Everyone keeps talking about “bone broth!”  So, we’ve been asked

“What is bone broth?”

Bone broth is the product of animal bones simmered in water for a length of time.  The simmering over time pulls the nutrients out of the bones and cartilage.  Once strained, the liquid should be a nice tan (chicken and turkey) or brown (beef and pork) color and fairly opaque.  No pieces of meat or other material in it, just liquid.  It should also be jelly like in the fridge if well made.

Is bone broth healthy for me? Why is it nutritious?

Well made bone broth is full of the nutrients in the bones.  Like feeds like, so the calcium, magnesium, and other minerals are extremely helpful to your bones.  In fact, the calcium in broth build bones better than the calcium in milk.  Plus, your body doesn’t have to deal with the lactose in milk and any mucus caused by it.  Because the broth is easy to digest, it’s a superior way to get nutrients into your body without stressing out your immune system.  This is why chicken broth is so helpful for sick folks.

Is “bone broth” different from stock or other broth?

Yes.  Here are the basic definitions:

Broth: meat, vegetables, and “aromatics” (spices, onion, etc.), simmered for a short time (1-2 hours) and used for flavoring as it has more complexities in the pot.

Stock: primarily bones simmered for a longer time (4-6 hours) with the goal of extracting the collagen into the stock.  A liquid that gels when cooled is the goal and the primary use for the unseasoned stock is cooking.

Chicken bones simmering for broth. The feet add extra collagen and nutrients, and another layer of flavor.

Chicken bones simmering for broth. The feet add extra collagen and nutrients, and another layer of flavor.

Bone Broth: a hybrid of the two and more close to a stock than a broth as it’s made of bones simmered for a long time (24 to 72 hours depending on the animal source).  The goal is to extract all the collagen and minerals from the bones.  It ends up very gelatinous and is used on its own or for cooking.  The quality of the bones makes a huge difference here.  If you start with bones from animals fed diets that include grass and forages and have variety (as is the case with all pasture raised animals) you’ll end up with a much more flavorful, rich, and nutrious broth.  You get what you start with.

You can read more about this here.

Here’s a recipe for making bone broth and more video on using bone broth.

How can I use bone broth?

  • liquid for cooking rice
  • in place of water for poaching eggs (add a little salt and some basil, parsley, garlic, onion and it’s great to drink with the egg)
  • as the liquid to steam vegetables
  • for stock to make soup or stew

Here’s a video of a quick protein meal for paleo and ketogenic diet folks, as well as for you when you need a quick, nourishing meal for on the go:

We’d love to hear your creative uses for bone broth!  E-mail us and we’ll expand the list to help each other work this super food into our diets.