Bone broths have been used by many cultures for hundreds of years and are given special emphasis among traditional food circles.
- Africans placed emphasis on bone broths for babies and small children
- Traditional societies favored bone broths for pregnant women due to the high nutrient content
- Europeans used stocks and broths for making soups and stews but also for preparing reductions, sauces and for braising meats and vegetables.
Broth vs. stock vs. bone broth?
Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic foundation: water, meat, bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings. As it cooks, the liquid is typically skimmed and eventually the solids are removed by straining the stock with a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth.
Contains meat and a small amount of fresh bones
Is simmered for about 45 minutes to 2 hours
It is very light in flavor, thin in texture and rich in protein
Contains roasted bones and a small amount of meat
Is simmered for 3 to 4 hours
Stock is rich in minerals and gelatin
Made with primarily bones and may contain meat
Is simmered for long periods of time – typically up to 24 hours
Bone broth is rich is minerals and amino acids
Best used in soups and stews
Bone broths are an excellent source of amino acids; primarily arginine, glycine and proline. Glycine plays a role in detoxification, it supports the nervous system and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin and bile. Glycine also enhances digestion and helps regulate blood sugar. Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Arginine is known to improve circulation and is beneficial for the health of our blood vessels. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen production, another boost for skin health. Gelatin is also a critical nutrient for good digestive health.
Preparation of Bone Broth:
It is best to use farm raised, pastured birds. This means not just “cage free” but birds that have the freedom to roam OUTDOORS allowing them adequate levels of vitamin D from sunlight and protein from the bugs they eat. It’s also helpful to use the bones of animals that have NOT been fed soy.
Chicken, turkey or beef parts/bones (2-3 lbs.)
4 L filtered water (do not use chlorinated tap water)
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
Vegetables -1 large peeled onion, 2 carrots, 3 stalks celery (and any other vegetables you have on hand – broccoli stalks, cabbage, etc.)
Sea salt to taste
Parsley – optional
- Place bones into a large stock pot (or slow cooker) with the water and vinegar.
- Add all vegetables except parsley to the pot.
- Let stand 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Bring to a boil – remove the scum as it rises to the top (there is essentially no scum when using pastured birds).
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 6-8 hours minimum and up to 24 hours. The longer you cook it the more flavor and nutrition it will have.
- Beef broth can go 36-48 hours; fish can only go 4-12.
- About 10 minutes before finishing the broth chop the parsley and add it to the stock for extra minerals.
- Add salt to taste.
- Removed the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon. If you want a clear broth you can strain it through cheesecloth.
- Pour the broth in to glass containers and let cool to touch on the counter.
Store in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, until the fat rises to the top and congeals. You can remove the fat and use it for cooking (because it’s saturated it will be stable at higher heats).