Bone Broth Basics

By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about bone broth and it’s benefits for gut health, the immune system, and essential nutrients in absorbable forms. If you haven’t let me introduce you and share just a few of the benefits.

Behind every good soup, there is a broth. Bone broth (simmer for 24 hrs or longer) Stock (ready in as little as 3-4 hours) can be made with any animal bones (and can even include things like chicken feet (extra gelatin) for the adventurous). If you are new to bone broth making let’s stick with the bones of beef, bison, lamb, chicken, and fish. Any of these bones or even a mix will create a tasty broth you can use as a base of soups or even drink as a tea when you need an extra immune boost.

Bone broth is an exceptional way to get extra nutrients in an absorbable form and is rich in protein. The minerals released during the slow cooking are easily absorbed. The gelatin and collagen in the broth support healthy gut function as well as supporting skin and connective tissue in your body.

There are plenty of organic, ready-made broths on the market and can easily be ordered online from different places, which is great if you are in a pinch or need something tonight.

However, the best thing about bone broth is that you can make it at home for a fraction of the cost and easily store it in your freezer in jars or as ice cubes (see picture above). Then you can use the ice cubes to sauté vegetables or use as broth down the line. Making the broth can be fairly hands-off if you have a crock-pot/slow cooker or an insta-pot (haven’t made the switch yet)

Steps to make your own bone broth:

1) Roast your bones (exception: if your using chicken bones from a roasted bird – no need to roast twice) in a cast iron pan or sheet pan at 200C/400 F for a good long while. This will caramelize the bones and bring out their flavor.

2) If you want to add vegetables keep it simple (don’t add all of these only choose 1 or 2). Add the veggies to the bones during the last 10 minutes of roasting.

– carrots add sweetness

– onions and garlic for flavor

– whole peppercorns

– lemon (an acid) as well as a citrusy taste (great with poultry)

– fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro or thyme

– a bay leaf

3) Add an acid to help release/extract the minerals from the bones.

– A squeeze of lemon or even slices of lemon

– Two Tablespoons of apple cider or red wine vinegar

4) Add enough water to cover the bones. Bring the mixture to a slow boil then turn down and simmer for 24-48 hours. The timing really depends on the size of the bones you are using. If you are using a crockpot keep it on low. You can add water if you feel that it is evaporating.

5) When the broth is done, strain out the bones and vegetables.

6) Cool the broth in a shallow dish then transfer broth to a jar or bowl and place in refrigerator until cold. You can then skim off the fat (to use for sautéing, roasting, or searing your next meal).

7) Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Note: If you broth gels (like wiggly jello) Congratulations! This is the best kind (full of gut healing gelatin) and as soon as it is heated up will turn back to liquid. And don’t worry if it doesn’t – there still is plenty of gelatin in there, there are so many different reasons why it gels and why sometimes it doesn’t.

Look for pastured/grass-fed bones if you can find them. Small family farms, as well as places like Whole Foods, are some places to check. Just yesterday, I got a supply of grass-fed bison bones at a local farm I haven’t been to in a while. When there I usually just take beef bones, but she asked if I wanted bison. YES, please! Usually, they are out and I don’t even bother to ask, it was my lucky day! (There isn’t an unending supply, when they’re gone, they’re gone!) I have some broth simmering right now and ice cube trays waiting to be filled.

Let me know if you have questions and send me an email to tell me how your broth turned out!

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