Bone broth is one of the most healing, nutrient dense foods that we can add to our diet. It’s hearty, rich and comforting. It has practically zero carbs and very little calories, so it’s guilt-free.
This “Liquid Gold” is a traditional healing food used by almost every culture. Most processed broths and bouillon are made with toxins such as MSG. Bone broth that is created by cooking bones for long periods is free of toxins and is high in collagen, glutamine, glucosamine, elastin, hyaluronic acid and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon, magnesium and trace minerals).
Bone Broth has numerous health benefits:
- Aids in weight loss
- Strengthen bones
- Tighten and Smooth skin
- Relieve joints
- Heal the gut
- Remineralize teeth
- Improve allergies
- Boost immunity
- Support brain health
- Increase hair growth/strength
During cold and flu season, drink at least 1 cup per person per day to increase immunity. The broth is helpful for individuals who are ill and do not feel like eating, due to its immediate soothing properties on the stomach while it strengthens immunity.
Bone broth is very versatile: you can sip the broth alone, use as a stock for soups adding veggies and/or meats, and use to cook rice to give it a nutritional boost. It can also be used to sauté or roast vegetables. Vegans, not to worry, plant based broths are also nourishing and have many health benefits.
Homemade, nutritious bone broth is easy and inexpensive to make. Choose high quality bones from grass fed cattle or bison, pastured poultry, or wild caught fish, when selecting the bones for broth. Make sure that the animal was as healthy as possible, since you’ll be leeching the minerals and drinking them in concentrated form.
There are several places to find good bones for stock:
- From leftovers of roasted chicken, poultry, or beef
- From local farmers who raise grass-fed animals (for locations near you: www.localharvest.org)
- From a local butcher, preferably one who butchers the whole animal
- Online from companies such as US Wellness Meats or Tropical Traditions
If you are out of broth and find yourself without any time to make a batch, there is always the option to purchase already made broth. You can find high-quality, fresh broth at Salt, Fire and Time. They even offer a Broth Bar. Find them online at saltfireandtime.com. Or try Pepper & Salt, a local artisan who specializes in handcrafted soups and broths using only high- quality, local ingredients (many from her own gorgeous garden). It’s cooked for countless hours and made with love! This powerhouse broth pops up on Pepper & Salt’s menu when ingredients are available so be sure to keep your eyes peeled and snag them as soon as you can! Check out Pepper & Salt website at pepperandsaltkitchen.com or click the logo on Pickled Beet’s local community section.
How to Make Bone Broth
Broth can be cooked on the stovetop on a low burner, or in a slow cooker.
- 2 pounds (or more) of bones from a healthy source
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 4 quarts of cold filtered water
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Optional: 1 bunch of parsley, 1 tablespoon or more of sea salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, additional herbs or spices to taste. I also add 2 cloves of garlic for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- If you are using raw bones, especially beef bones, it improves flavor to roast them in the oven first. I place them in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes at 350.
- Then, place the bones in a large stock pot (I use a 5-gallon pot). Pour water over the bones and add the vinegar. Let sit for 20-30 minutes in the cool water. The acid helps make the nutrients in the bones more available.
- Rough chop and add the vegetables (except the parsley and garlic, if using) to the pot. Add any salt, pepper, spices, or herbs, if using.
- Now, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
- During the first few hours of simmering, you’ll need to remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. I typically check it every 20 minutes for the first 2 hours to remove this. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
- During the last 30 minutes, add the garlic and parsley, if using.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone and vegetable. When cool enough, store in a gallon size glass jar in the fridge for up to 7 days, or freeze for later use.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8-48 hours
Servings: 16 +
Adapted by Angela Gustafson from Wellness MaMa’s How to Make Bone Broth 8/11/2016 Katie
Vegan Bone Broth
One of the main reasons animal bone broth is healthy is the collagen inherent in bones. Collagen can help reduce inflammation and support healthy hair, skin, nails and joints. Particularly adept at promoting collagen production are foods including seaweed, celery, soybeans, kale, beets, spinach and olive oil – and they happen to make one delicious vegan ‘bone broth’ recipe. They’re also rich in minerals (like calcium noted above), and phytonutrients that boost immune system health. Unlike animal products, which are highly acidic, a vegetable broth is alkaline and can bring balance to a body that’s too acidic (from likely culprits: coffee, alcohol, meat and sugar). Adding miso paste to this recipe brings the benefits of a fermented food to the broth, which helps improve digestion, boost immune function and improve energy.
Wakame is a seaweed revered for its collagen-boosting effects and its high levels of minerals. It can be found in health food stores or online. Use organic ingredients when possible, particularly with soy products in the recipe.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup golden beets thinly sliced in strips
- Small handful of dried wakame reconstituted in a bowl of water
- 4 cups of fresh chopped spinach and kale mixed
- 2 tablespoons tamari or Nama Shoyu soy sauce
- 1/4 cup organic light miso paste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 12-16 cups of water or veggie broth
- Optional: 1/2 chunk of fresh turmeric, finely chopped, 1 cup chopped onion and 1-2 cloves garlic minced.
- In a large stock pot, sauté celery in olive oil over medium-low heat. (If you’re adding turmeric, onion, and garlic, add them now as well).
- Once celery is tender – about 5 minutes – add bay leaf, beets, water or veggie broth and soy sauce. Increase heat to medium flame and cover the pot.
- Drain the excess water off of the wakame and add it to the pot. Bring to a near boil and reduce heat to low, letting the broth simmer for about 45 minutes. Add spinach and kale, parsley and miso paste, stirring until miso dissolves.
- Strain off vegetables and use broth or serve with veggies for a light soup.
- Traditional bone broth is simmered for as long as 24 hours. If that long cooking extraction method speaks to you, these ingredients (except for miso paste) can all go into a slow cooker. Once the broth is ready, add miso paste just before serving.
Servings: about 3 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-24 hours
Adapted by Angela Gustafson from Organic Authority Vegan Bone Broth Recipe Jill 12/14/2014