Ultimate bone broth guide
Wholesome and deeply nourishing, bone broths are among the most affordable and nutritious foods you can make at home.
Origins of Bone Broth
It may be all the rage these days, but bone broth isn’t a new concept! Instead, its origins trace as far back as 2,500 years ago where it was used in Chinese medicine for supporting kidney and digestive health.
Since then, bone broth has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes around the world.
How to Make Bone Broth
Making bone broth is actually quite easy.
- Simply save the bones from your roasted chicken (including legs and wings that may have been on the serving platter), and add to a large pot or slow cooker.
- Add whatever veggies you would like. (We usually include onions, carrots, garlic - but you can really get creative here and include whatever veggies you have at home)
- Then simply top with filtered water until generously covered (about 6 cups)
- Next, add in a bit of salt to season the broth (you can add more later).
- Then add 1-2 Tbsp (15-30ml) apple cider vinegar, which is added primarily as the acidity breaks down the collagen and makes it more abundant in the broth. You can also sub lemon juice, but we prefer apple cider vinegar.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for at least 10-12 hours, or until reduced by 1/3 or 1/2, leaving you with 6-8 cups of bone broth. The more it reduces, the more intense the flavor becomes and the more collagen is extracted. We find 12 hours to be the perfect cook time.
- Strain and use or store.
Which bones should you use for your broth?
Good bone broth gets its characteristic gelatinous structure from collagen. And collagen comes from the connective tissue in meat, ligaments, and on bones. So, for a good-flavored broth that’s also rich in protein and gelatin, select a wide variety of bones that include some joints as well as meaty bones.
Bone Broth Benefits
Bones themselves are rich in vitamins and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Also, brewing connective tissue into bone broth provides the body with natural compounds from the cartilage.
Tissues and bones also contain collagen. Cooking collagen turns it to gelatin, which provides the body with amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
It is not possible to say how much of any nutrient will be in a particular batch of bone broth, since this largely depends on the type and quantity of the bones and tissues that went into it.
However, it may be best to include many different types of bones and tissues for the highest amount of nutrients.
Bone Marrow is rich in nutrients such as:
- vitamins A and K
- fatty acids
Adding other ingredients, such as vegetables, to the broth may also add additional nutrients.
Where to get bones?
Instead of throwing leftover bones and carcasses from meals in the garbage, save them to make broth.
You can collect the bones in a bag and store them in your freezer until you are ready to cook them.
However, if you’re not someone who typically buys and eats whole chickens and bone-in meat, you may wonder where you can find animal bones to make broth.
You can ask for them at your local butcher or farmers market. The meat department at most grocery stores will often have them too.
HOW TO USE BONE BROTH?
Bone broth is a versatile ingredient which can be used in a variety of ways. Use it as a stock in your cooking to make delicious curries, stews, smoothies and soups or drink it “neat”, warmed up like a cup of tea.
What's the difference between a bone broth and stock?
While bone broth is similar to stock,it simmers for MUCH longer. So, that longer period of time means most of the gelatin, nutrients, amino acids, and minerals seep out of the bones and into the bone broth. Thus, why some bone-broth lovers call it ‘nature’s multivitamin.’ And, it makes the broth more flavourful!
So you will not get the same benefits from a stock, and should opt for a good quality, homemade bone broth when possible.
If that sounds like too much work for you, there are bone broth varieties available at health stores.
Where can I purchase a good quality bone broth?
If you would prefer to purchase a bone broth, these are a few suppliers we have found:
You can also visit your local Wellness Warehouse - as they stock a number of freshly prepare broths.