How to: Bone Broth

Bone broth has been a staple in our home for the last four years. Each time I get my ingredients out, I feel like I am making a witches brew, adding different ingredients to make each batch a nutrient dense powerhouse of a potion to help heal the gut and boost immunity like no other food source can.  

My bone broth journey began when I started focusing on healing my gut. I adopted a Paleo diet, ditching the gluten and dairy, and focusing more on easily digestible foods, fermented foods, and bone broths. I learned I had a leaky gut and I was suffering from asthma, allergies, acne, and chronic colds and sinus infections. After some time, I started to notice my symptoms were significantly decreasing. Not only were my allergies and asthma gone, my face had cleared up, I had more energy, I was sleeping better, and I no longer had a single cold or sinus infection! Gut health is SO important. Did you know 70% of our immunity is in our gut? Poor gut health directly relates to chronic illness which then leads to chronic inflammation and guess what's next? Disease! Things like poor diet, stress, and heavy antibiotic and medication use can all lead to gut irritation and poor gut health.

A simple definition - bone broth is an extremely nutrient dense liquid used for human consumption for its health benefits that is made using animal bones and other ingredients simmered for a length of time to extract vitamins and minerals from those ingredients. Bone broth is not a new thing, our ancestors would make broths by utilizing all parts from an animal. With our modern lifestyles, we demand convenience in forms of boxed liquids and salty cubes. 

What about those boxes of stock we see at the grocery store? Nope, not the same thing unfortunately. Typically, a stock is made for a shorter amount of time, used in restaurants and sold pre packaged to add flavor to meals and as a base for soups. Bone broth however is cooked for a relatively long time and often an acidic vinegar is added to it to demineralize the bones for its nutrient properties.

There are so many uses for bone broth! Drink it warm, straight up in a mug. Make an immune boosting latte using ginger and turmeric. Use as a base for soups and stews. Freeze into ice cubes to have pre measured ready to go when you need them. Sauté vegetables. Cook rice with broth instead of water. Add broth to scrambled eggs instead of milk. And lastly, use broth to thin or stretch sauces. What other ways do you use bone broth? I would love to know!

Who could drink bone broth? Anyone! If you want to feel more vibrant, what do you have to loose by drinking one of the most nutrient dense drinks on the planet? Bone broth is especially beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases like cancer, thyroid disorders, MS, etc. It is also great for anyone with a cold or those who chronically get sick or infections. Lastly, bone broth is superb when you need to boost your immunity; changing seasons, travel, taking antibiotics, caring for another sick person. One benefit of bone broth you may not expect is weight loss. For myself, if I drink a warm mug of broth 30 minutes before a meal, I tend to eat less. When we give our bodies the nutrients it has been needing, we tend to eat less in general since we are becoming more "whole" in a sense, filling the void of nutrient deficiencies. 

Okay the fun part, lets break down nutritional content! Bone broth contains bone health nutrients for healthy hair, skin, nails, and teeth, a strong gut lining, good joints, immunity, and liver detoxification. It is an amazing source of natural minerals and electrolytes which makes it a great choice for extreme hydration. Bone broth contains calcium, Vitamins A, D, K2, C, B6, Folate (B9), and B12. Minerals include phosphorus, chromium, silica, zinc, manganese, copper, potassium, boron, strontium, and fluoride. Bone broth also contains essential fatty acids, omega 3s, and omega 6s. Bones are comprised of 35% protein and 65% vitamins and minerals. The 35% of protein is in the form of collagen which in a major component of connective tissue and is required for healing. Bone broth is one of the worlds best sources of collagen; when bones are simmering, the collagen is released into the broth and made readily absorbable for the human body. Collagen helps maintain youthful skin tone, texture, and appearance while also reducing wrinkles, cellulite, and decreasing puffiness. 

"One of the reasons why bone broth is so great for bone health is because you are taking bones and you are dissolving the constituents of bones into liquid so you are drinking the ingredients that bones are made out of." -Sarah Ballantyne, The Paleo Mom.

The best bones to use are ones from an organic, grass fed, or pasture raised animal. You can find bones at local farms and butchers, and grocery stores like Whole Foods, typically in the freezer section. In my house, we will buy organic whole chickens and bone in pork chops and save the bones in the freezer until we have enough for a broth. 

I love to cook a whole chicken for dinner and then the next day make a bone broth with the carcass. This is a great way to stretch your dollar and use the chicken from head to toe.

Chicken and pig feet make the most gelatinous broth because the joints have the most collagen. The more gelatinous the broth, the better! Gelatin in bone broth helps maintain our strong bones by supporting healthy bone mineral density. Gelatin is also beneficial for restoring the gut lining which can help alleviate food sensitivities and help reduce inflammation. I also typically recycle my bones and use them over again for a second broth, cooking them until they crumble in your fingers. Some people even go an extra step and use their soft bones in smoothies or to make homemade dog food!

I love to make a batch of bone broth each week, and drink daily. Very rarely I cannot get to the kitchen to make homemade broth. I have purchased a brand from Bonafide Provisions in the past. You can find this at your local health store in the freezer section. Thrive Market also has their own version of bone broth that is shelf stable and affordable!

Tip - let your broth cool over night in the fridge, all the fat will rise to the top and harden, making it easy to simply skim off with a spoon. Chicken broth will not produce a large amount of fat (chicken fat is also called schmaltz) but if you ever make a beef bone broth, you will have a ton of tallow (beef fat)! This is another thing you can save and cook with. One whole chicken = dinner = bone broth = cooking fat. Pretty cool right?

Chicken Bone Broth

Servings: 10

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken carcass with giblets, or enough chicken bones and giblets (raw or cooked) to cover a sheet pan

10 cups filtered water

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp sea salt

3 whole garlic cloves

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450F.

2. Spread chicken pieces on a baking sheet and roast at 450F for 25 minutes or until browned.

3. Once browned, add bones to cooking vessel of choice (pressure cooker, slow cooker, stock pot).

4. Add your water. Ten cups is what fit in my pressure cooker, if ten is too little, add enough water to cover the top of all the bones.

5. Add your apple cider vinegar, salt, and garlic.

6. Cooking method: 

Pressure Cooker: Set your pressure cooker to Manual - High Pressure - for 2-3 hours. Let pressure release naturally.

Slow Cooker: Set your crock pot on low and simmer for 10-12 hours.

Stock Pot: Cover and simmer for up to 8 hours on low to medium heat. Stir every 2 hours.

7. Once your broth has cooked, let cool for around 15 minutes.

8. Remove bones from broth with a slotted spoon. You may discard the bones, or save for alternative recipes.

9. Strain remaining broth through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth and store in glass containers. Let cool completely before putting in the fridge. Lasts one week in the fridge or up to six months in the freezer. 

I have found that if you add vegetables in for the entire length of the cooking process, they tend to make the broth bitter. If you wish to add vegetables like carrots, onions, celery (for added flavor) do this for the last two hours of the cooking process. For pressure cooking, you may add your vegetables for the entirety. 

Thank you for checking out my post about bone broth. I hope you found a reason why you yourself may benefit from consuming this nutritious liquid. Start small, make a batch and see if you like it. Experiment with different animal bones and vegetables until you find your favorite! Explore my website to learn more about what I do and sign up for my newsletter for additional recipes, things I am digging, and posts incase you missed them! As always, stay healthy! AF

Sources: The Paleo View Podcast Episode 98: The Bone Broth Show by Stacy Toth and Sarah Ballantyne, Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast Episode How To Reverse Aging with Bone Broth,

Dr. Axe

Bone Broth Benefits For Digestion, Arthritis, and Cellulite.