This holiday season, make sure to use bone broth as a base for all your delicious dishes! Homemade bone broth turns animal bones and vegetable waste into a nutritional powerhouse chock full of vital amino acids, protein, minerals and collagen that can help heal inflammation, digestive woes, and improve your immune system. Plus, it tastes AMAZING!
Bone broth. I know you’ve heard of it and I’m betting you’ve even eyed some of those very expensive boxes of the stuff at the grocery stores. It’s been a buzzword of the health food industry for a while now, and is beloved of paleo, keto and gluten-free eaters the world over.
But long before the Whole30 — like hundreds of years before — bone broth was a staple in almost every home and kitchen as a way to use up food scraps and to create a nutrient dense food that was cheap, healthy and useful in many diverse ways.
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Making your own bone broth is incredibly easy and inexpensive; and having the resulting broth to add to your favorite soups or sip by itself on on a cold day is almost heaven itself.
What is Bone Broth and Why is it Better?
I remember one of the first times Jasper was with me when I bought bone broth at the store, and how he immediately balked at paying almost twice as much for it.
“Why are we buying this,” he asked me. “ALL broth is made from bones!”
He was absolutely right (although I’m sure I didn’t admit to that). Broth, stock and bone broth are all made from the same basic ingredients, which are vegetables, meat and bones. The difference between them is all in the cooking time:
Broth // 2+ hours Stock // 4-8 hours Bone Broth // 10-24 hours+
Broth is basically flavored water; stock has had more time for the ingredients to release their nutrients and is a bit more nourishing. Bone broth, on the other hand, is a health powerhouse! By simmering the bones until they almost fall apart, you release the gelatin, cartilage, minerals and amino acids that are so nutritious and important to our bodies and health.
Bone broth, as opposed to stock or regular broth, is also deeply savory and rich and has the perfect umami flavor. It contains more proteins, collagen and gelatin than stock, and can help you absorb nutrients more readily and improve your skin, hair and nails. Also, when consumed as a regular part of your diet, bone broth can also help heal digestive woes and strengthen your intestinal lining.
What are some other benefits of homemade bone broth?
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation
- Strengthens the immune system
- Helps promote strong and healthy bones
- A great source of natural glucosamine, which aids in tissue growth and repair
- Helps promote heart health
- Aids in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and infections
- Can help your body detoxifiy and heal liver disease
Basically, there’s lots of great reasons to make and eat homemade bone broth! Are you ready to make your own? Okay, get out the stockpot and let’s get busy!
Homemade Bone Broth Recipe
Homemade bone broth turns animal bones and vegetable waste into a nutritional powerhouse chock full of vital amino acids, protein, minerals and collagen that can help heal inflammation, digestive woes, and improve your immune system.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10-24+ hours | Yields: About 1 gallon
- 2-4 pounds of animal bones
- 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns
- Sea salt, to taste
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Water, to cover
- Roast the bones at 425 degrees for 30 minutes
- Transfer roasted bones to a large stockpot
- Add all other ingredients
- Fill with enough water to just cover
- Bring to a boil, and then turn down to low
- Simmer on low for 12+ hours and add water as necessary
- Remove the bones and other solids, then strain the stock through a fine sieve
- Cool, skim off fat, then transfer to jars (I find quart jars a good size for broth), then freeze, pressure can, or refrigerate
Notes: Remember that bones from grass-fed and pasture-raised is best and will have more nutritional value. Also, you can use ANY vegetables in your homemade bone broth. In the broth pictured, I used half a sweet potato I had in the fridge, and a tiny butternut squash that wouldn’t be good for anything else, in addition to the ingredients listed above. Use peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, or any other veggies or spices you have on hand. It all cooks down into goodness!
Best Store-Bought Bone Broth
As easy as making homemade bone broth is, I know that sometimes it’s just not feasible or convenient. Luckily, these days there are some really good options out there when buying bone broth at the store. My absolute favorite though, is a brand called Kettle & Fire.
Please know that while I am now an affiliate of Kettle & Fire, I was buying their bone broth long before I was ever writing a blog, and even now I like to have some on hand for when I just don’t feel like making my own. I purchase these with my own money, because I believe their bone broth is a superior product.
Kettle & Fire is one of the highest quality bone broths on the market, and made from 100% organic, GMO-free, grass-fed and free-range bones and organic vegetables. There are no harmful chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, preservatives or MSG.
It’s just good, wholesome, REAL food.
And there you have it! Delicious, easy to make, and an absolute necessity to good health! If you make this recipe I would love to know! Or, if you have any favorite ways to use your bone broth, please tell me about them in the comments. Most of all, enjoy!
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