Bone broth is nothing new, yet it has regained popularity in recent years as being a cure-all for a variety of ailments. Civilizations have made brothing a common practice for generations, making the most of the inedible bones of animals. Waste not. Only when the ‘civilized’ Western grab-and-go diet emerged did brothing take the back burner. Why? Making bone broth does take time. Let’s bring it back.
What exactly is bone broth?
Also called stock or broth, bone broth is made of leftover bones from your roasted chicken, or from a beef or pork roast. Some even make fish broth, although it sounds a little less appetizing.There are subtle differences between a stock and a broth, and it depends on who you ask. In general, stocks are liquids derived from the bones of an animal. Broth is prepared the same way, but includes meat and other seasonings as well.
Benefits of Bone Broth
Besides the yummy warm feeling you get in your belly when you drink it, there are many health benefits associated with bone broth. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Relief from cold and flu symptoms
- Relieves upset stomach and constipation
- Helps heal gut lining, repair leaky gut
- Good source of vitamins and minerals important for bone health
- Reduces inflammation throughout the body, especially in joints
How To Prepare Bone Broth
Making it is very simple. There are tons of recipe variations online, simply search bone broth recipes, but the concept is pretty simple. Drop bones and leftover meat in a pot on the stove and simmer (not a rapid boil) covered in water for a 2-4 hours. Add in any seasonings or vegetables you prefer. My favorites include black pepper, garlic and bay leaves, or leave it unseasoned for more versatility later. I tend to skip the veggies until making soup.
The leftover proteins, vitamins and minerals leach out of the bones and into the water, leaving you a warm, delicious broth that you can drink as is or use for soup. Don’t forget to add a bit of apple cider vinegar in with the water. The acid from the vinegar will help pull minerals out of the bones more efficiently. Leave the broth to simmer for up to 24 hours for maximum broth potential. Add the fresh parsley about 10 minutes before finishing the stock, as this will add healthy mineral ions to your broth, for better nutrient absorption.
Don’t want to sit around watching your broth boil all day? No need. Throw it all in the crock pot, set it on low, and walk away. How much easier could it possibly get? If you decide brothing is your thing, create a perpetual crock broth by keeping the crock pot on warm, adding water to the crock pot daily, and adding new bones if you get them. Take the finished broth out to store or drink. The pot can simmer on warm for about a week.
Other Uses For Excess Bone Broth
Ok, so you went crazy and boiled a huge pot of broth, and there’s nobody around to help drink it. No problem. Cooled broth freezes well and can be pulled out any time to drink, make soup or cook with. Freeze in ice cube trays for easy thawing.
What’s the difference between store bought stock and homemade?
Check out the ingredients in Swanson’s Chicken Broth:
CHICKEN BROTH, SALT, MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, DEXTROSE, YEAST EXTRACT, CHICKEN FLAVOR, FLAVORING, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, CHICKEN FAT, HYDROLYZED SOY PROTEIN, CHICKEN BROTH POWDER.
You really only want the first ingredient, chicken broth. Yet you get a gaggle of added ingredients used as preservatives and flavor enhancers. You can preserve your homemade stuff by freezing and it tastes great already. And if you’re gluten free, yeast extract is a fancy term for gluten. So why mess with this stuff?
Even organic versions contain extras.Still has additives, still contains gluten. If you’re gluten free and want to use broth, you have no choice but to make it yourself.
Making it yourself is budget friendly too! I hear a lot of complaints that healthy whole foods are more expensive, and are therefore, not an option. Not bone broth! You are taking leftovers that would ordinarily be thrown away and putting them to good use. It costs you no extra money to make bone broth out of your remaining chicken bones.
Don’t feel like making bone broth? Companies are emerging that make homemade, organic broth. The companies we have researched are mainly on the West Coast, but shipping is available. As brothing regains popularity, I’m sure you’ll be able to find organic local options around the country.
Bone broth is packed with a multitude nutrients to keep you healthy in a variety of ways, plus it makes a warm and delicious addition to a winter meal plan. Making bone broth is so easy, why not give it a try?