Bone broth is the buzz word of the moment!
It’s funny because bone broth is not actually a new thing – it’s been used by ancient cultures for centuries! However as people start to become more aware about their health and nutrition, this ancient healing remedy is seeing a resurgence. There is a good reason for that – bone broth is really good for you, it’s easy to make and it’s cheap.
However, I notice a lot of my readers have questions about bone broth, so here is a beginner’s guide to give you the basics. I have asked The Bone Broth Goddess herself, Micheline Andrews (founder and former owner of Broth of Life) to help me with this article and share her amazing recipe.
A beginner’s guide to bone broth.
What is bone broth?
Bone Broth is a nutrient-dense soup or broth of slowly simmered raw animal bones, where the nutrients are extracted with a pre-soak of apple cider vinegar. It helps the body to digest foods, help to cope with stresses, removes toxins and promotes healing.
Wait isn’t it just stock?
No, not really. The main differences are:
♥ bone broth is simmered rather than boiled at a high heat
♥ bone broth is cooked for a lot longer time
♥ bone broth is usually made with raw bones, not roasted or cooked bones
♥ bone broth contains apple cider vinegar to draw out the goodness of the bones
♥ bone broth is a healing soup rather than a flavouring base like stock
♥ commercial stocks are made with added flavours/preservatives/MSG and provide little healing benefits
What’s so good about it?
Bone broth is a magical, nutrient-dense elixir full of proteins, vitamins and minerals that the body can easily absorb.
It’s packed with calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium and sulfur. It’s great for everyone, but particularly good for those that have an illness, gut health issues or cannot eat a lot of food.
Another point to make is that it incorporates the ‘nose to tail’ approach to consuming animals. Bones are not wasted, they are used to provide more nutrients.
Some of the benefits include:
♥ helps to reduce joint pain due to the glucosamine and chondroiton
♥ helps to heal illnesses such as cold and flu and tummy bugs
♥ reduced inflammation in your body
♥ has a calming effect which can help with sleep
♥ helps you digest your food better
♥ helps to heal and seal your gut
♥ promotes strong and healthy skin, hair and nails due to the collagen
♥ helps the liver to remove toxins
♥ reducing, preventing and healing cellulite and wrinkles.
If you want to read up on the benefits, this article by Sally Fallon is a good one.
HOT TIP: When you have strained off the broth, you can whizz up the bones (as long as they are soft) and vegetables and use it for dog food. You just have to take out the onion and garlic or make it without.
How do you make it?
There are heaps of recipes out there and different ways of doing it. Once you have been making it a while, you will probably come up with your own recipe, based on your preferences and tastes.
This is the basic recipe that Micheline uses, which she has adapated from one at Weston A Price.
Mich’s Bone Broth Recipe:
Raw grass fed organic bones
Chicken: frames, thigh bones & 2 wings per frame, neck bones
Beef/Lamb/Pork: marrow, meaty rib bones, any meaty bones that still have cartilage attached
Up to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
3 celery stalks + tops
Salt & Pepper to taste. Optional herbs & spices ie: parsley & turmeric to be added at the end.
HOT TIP: Chicken feet, wings and necks and beef marrow and knuckles help make your stock more gelatinous.
Place bones in the pot and cover with water. Add apple cider vinegar. Pre-soak bones for one hour minimum.
After the pre-soak add the remaining ingredients.
Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover & simmer for 8-12 hours, longer if you have the time to do so. It will give you a richer flavour.
Once time is up turn off the heat and allow the broth to rest in the pot to cool.
Remove bones with tongs and leave any meaty residue in the pot.
Now you have 2 options – strain everything and have a clear broth or blitz with a food processor and have a thicker more flavoursome soup style of broth.
You can also make broth in the slow cooker – use the low heat setting.
HOT TIP: You can also add leftover vegetable scraps to your broth. Save them up in the freezer until you have enough to use.
How do I store it?
Place into storage containers – ideally glass is the best option. Let the broth rest in the fridge – a fat layer will form and this will help to preserve the broth. Refrigeration will help the broth to gel or congeal if it has not done so.
It can then be stored in the fridge up to a week if it has a fat layer or frozen for 6 months.
If frozen in a glass container leave a gap at the top so that expansion of the liquid does not cause the glass to smash. See how I freeze and defrost in glass jars here.
You can also freeze it in ice cube trays (stainless steel is best) for quick and easy use in recipes.
How do you consume it?
A lot of people just drink a cup of bone broth as it is. You might want to add a little salt and pepper and water it down to suit your tastes. Some people also drink it with lemon or crushed garlic!
If you don’t like the taste straight up, incorporate it into your cooking. Where a recipe calls for water or stock, use bone broth instead. Don’t forget that your broth may be concentrated, so do a taste test and add water as needed.
You can incorporate the fat layer into your meals or just skim it off and use it as a fat for cooking.
My bone broth didn’t gel, what now?
There are a few different reasons for not getting a nice jelly consistency to your bone broth. Read my article: why didn’t my bone broth gel?
How to use bone broth in your cooking.
♥ Poach eggs in a little broth
♥ Use it as a base for your favourite soups
♥ Turn broth into a gravy by thickening with cornflour or arrowroot
♥ Cook your rice, pasta or quinoa in broth
♥ Use in risottos or pilafs
♥ Add a little to homemade pureed baby food
♥ Use broth in mashed potato instead of or as well as milk
♥ Use half broth and half cream to make a delicious potato bake
♥ Use in place of milk in white sauce (or use half and half)
♥ Freeze in ice-cube trays and pop one or two in your smoothies
♥ Add it to your homemade pasta sauce or tomato sauce
♥ Add a dash or cube to stirfrys
♥ Use it as a base for curries, casseroles and stews
♥ Add some leftover vegetables and meats for a nourishing soup
♥ Use in savoury mince, chilli, shepherds pie and chow mein recipes
♥ Add to sliced mushrooms, cook and reduce for a lovely side dish
♥ Use it to make a flavoursome couscous
♥ Use in stroganoff and goulash recipes
♥ Put a dash in pesto and dips
HOT TIP: I always add the onion skins and garlic skins (washed) and seaweed flakes to my bone broth for extra nutrients!
Buy Bone Broth
Now if you really can’t be stuffed making your own broth or need a non-perishable and portable option, you can buy bone broth. However, you need to make sure the source is trustworthy and they are using the highest quality ingredients. Here are some that I recommend:
For some further reading about bone broth and all sorts of nourishing foods, you can’t go past Sally Fallon’s, Nourishing Traditions cookbook. It’s a must have.
I came across broth via my own personal journey about 4 years ago after not healing properly from a hip injury/surgery. I knew that I had done some damage to my gut from pain medication.
I discovered the Weston A Price Foundation and it triggered a memory of my grandparents who had a pot continually on the stove top. Having nothing to lose and having my own produce, I started making and consuming broth.
Hair and nail growth was the first thing I noticed, then movement in my injury site improved along with the pain. I was so overcome that something that was so simple and all natural helped me so much, I wanted to share it with others to help with their healing. Broth of Life was born!
I still have a strong passion for broth and am now further studying nutrition and health coaching. I am currently running workshops to show the simplicity of it and to explain the benefits and share my own journey.
Want to talk broth? Join Micheline in her Facebook group, Bone Broth Basics.
Follow Mich via social media to find out information about her Bone Broth workshops, courses and health coaching.
Who make their own bone broth? What other tips do you have for us?