Every Tuesday I will be posting new articles and guides on how to accomplish a task that will help you cook, prep, feel, look, perform and live better. Check out the archives of How To posts here. If you have any suggestions for posts, email them to me at [email protected], or comment on the Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages.
This Tuesday I’m going to show you how to make bone broth. Bone broth is all the rage in the nutrition world. As you would expect it is the broth of… bones. There are fancy shops opening up all over the place that serve only bone broth, and for good cause. Bone broth is extremely nutritious and has a ton of health benefits. What exactly is extracted that makes bone broth so nutritious, though?
Bone broth is excellent for joint lubrication. And when your joints move better, you feel better, end of story. Of course bone broth doesn’t fix movement dysfunctions that can get you in trouble in the first place, but it does contain glycosaminoglycans, which will help joint lubrication. Forget the glucosamine supplements! Bone broth is a broader, better, source for smoother joint function.
Bone broth also contains plenty of collagen and gelatin which are life savers for soft tissue injuries. Being a sports chiropractor and dealing with rehab of musculoskeletal injuries every day, I can tell you that I definitely notice a huge difference in recovery rates of patients that have high collagen and gelatin in their diets and those without. The gelatin is pretty obvious when you’ve extracted it enough – your bone broth will be like jello when you have it in the fridge! Eat up if you want to feel amazing.
How do you incorporate bone broth into your diet? Super easy. Bone broth can be added to soups and sauces or just enjoyed by its lonesome if seasoned well. Most of the meals we had as a country used to use bone broth in some fashion, but now have been replaced with cans of mystery liquid.
Instead of throwing down $8-12 to buy bone broth, we’re going to highlight key ways how to make bone broth on your own! As an added bonus, you get a much more sustainable way to look at animal consumption, getting as many nutrients from the animals as possible instead of tossing the unused parts in the trash as most of us are unfortunately too accustomed to do.
HOW TO MAKE BONE BROTH
STEP ONE: GET BONES
There are a few easy ways to get this done. The way I approach it is tossing all of the left over bones of the animals I eat into a freezer size ziplock in the fridge. When the bag is full, I make broth.
If you don’t have any bones saved up and want to get rolling in your bone broth quest, head to your local butcher. Ask them if they have any odd cuts or bones. A lot of times this is waste that just gets discarded and the butcher is more than willing to part with them for $Free.99 or a few bucks a pound. Not a bad deal.
TIP: Lump together bones of the same type of animal. For example, chicken and duck together, large beef and bison bones together.
TIP: Add in some other parts of the animal you normally wouldn’t for some additions: chicken feet, fish heads, ribs and spines, etc. Anything you would normally toss should probably be in here.
STEP TWO: GET SOME VEGGIES (OPTIONAL)
The same way I approach the left overs of the animal parts applies to veggies. Caps of onions I cut off, stems of herbs, skin of veggies I don’t eat, stalks of kale/chard, all of this stuff has massive amounts of micronutrients and best of all – flavor! The most common “broth” combination is onion, carrot and celery. Feel free to use left overs of any veggies and toss in some fresh herbs for some added flavors.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to use the parts you usually throw away. A lot of times they have more nutrients than the fleshy parts you eat.
STEP THREE: ADD WATER AND VINEGAR
See below for what type of cooking device you decide on using and fill it up, leaving about 3-4 inches of space, with water. Add in 3-4 tablespoons of apple cinder vinegar. This will help the bone matrix and collagen break down a little bit quicker. Don’t blow me up with requests of specificity here and be smart about this – if you have bigger bones use 4 tablespoons and smaller bones use 3 tablespoons. Time to cook!
STEP FOUR: COOK YOUR BONE BROTH
You have three easy options here :
a) stock pot on the stove top
b) slow cooker
c) pressure cooker
This is where there be a difference between what most people think. If you make soup – you are not making bone broth. To extract all of the necessary nutrients, you’re going to need to let this stuff cook for awhile.
Options a) and b) will be about 48 hours for chicken/poultry/fish and up to 72 hours for beef/pork/ruminants, however with option c) you can cut this down to 4 hours and 6 hours respectively.
I’m all about efficiency (and I’m extremely impatient) so I opt for the pressure cooker every time. A few chef friends swear by the low and slow stove top method, and others do slow cooker for the convenience. Choose your poison.
TIP: If you’re doing the old school stove top method, keep a watch on the level of the liquid. A lot of this can burn off leaving you with charred bones and no liquid. Keep adding it as necessary.
STEP FIVE: STORE
Drain away everything but the broth and place into widemouth mason jars. Cool in the fridge and store there for a week or freezer for a couple months.
- 3-5 pounds of animal bones
- 5-8 quarts of water
- 3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Miscellaneous ends of vegetables
- Gather bones
- Add vegetables
- Fill slow cooker, stock pot or pressure cooker with water
- Add 3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Cook as described above
- Cool and store
If you’re itching on ways to use your bone broth, check out some of the recipes we had used bone broth in:
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