Bone broth has become all the rage lately—and for good reason! Bone broth walks the line between food and medicine in a way that few other foods do. This healing broth is super easy and affordable to make at home in either your Instant Pot or slow cooker, or in a stockpot on your stove.
I began experimenting with making my own bone broth after developing some stomach issues after a trip to Nepal in 2015. Majority of my gut’s ability to heal can be attributed to bone broth! I have continued to make it (year round) since, for all the additional health benefits it offers. The nutritional profile of bone broth depends widely on the kind of bones you use (you can use chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish - anything!) your cooking time, and the way the animals were raised (grass-fed and pasture raised animals will give you more nutrient density). However, there are a few common things about bone broth that make it so awesome:
-It’s loaded with gelatin! The slow and low cooking helps to release the gelatin- which is a brokendown version of collagen—that is in the connective tissues and bones you use. Major important areas of our body (like the lining of our gut and our connective tissues and joints) are made from collagen—in fact, about 25% of our body is made of collagen! Many use gelatin or collagen supplements, but bone broth is another effective (and affordable) way to get your gelatin and collagen. Making sure you get an adequate supply of collagen has a ton of health benefits like helping you sleep better, making your skin more supple, protecting your gut lining, and making your joints less achy.
-It’s easy to digest! Sometimes the roughage of a huge salad is good for you, but sometimes—especially if you are fighting digestive disorders or your immune system isn’t 100%— easy-to-digest foods are best. Bone broth is a wonderful marriage of easy-to-digest but still nutritionally powerful
Bone broth is so trendy now, but really, there’s absolutely nothing new about it! Healing broths have been part of the majority of cultures for centuries.
Although it is simple, it does require lots of time, especially if you are cooking it on the stove as opposed to an instant or crock pot. I cook mine on the stove in a 16qt stock pot so I can jar it up and freeze it for daily consumption. I try to source the best quality bones I can find, which are from the Purple Door Market out in Hygiene. Farmers at the market and local butchers are other places that can usually hook you up with quality bones at an affordable price. Another method is to buy cuts of meat bone in, or purchase whole chickens and save a collection of bones in your freezer.
There are a few different methods and techniques to experiment with when creating your perfect batch of BB! You can roast the bones prior to simmering, add extra add in’s such as turmeric and ginger, use different bones or parts of the animals (chicken feet are the best!) and tweak the flavor with a variety of seasonings. I add in vegetables at the end to give an extra nutrient boost and to enhance the flavor. Although there are no great substitutions to make bone broth for the vegetarians, just the vegetables on their own will offer a bounty of goodness for your body. Check out my basic go-to recipe below and have fun customizing it to make it your own!
Bone Broth Recipe:
Ingredients: (the amounts here are for a huge batch, so 1/2 or 1/4 this if you are cooking in an instant pot, crock pot or Dutch oven)
8-10 lbs bones
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 bundle of celery
1 bundle Parsley
.5 lb mushrooms
Handful of fresh ginger root
Handful of fresh turmeric root
Seasonings you are into (garlic, chili flakes, rosemary, thyme, soy or Braggs Aminos, whatever’s clever!)
Roast bones if you’re after a more complex, deeper flavor.
Put bones in your cooking vessel and fill with fresh filtered water until the bones are fully covered. Add the Apple Cider Vinegar. (This helps break down the bones and help all the nutrients leach out). Let it soak for a couple of hours then fill your vessel the remainder of the way with water.
Bring to a boil if you are cooking on the stove. Any impurities (which there shouldn’t be much of since you sourced quality bones!) will float on the top. Sift this out. If using a crock or instant pot, you can blanch the bones prior to putting them in for this step.
Lower to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook for at least 48 hours if you are using a crockpot or stove. Now, I typically cook mine for 72-96 hours since I make such a large amount. If cooking in an instant pot cooking time is reduced to 4-5 hours.
Add your veggies (onion skins and all) for the last 12-24 hours of cooking. Parsley goes in for the last 2 hours of cooking. Veggies can be left whole, although I like to mince the ginger and turmeric.
Let cool. Put in an ice bin to rapidly do this or put in the fridge overnight. (Or outdoors if it's cold!) A layer of fat (tallow) should form on the top. Scrape this off and use for cooking.
The end product should be jiggly! Do not worry if it is not though. I like to gently reheat and pour into mason jars to freeze. Every morning I take a jar out of the freezer to thaw, reheat and drink! Goes down way nicer than your typical ‘medicine.’