For those who don’t know, bone broth is a soup made from boiling animal bones, which may or may not have a small amount of meat on them. Most people roast the bones before making soup stock out of them. This is a popular way to enhance the taste of an otherwise bland concoction.
The funny thing is that bone broth’s healthful properties are no secret, and the drink is as old as the hills, dating back at least 2,000 years and probably longer. Some food historians even think our cave-dwelling ancestors boiled animal bones when they ran low on other food sources, or even as a religious ritual.
So, how to take advantage of this old-and-new food trend? What are the best kinds of bone broth and how should they be prepared? I dug into the reams of current literature on the subject to satisfy my curiosity and discovered some interesting facts about what turns out to be a delicious, and incredibly nutritious, drink.
Make Your Own
- Start by placing the bones you’ve chosen into a very large stock pot and adding things like celery, carrots, peppercorns, salt, and onions.
- Then put in enough water so that everything, including the bones, gets covered completely. Next, add about a half cup of vinegar and let the entire mixture stand for about a half hour.
- After bringing the pot to a full boil for a few seconds, put it on “simmer” and leave it there for between 8 hours and 24 hours if you are using chicken bones, but the maximum amount of time is 72 hours for beef bones.
- Be sure to start out with about 1.5 pounds of bones for best results and don’t forget to strain out the pure broth when simmering is complete. Discard bones, vegetables and peppercorns.
- You can store the bone broth in the frig or even freeze it for long-term use.
What BB Does
How to Use BB
Bone broth enthusiasts make the stuff in large batches and store most of it in a freezer, taking out small amounts when they need it. That way, you can safely store a very large quantity of BB and enjoy it anytime you like.
Bone Broth Preparation Tips
- Roast the bones in your oven before simmering. This will greatly enhance the flavor of the broth.
- If you want to re-heat your BB, don’t do it in the microwave. That can lead to depleted nutrient levels. Always reheat on the stovetop, so as to retain all, or most, of the original nutrients in the bone broth.
- For the most flavorful BB, try using joint bones that contain a lot of cartilage and connective tissue. Good choices are necks, beef knuckles, ox tails, chicken wings and feet, and any bones that have a small amount of meat on them or that contain marrow (ribs make very good bone broth)
- When storing BB in the frig, it’s a good idea to use glass containers, but make sure to let the liquid BB cool before putting it into the storage containers. Plastic works well for storage too, but it can leech some of the flavor out of the broth, whereas glass will allow the BB to keep its full flavor even after long-term storage. DO NOT use glass for freezing, because it will break and your BB will be ruined. For freezing, use plastic containers or large plastic bags.
Read All About It!
Collagen and enhanced skin health are among the most-mentioned advantages of this centuries-old concoction, but bone broth is also a common weight loss component for dieters, improves intestinal metabolism, enhances muscle development and more.
Here are three of the most comprehensive books on the subject, from diet guides to recipe lists. In the usual Dr. Axe style, he covers the subject completely by offering bone broth “cleanses” that last a few days, diet “challenges” that are a week long, and general bone broth recipes that you can consume every day.
Touting BB as a “superfood,” Dr. Axe notes that it is one of the most nourishing foods in existence and can go a long way toward improving digesting, helping improve immune response, healing the skin, detoxifying the entire body, and boosting joint strength.
Reading like a textbook on the subject, Dr. Axe points out that BB contains 19 amino acids, magnesium, selenium calcium and potassium. Human connective tissue is aided by the gelatin and collagen that are naturally present in BB, while digestion and the immune system are aided by BB’s glutamine and other nutrients.
Clearly an advocate of bone broth, Doctor Axe offers a balanced, comprehensive look at the ingredients of BB. The recipe section is commendable and presents more than 50 delicious BB concoctions that fit with any meal plan, any time of the day.
Intended to be used primarily as a cook book, this is Dr. Axe’s contribution to the literature on bone broth. Available in spiral, paperback and e versions, the Bone Broth Breakthrough is the most comprehensive of the current crop of BB books on the market.
With a focus on digestive health, the bone broth “Protocol” is unique among books on this topic because it offers detailed scientific explanations about the nutrients in bone broth and how it works to aid digestion particularly, but also the skin and other body systems.
For a generous offering of diverse BB recipes, the “Protocol” is the go-to book on this subject. Knowing how long to cook the bones before simmering is a key piece of knowledge left out of many recipes, but is included here. Well-reviewed and with an extensive explanation of how the human digestive system really works, the Bone Broth Protocol is a helpful introduction to this fascinating “new” trend in nutrition.
Yes, there are lots of promises here, and the book is found in the “diet” section of most online stores, but don’t let that fool you. There is plenty of solid nutritional advice in these pages and the Doctor’s expertise shows through. She’s a die-hard advocate of the “wonders” of bone broth and its ability to help rejuvenate skin, strengthen joints, and bolster the immune system.
Aside from the weight loss hype, there are dozens of wonderful bone broth recipes, nutrition tips, and a comprehensive section on the science behind the effectiveness of bone broth. There’s a reason this stuff has been around for centuries: it does a commendable job of nourishing the body, and delivering at least a dozen specific health benefits. Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet offers an expert’s look inside the bone broth trend, and explains the back-story that is so often missed amid the advertisements and commercialized hype.
Bone Broth for the Soul
For centuries, both Western and Eastern cultures have valued the healing and long-term health effects of bone broth. Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below or on our Facebook page. There are infinite ways to prepare what modern chefs call “bone broth” and no two home-made versions are alike. Let us know what your favorite recipes are and how you prepare them. We look forward to hearing what your experiences are with this age-old approach to optimal health.