What is Bone Broth?
Is it healthy for you? Yes. The ancient practice of using this broth is legendary.
But, there is a lot of confusion to what exactly bone broth is. Much of the trouble comes from diet trends that cared more about cool sounding terms rather than traditional uses. So we're going to clear some of this confusion before we jump into the health benefits. We suggest that you read this. If you talk to chefs or culinary aficionados, they will use the proper term and could look down on you for, well... not using the right terminology.
The broth is traditionally a flavored liquid made from the meat and organs but rarely the bones of various animals. Vegetables and herbs play a big part in broth. It is what you most traditionally think of as part of the chicken soup. It commonly takes 4 to 6 hours to create a tasty broth.
Stock, on the other hand, is made primarily with the bones and customarily discarded pieces of animals. Things like chicken feet, hooves, and skin are sometimes used. It is a slightly thicker liquid due to the collagen. Some of the nutrients from the bones are transferred to the fluid and most of the protein and fats. It can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to make a good stock.
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When the paleo trend was introduced, they chose to use the word bone broth rather than stock. The recipes in the paleo lifestyle use a lot of bone broth. It is an incorrect use of the phrase broth, according to culinary schools and chefs. Technically, bone broth and stock are the same.
The best bone broth comes from using quality animal bones and gently simmering those bones for extended periods of time. Bone broth is incredibly healthy and has been used for hundreds of years to treat illnesses and diseases. Ancient Greek and Chinese medicines used broths and stocks for healing.
According to many famous French chefs, the best way to use bone broth or stock is to use it as a base in all of your cooking. It is considered the backbone of cuisine.
Organic Bone Broth
We recommend using two different sources for your broth. When choosing quality supplies, you want to get organic, grass-fed bones or shop locally for farmers and ranchers that grow and raise their animals naturally. Avoid factory and commercial products, as they can contain residual antibiotics, growth hormones, and other undesirable chemicals.
You'll be able to tell the difference when you have quality bone broth at your disposal. The flavors are more vibrant, thicker, and the smells are far more pungent.
We prefer local animals over organic because you get a chance to talk to the farmers and ranchers. It helps the local economy and improves the lives of all animals. You also will be able to avoid a lot of the high costs that come with organic certifications.
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Organic bone broth means that the broth made from animals that were not given unnecessary antibiotics or growth hormones and the feed they were given was not genetically modified. It does not mean they were raised naturally, treated well, or were grass fed.
Top of the line bones come from organic or local grass-fed bones to make your broth. Fortunately, in many communities, you will be able to find farmers and ranchers that practice organic principles and allow their animals to roam freely eating grasses and other natural weeds.
Drinking Bone Broth
When it comes to getting bone broth into your diet, you have a couple of options. First, we recommend cooking with the bone broth because it infuses tremendous flavor into your cooking and provides you all of the nutrients of the broth.
But, there are also many benefits of drinking bone broth straight. Many people enjoy the flavor of the bone broth.
For example, we had a friend who developed low-grade anemia. She was able to use a rich beef bone broth mixed with beets to reverse the anemia. Both the beets and the bone broth are rich in iron, which is easily assimilated into the body. All it took was a tablespoon every day, and within three weeks her anemia was reversed.
The best time to drink bone broth would be when you have other food that slows digestion. This allows more time for your body to absorb the nutrients that come in the bone broth and the rich flavors and collagen help stimulate proper digestion.
One of the reasons so many provisional cooking methods involve using bone broth is because it helps improve the digestion of the people who are consuming it, plus adds nutrition and lots of flavors.
Storing Bone Broth
When you made bone broth, more than likely you are going to make a lot of it at a time. You will probably have a gallon to three gallons of the broth by the time you are finished with most of our recipes. So that raises the question: how long is this bone broth good for?
What you will find is if you leave the cooling bone broth on the counter, it will attract many insects and household pets that will try and drink it up. Within a day or two, you will start to see mold growing on the surface. Many of these molds are present in the air itself and are not harmful to you unless consumed in quantity. The reason it grows so well in the bone broth is that it is a rich nutrient solution. It is a perfect growth media.
We recommend freezing or canning most of the bone broth. You can refrigerate some of it, and it will turn into a thick, almost gelatin-like substance. It can be scooped out and added to the dishes. We don't recommend keeping a lot of it in your refrigerator because it can go rotten within a few days.
In the freezer, you should be able to store it for approximately six months. If you get used to using this bone broth, then you will probably use up a one gallon supply in 4 to 6 weeks. Do not leave the broth in the freezer more than six months as it may develop freezer burn and pick up unusual smells that come from other foods.
How Much Bone Broth Should I Drink
If you are cooking with bone broth, you don't need to worry about the quantity that you consume. You will be getting more than enough, and your body will be able to remove the excess quickly. If you are drinking bone broth on its own and as part of a regular health regimen, we recommend using one tablespoon per day. This will allow your body to absorb the nutrients properly and not overwhelm your system.
We do not recommend giving bone broth to your baby before six month. As young as they are, they are not able to assimilate the nutrients as efficiently as an adult. Many of the side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and gastrointestinal problems, such as colic, are significantly increase when you feed your baby the bone broth. We recommend if you want to pass on the nutrients that the mother ingests the bone broth and then breastfeed the baby.
Bone Broth Nutrition
Bone broth is exceptionally nutritious. It is packed with different nutrients, such as all of the fat-soluble vitamins of A, E and D, many minerals and lots of fat. Because of this high-fat content, it has high calories. As you read in many of our articles we show your calories don't mean a thing and being healthy is all about getting the proper vitamins and minerals.
One of the things that might be extremely surprising is that even though everyone says bone broth has a ton of nutrition, many of the studies show that the total amount that comes from the bones is less than many other foods. What most of these studies are missing is how the nutrients react in the body and the vegetables that are used.
For example, the amount of calcium within bone broth is only about 10% that of the same of a cup of milk. However, only about 10% of the calcium is bio-available in the milk, and in bone broth, it is nearly 100% bio-available. Comparing how the body uses it, the broth is better for you than the milk, since the broth has very little sugar and the milk has a lot.
Also, vegetables contribute significantly to the nutrition of the broth. The old-time practice of using the cut ends of carrots, onion, garlic, cabbage, beets, and other foods as the vegetable base of the stock provided lots of flavor and much of the nutrition.
Bone Broth Gelatin
The most important part of bone broth is the collagen. This is a crucial matrix that is comprised mostly of proteins and provides the structure to many of the tendons and cartilage. When we consume this collagen, many of the health benefits are transferred to us.
Recent studies to show that drinking the bone broth and collagen help reduce inflammation, arthritis, generalized pain, digestive problems, mental issues, and so much more.
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Various bone broths have different amounts of collagen, and it will indeed depend on the type of animal, how it was raised, and where you get the sources from as to which one will provide the best collagen. The animals grown in your local area will be more of a benefit than those that are shipped in from great distances, and you always want to get organic or local naturally raised over factory raised.
When you go local, you can ask the farmer how the animal was raised, and you can discover the best practices on your own. By getting to know the farmer and the animals you can choose the best product and the best food for you and your family. And you don't have to pay the expensive organic label.
Bone Broth Gelatin
Yes, bone broth does have fat, and yes, bone broth does have cholesterol. You do not need to be afraid of fat or cholesterol because all of it that's in this bone broth is extremely healthy for you and will help improve your health.
Studies have shown that consuming animal-based cholesterols and fats are only detrimental to you when you do it in excessive amounts and when you choose poorly raised animals to eat. Naturally raised local animals to provide much more positive vitamins, minerals, and fats, and healthier for you. You will also find that you eat less of the meat because it tastes so good and you are satisfied faster.
When you're eating healthier and combining quality meats with a lot of vegetables and nutritious food, you don't have to worry about things such as cholesterol or fat, and your body will be healthy because you are feeding it right.
Bone Broth Minerals
A few foods in this world that are richer in minerals than bone broth. When appropriately made bone broth has plenty of calcium and iron.
What is even better is that both the iron and the calcium within the bone broth are nearly 100% bio-available. That means when you consume it, you are absorbing almost all of the iron and calcium out of the liquid that is in it. Most supplements are rarely over 50 percent bio-available, which means your body can only absorb about half of it.
And that's not all. Bone broth contains a lot of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.
But here's the real kicker, even though many of the proteins and college move into the solution, many of the minerals do not. Those crystal clear broths and stocks that you pick out of the grocery store are much more mineral deficient than you would expect.
All of that precious sediment on the bottom, the little black particulate matters, the gritty sand on the bottom is where the vast majority of the vitamins and minerals end up.
Fortunately, our system is designed that it can extract many of the nutrients out of these tiny particles, just like it would if you were eating the actual food. The problem comes from the stock not having strong enough acids or the proper enzymes to break down the nutrients into their most useful structure. But our systems are very good at that.
You will find a number online of the statements that bone broths, stocks, and broths are very healthy and nutrient-rich, like we've been saying here, and others saying they're not very nutrient rich at all.
Looking at the raw numbers or clear broths, yes we would agree that they are not very nutrient rich. However, the body treats it completely different, and your homemade bone broth will have lots of sediments and good stuff. It does not look at individual numbers, but how those nutrients can be used. And our body does use the bone broth exceptionally well, and it is one of the most healing foods out there.
But, don’t treat bone broth as a supplement replacement or a substitute for eating well. It doesn’t work that way.
Bone Broth Protein
Depending on how you make the bone broth, it can contain a lot of protein or very little. If you include the meat that is on the bones, it can have a lot of protein. If not it can still have some amino acids that are high and others that are low.
There are high amounts of glycine and proline and fair amounts of glutamic acid in bone broth. The muscle contains high amounts of methionine. The glutamic acid is what helps repair and preserve the cartilage within the joints.
This has led to many companies creating bone broth protein powder. These are merely made by dehydrating the bone broth until a thin powder is formed. There are many benefits to this bone broth protein, as it can be very nutritious. But we recommend getting the organic bone broth protein powder to avoid many of the pitfalls of factory-raised animals, such as growth hormones and antibiotics. You can use this as a bone broth supplement if you don't have the option to make your own.
There has also been a lot of information out there about using bone marrow broth. This is nearly the same as using the whole bones, but you are just using the marrow for the broth recipe. When making bone broth with entire bones, you are automatically making the marrow broth. The benefits of the bone marrow and bone broth are the same as the regular bone broth recipes.
When Bone Broth Is Bad for You
For the most part, the broth is healthy for everyone. It is often used to nourish sick people back to health and can be ingested by nearly anyone. But there are times that bone broth can make you sick.
We recommend starting at a small level and increase the amount you consume every day to one tablespoon. If you start off too much too fast, your body might not be able to assimilate the nutrients, and the high amount of iron could cause diarrhea or constipation.
There have been reported cases of bone broth causing anxiety. Bone broth will increase your nutrition and help balance your hormones, so your depression and anxiety symptoms decrease, but in rare cases, the sudden change in your hormone levels and change of probiotics within your gut could set off some anxiety attacks and strange dreams.
If you are prone to calcium kidney stones, bone broth might increase the number of kidney stones you experience. Because of the high calcium content of the bone broth of your body might not be able to assimilate and expel all of the calcium. This could lead to kidney stones. However, many of the online reports show a reduction in kidney stones when the bone broth is taken, even for those people who use who have calcium-based kidney stones.
If you begin drinking bone broth too much or too fast, you could develop diarrhea or constipation. The high iron content and mineral content of the bone broth could cause you to bind up and have constipation. It could cause the stool to harden and turn very dark brown.
Some people have reported the opposite, that taking bone broth has caused them to have diarrhea. If you are eating a diet that is high in processed foods and high in sugar, the bone broth being so high in nutrition could cause your gut to suddenly expel all of its contents to ready itself for more highly nutritious foods.
This is why we recommend starting off at a much smaller level and working your way up it reduces and eliminates many of these side effects.
Bone Broth Health Benefits
There are many uses to this healing bone broth, and there are so many reasons why bone broth is right for you. What we’re going to talk about in the next couple of sections are some of the benefits to bone broth and how to use it to your best advantage.
When we began talking about how bone broth is going to help, you have to look at your whole diet and your overall lifestyle. You can't expect to add just one healing product and expect it to heal your entire body. Many of the benefits we talk about come as part of a proper diet with plenty of exercise in your life. It includes removing many of the processed foods and chemicals from your diet.
What Bone Broth is Best?
There have been many debates over whether bone broth, stock or plain broth is better for people. Depending on what you're looking for, any of those could be the answer. Chicken broth has many benefits over other broths and stocks for people who are sick. It helps stimulate the immune system better.
For people who are looking to improve their nutritional deficiencies such as iron deficiency or anemia, beef bone broth has more benefits than other stocks or animal broth.
If you are looking to improve joint function or arthritis pain, stocks are preferable because broths do not have the collagen.
Bone Broth Gut Health
Using the stock is suitable for two primary areas of your body. The first is healing your gut and the second is for reducing inflammation, helping your joints.
No one is quite sure how the bone broth heals the gut. What they know is that bone broth does help IBS, constipation, and diarrhea for most people.
Some of the information shows that stock nutrition helps improve the bacteria and probiotic content of the gut. It can also encourage healing and the reduction of inflammation of the lining and tissues between the esophagus and lower intestine. And with high nutritional content, bone broth is gratifying to drink for leaky gut.
It may also improve the quality of the mucus lining in the gut that will reduce infections, repair IBS damage, and easy indigestion and gas symptoms.
Of course, if you suddenly introduce too much of this bone broth to your diet, it can cause constipation and diarrhea alternatively. Because of the high mineral content, bone broth can cause constipation and back up the fecal material.
And because of the high vitamin content, it can cause the gut to expel many of the unsavory things you eat in the form of diarrhea. Because it will help reduce the harmful bacteria in your intestines, it can also cause gas right at first.
Because of that, we don't want you to drink too much right away. We recommend starting off with a teaspoon of broth per day and working your way up. It is beneficial to incorporate this nutritional liquid into other portions of your diet, that way your system is not overloaded with the stock and you can avoid many of these adverse side effects.
If you are prone to gout, bone broth may cause a flare-up of gout. You will have to be careful and monitor your condition.
Bone Broth for Weight Loss
The bone broth diet has become fashionable to help with weight loss. But, we are not sure that we find this diet to be overall healthy. Although bone broth diet does work, there have been many reported cases of nutritional deficiencies and illnesses attached.
One of the great ways to use bone broth is to do a regular, fast and incorporate the warm broth for three days (excellent article here). That way your body can cleanse out the various toxins, and you are not going to experience nutritional deficiencies.
You can use any of the recipes below and incorporate this bone broth into your regular diet, which can help your weight loss. As part of a healthy diet, bone broth can provide a lot of nutrients. That can reduce your need for food by reducing the amount of food you need to eat; you will naturally lose weight.
Bone Broth for Arthritis
One of the best ways to use bone broth for your health is to help prevent arthritis. In this case, you genuinely do want bone broth or stock. It contains the gelatin and collagen that were present in the bones, and it is these nutrients that causes the bone broth to help heal your joints.
Now, bone broth is not a cure for arthritis, but it does help arthritis when your body has the proper nutrition, it can help rebuild the damaged cartilage and provide structural support for cartilage that remains. It helps lubricate the joints and offers an adequate motion.
Many people feel that using bone broth to reduce the symptoms of arthritis is a huge benefit.
Bone Broth for Skin
As you heal the inside of your body, your skin naturally becomes healthier and more radiant. The collagen within the gelatin and bone structure of the broth help reverse signs of aging, such as wrinkles.
As your skin becomes healthier and produces healthier oils and rebuilds the keratin structure that supports firm, healthy skin, you will begin to look younger and feel better.
Bone Broth and Cancer
We've been asked this question a lot, and no, bone broth cannot cause cancer, but neither can bone broth cure cancer.
What we have found is that as your body gets proper nutrition and can build and repair tissues correctly and healthy, the body can fight off any damaged tissue that might mutate into cancer. By eating a healthier diet, you remove many of the carcinogens that you have been exposed to.
For people who have been affected by cancer, bone broth can provide nutrition in a very compact package. This nutrition is essential for people who have cancer because often the appetite is limited.
Bone Broth for Colds and Immune Health
As we stated earlier, chicken broth is one of the best foods you can eat when you have a cold. It helps stimulate the immune system and reduces the standard cold better than any prescription medication.
The fat and collagen within the bones also help the lymphatic system remain clear and functioning properly. This system is essential because it helps to remove the waste from our body and supports the immune system as it attacks and destroys foreign invaders.
Using the broth is an excellent way to remain hydrated while sick. It can be a challenge to get enough fluids, but broth, especially chicken varieties, go down easy.
Bone Broth Ingredients
Most broth recipes are very similar to each other. They contain relatively amount of the same ingredients and the same process.
The top way to improve your recipe is to choose the best bones for your bone broth. As we said before local farmers that practice organic principles and allow their animals to grass feed are the best for your bones.
Some of the recipes we recommend call for roasting the bones for your bone broth or stock before cooking it down. The cooking process breaks down some of the collagen within the connective tissue and helps prepare the bones for releasing their nutrients, and it also increases the flavor and scent of the bones. All of that good stuff ends up in your broth.
As you begin making your broth and stock, you will find little variations can make a big difference; we recommend experimenting with different vegetables, roots and combinations of different bones.
Bone Broth Recipes
While you can buy tasty bone broth, making your bone broth can be very rewarding and taste better. Many top chefs insist on homemade bone broth because of the freshness and the guaranteeing of quality ingredients.
The stock recipes we have here have come from a long tradition of various families. In many old cookbooks, you will find recipes for how to make stock from the bones in some of the first pages.
But it is in the old handwritten books that you'll find some of the most confusing and tastiest recipes. From our own family, we took the chicken recipe and posted it here. Of course, we had translated a few ingredients for you. All of the other stock recipes are based on this one.
In many families, discarding of scraps of various vegetables was considered extremely wasteful. Many families would preserve the scraps from carrots, onions, garlic cabbage, and other vegetables in vinegar before putting them together with the bone broth. If the family wrote down the bone broth recipe they often included the term scraps or leaving. Both of these indicated these extra vegetable pieces preserved in vinegar. And since these vegetables were preserved in vinegar, the recipe didn't add extra vinegar.
In the recipes we present here, we have many vegetables that call for to be cut up and put into the stock. If you have preserved your vegetables in vinegar or the freezer, feel free to use those in replacement of fresh vegetables. Trust us the stock will taste just as good using the scraps as it does with fresh vegetables.
We have not included how to make bone broth soup recipes here because, in order to make soup, all you need to do is take the stock and add meat and vegetables. For example, chicken soup is straightforward, you take your chicken stock, add cut up pieces of chicken, carrots, celery, and onion and cook it until the vegetables and meat are soft.
Many recipes that call for stock or broth can use the bone broth. This is especially true for things like gravy, stews, and risottos.
Crock Pot Bone Broth
You can make bone broth in a crockpot. You just have to make sure your crockpot can handle a low simmer and consistent temperatures. All the recipes we have below can be made in a slow cooker * too.
The biggest problem with using a slow cooker is that most of them have a capacity of one gallon or less. That means you're going to get out a minimal amount of liquid after all of the bones have been added. If you are only looking to make a small amount, then this is perfect, but most people use a large 3 or 5-gallon stew pot on the stove to make plenty of broth.
It is possible to make bone broth in a pressure cooker, but it is not recommended. The pressure cooker is a volatile piece of cooking equipment. And if you are not cautious, it could create a dangerous situation. Experienced pressure cooker users should have no problems.
How to Make Bone Broth Taste Better
If you use poor quality bones and poor quality vegetables, you might get a very bitter liquid. Cooking too fast can cause burning and a bitter taste.
The best way to make your bone broth taste good is to use quality ingredients. All of the recipes below start with quality and take time to fully mature the flavors.
It does take a long time to make good broth and stock. Be sure to take your time.
Beef Bone Broth
When you start making your beef bone broth, the first thing you're going to find is that you can produce a lot of tasty liquid in a short amount of time. You’ll also see that roasting your beef bones before making the broth can increase the flavors tremendously.
To roast the bones, place fresh, clean bones with the attached cartilage and a little bit of meat on a roasting tray and place in the oven at approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. The proteins will caramelize, and the fat will start to melt. You do not want to lose too much of the fat because this is where all of the prized gelatin is.
After you roast the beef bones, cooking the soup bones becomes quite easy. Making your bone broth follows a similar pattern. You want to use organic beef bones for your broth. This will give you the best-tasting stock.
You will want to cook the bone broth for at least 12 to 14 hours. Most people begin it one day and finish it the next. Some people simmer the broth for 24 to 36 hours. You can use this bone broth to make soup, stews and many other delicious meals. Rich risottos are made with the stock.
If you have a crockpot that can hold a constant low temperature, you can make the beef bone broth in crockpot.
Beef Bone Broth Recipe
Chicken Bone Broth
Making chicken bone broth at home is perhaps the most natural and most common broths that people make. Many people will cook a whole chicken and then make the bone broth from a simple recipe. In many traditional methods, a whole chicken was made for dinner, picked clean, and then the bones were used to create a stock. You don't have to roast the bones of a chicken before making the stock, but it is recommended that you have them fully cooked.
Chicken soup that is made from bone broth is exceptionally healthy and robust for the immune system. If you are making this, we do recommend using organic chicken. This way you avoid many of the contamination such as arsenic that can be found in factory raised chickens.
In many cultures, using chicken feet to make bone broth is very popular. They provide a lot of flavors and a lot of gelatin to the recipe. We recommend if you have the opportunity to try this, use the chicken feet.
Since chickens are smaller, they lend themselves more accessible to making the chicken bone broth in a crockpot.
Chicken Bone Broth Recipe
Fish Bone Broth
While not popular in the US or Europe, in Asia a fish stock is viral. In many Chinese and Japanese cuisines, the fish stock is used much more often than nearly any other cooking liquid, aside from miso.
This is a simple recipe to make a delicious fish stock.
Fish Bone Broth Recipe
Lamb Bone Broth
Lamb makes a delightful stock. When people can get the proper bones in Poland, a traditional springtime stew is made from lamb stock with many of the leftover root vegetables from over winter. It was a favorite recipe my grandmother made. It is cooked for a long time over low heat and often enough is created to serve a dozen people. Many times it is produced over the Easter holidays.
Lamb Bone Broth Recipe
Pork Bone Broth
Finding a good recipe for a pork bone broth was a little challenging. Not many people make pork stock. Because of the bland flavor, many people can't tell the difference between the pork broth and the vegetable broth. Of course, that could just mean we haven't found the right pork bone broth recipe. If you try it and its delicious be sure to leave us a comment with what you did, and we would love to try it ourselves.
You can use the chicken recipe using pork bones to make your broth.
Oxtail Bone Broth
In the past, oxtail stock or bone broth was the principal cooking stock used in French cuisine. Today, it is considered a delicacy because it is not often found in a most butcher shop. If you have the chance to try it, we highly recommend it. Any recipe used for beef can be used with oxtail.
Vegetarian Bone Broth
There is no such thing as a vegetarian bone broth or stock. By definition, a bone broth or stock has the bones of an animal.
Of course, a veggie broth is extremely easy. Merely put your vegetables in a stockpot and cook for 2 to 4 hours and you have your broth. We often make a plain vegetable broth using the recipe of onions, garlic carrots, and celery, sometimes cabbage, sweet potatoes, and beets. It turns out delicious and can be added to many different types of food.
Where to Buy Bone Broth
Of course, some of us just don't want to take the time and create our bone broth. Online you can buy the stock and bone broth quite easily. You can also purchase bone broth in grocery stores.
We highly recommend if you are going to buy this to buy organic bone broth *. There are many different types of bone broth that you can buy, so choosing the best one is a matter of taste.
Many butcher shops will allow you to buy beef bones, both with the marrow and without for a minimal price. We recommend shopping during the summer when rates are lower, and it is not a standard ingredient people are looking for.
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