freeze it in individual portions – ready for a soup base any day of the week.
5 reasons to eat bone broth
Now that you know how to make bone broth, let’s discuss why you should consume a bowlful every week.
In order to experience bountiful energy, you need to eat healthy, drink enough water and get plenty of exercise too (gardening, hiking, taking care of the animals, etc.).
Protect your joints and increase bone strength
As we get older, our bodies often need a little assistance in the joint department. Collagen and gelatin are both responsible for healthy cartilage and joints that move fluidly.
Adding an assortment of bones in your broth will restore cartilage and take stress off your joints.
Heal your gut
If you have, have had, or have completely recovered from leaky gut, know that a cup of bone broth a day helps with healing the lining of your intestine.
You’ll find that a bowl of bone broth a day eases chronic constipation or diarrhea, and can even ease the symptoms of food intolerances.
In cooking, use bone broth instead of water to cook rice or quinoa, to braise asparagus or carrots, even use it as a base for curries and stews.
An entire night of peaceful sleep is worth far more than money. Besides grounding (or earthing) every day to reduce inflammation, it also helps to drink a mug of bone broth to experience effortless sleep.
Bone broth has significant amounts of magnesium (which allows your muscles to relax), it is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. Not only that, bone broth contains glycine, which in turn increases serotonin levels, reducing symptoms of insomnia. This makes for an improved sleep quality, calming your brain and preparing your body for gentle rest.
Improve your immune system
A single bowl of bone broth has such a high concentration of minerals that it can help stave off both colds and the flu. Our grandparents instinctively knew what it took to get well again when they were feeling under the weather – but perhaps they didn’t know it was the bone content in the chicken soup performing the magic behind the scenes.
Either way, science proves that bone broth strengthens our immune systems, we only need to eat it to believe it.
Bone broth is a rich source of collagen which may prove to be a positive connection to healthy, tighter skin. When you drink bone broth, you have the chance to sit back and age gracefully, knowing that you are healing your skin from the inside out.
Just remember to use bones from healthy, organic, grass-fed animals to continue the cycle of vigorous well-being.
Where to buy marrow bones
You won’t always find bones at the supermarket, as the meat is often processed off-site. But as bone broth has become more popular, you can find marrow bones in the frozen food section of many supermarkets.
Yet, you can always request them from a butcher.
Becoming a regular customer and friend of a local butcher is one of the best ways to get the freshest and most select cuts of meat and bone. Go frequently enough, and they will even be setting the very best aside for you!
Ask for the marrow bones to be cut in segments of 2-4 inches (depending on how you will be cooking/serving them), so they fit into your pots and pans. If you can purchase bones that come from grass-fed cattle, that is the absolute best. Grain-fed animals are in the majority, and those bones will be slightly cheaper, yet the amazing health benefits still apply.
Make sure to include a variety of bones in your stock pot for a nutrient-dense delicious soup that cannot be beat!