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The newest health trend, bone broth, is delicious and easy to make
Bone broth should taste good, and here’s how to make it.
Bone broth is a healthy new trend, and we’ve compiled a few tips to make your next batch taste great:
Switch Up Your Bones. Beef bones produce a flavorful, gelatinous stock, which is what you’re trying to achieve if you’re drinking bone broth for health reasons. Try out different combinations of beef, veal, and chicken bones to achieve the best flavor.
Roast the Bones. Roast heavy bones (like beef or veal) in the oven before adding to the stock pot.
Make Some Additions. Add some aromatic chopped vegetables (onions, celery, and carrots) and herbs like parsley or thyme to the pot while it simmers to add lots of flavor to your broth. Strain them out when it’s done cooking.
Season It. Like anything you cook, broth needs to be tasted and seasoned while it’s cooking.
Skim the Fat. You’ve probably heard that fat equals flavor, and in the case of broth, gelatinous fat equals nutrition. If you leave too much of the fat, though, the broth ends up tasting greasy. Cool the broth and the fat will settle at the top, so you can just scoop some off.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal and is warming up to the idea of warming up with a bowl of bone broth. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.
Yes, but it's not a magical healing drink that will solve all your problems. Though supporters claim it's good for your gut, can reduce joint pain, make you sleep better, and even help make you live longer, experts warn that there's not enough research to support those claims&mdashyet.
Where can I find bones?
Whole Foods sells frozen bone marrow bones, which we used here. You're often able to get some from the butcher counter as well. Roasting a whole chicken? Save the bones! Chicken and pork bones work too.
Do I need to roast the bones?
You can technically make a broth skipping this step, BUT you'd be missing out on crucial flavor. When bone broth is made poorly, it can be kinda funky and bitter. Roasting helps prevent this.
How long does it take?
At least a full day. The longer the better.
Can I make it in a slow cooker?
Definitely. Set it on HIGH for at least 24 hours. It'll simmer gently without you needing to hover over the stovetop.
2. Be patient (or use an Instapot?).
Generally speaking, the key to good bone broth is long, slow cooking. Once you’ve brought the bones and water to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and leave it be. All you need to do as it cooks is add water when the liquids reduce and, if desired, skim any scum that rises to the top.
Why would you skim the scum? If you’re only cooking roasted bones and water, you will have little scum more, if other ingredients are involved. Whether or not to skim any that comes up is your choice, but The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends it because “one of the basic principles of the culinary art is that this effluvium should be carefully removed with a spoon. Otherwise the broth will be ruined by strange flavors. Besides, the stuff looks terrible. ‘Always Skim’ is the first commandment of good cooks.”
But what about a faster route, with an Instapot? At least two of you on Instagram testified to the wonder that is Instapot broth, which led me down a research rabbit hole that surprised me. Get this: making broth in a pressure cooker is faster, more convenient and, most interestingly, potentially better for your health (!!). According to HealingGourmet.com, using an Instapot to make your bone broth may mean superior nutrition retention and bioavailability, the reduction of health-harming compounds and easier digestibility. One reader said she’s found it to lower histamines that aggravate her health conditions. (What! If you didn’t think you wanted an Instapot before, this is a significant discovery. Read more about using this device in one week with an Instapot 6qt multicooker, and keep in mind this additional benefit. I may have just been swung over.)
3. Chill it after straining.
When bone broth is done cooking, you want to strain it to separate the liquids from the other ingredients. I use a strainer that fits a bowl, set it in the sink and pour from the hot pot with oven-mitted hands.
At this point, it’s ready to use or be poured into jars and refrigerated/frozen. However, many people will find the resulting bone broth greasy/oily from the fat content. So one way to remedy this is to chill it. The fat will rise to the surface, making it easy to remove.
Want an alternative to chilling? If you dislike the fatty flavor of bone broth but don’t want to wait for it to chill, try thinning it out. In your soup, use half bone broth and half water, for example. Doing so will often dilute the oily texture of the broth, while still giving you plenty of nutrients from the highly concentrated liquid.
If you’re one of the 60% of you polled on Instagram who’s already made bone broth at home, what other tips and tricks have you found to be helpful? Do you have any secrets for how to make bone broth taste better? I’d love to hear!
10 Ways to Consume Bone Broth
To most, the reach of bone broth goes only as far as that special soup mom used to make on rainy days. While it can be found in soup, the ways to consume bone broth reach much further than chicken noodle soup. We’ve compiled 10 usual and unusual ways that you can get the health-supporting, skin-enhancing, muscle-boosting superfood into your diet (without having to wait until you are feeling sick).
In a Soup, Bisque, or Stew
Yes, soup is pretty standard, but your bone broth doesn’t need to just be in chicken noodle soup. Try a bone broth in place of stock in any soup, stew, or even bisque to improve the nutritional value of the dish. For example, give this creamy Butternut Bisque Recipe from Ancient Nutrition a try.
In a Mug
Without anything too fancy, you can sip on bone broth without too many frills. Simply heat it up and replace your morning cup of coffee. Or add some cilantro and garlic and have a mug before your dinner. It will help fill you up and avoid the urge to overeat. Taking bone broth straight may take some getting used to, but some have found that consuming it in its most basic form helps everything from your joints to your metabolism and even managing your weight.
With Quinoa or Couscous
If you like adding couscous or quinoa as a side to your dinner, try cooking them in bone broth instead of water for both a huge taste upgrade and a boost in nutrients. This is especially smart if your meal is light on protein to begin with.
Just like with grains, replacing your bland water with a healthy and hearty bone broth in your Thanksgiving stuffing preparation is sure to impress your guests (even your mother-in-law). The chicken flavor from your broth complements the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving spread so perfectly, no one will suspect they’re actually getting even more benefits from a more delicious version of this holiday staple.
I know what you’re thinking, a chicken noodle smoothie does not sound very good. But this raspberry banana chia smoothie does. And don’t forget that bone broth doesn't have to be a liquid. Using bone broth protein powder recipes, you can get the sweetness you crave with the added benefits of classic bone broth.
In Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a go-to comfort food. On their own, they don’t contain a plethora of nutrients, but making them with bone broth can add a kick of those key elements your body craves for your gut, joints and immune system.
Instead of using high-calorie and sugary sauces to flavor your chicken, base your bouquet of herbs in a bone broth. The added nutrients will supplement the already high-protein meat and bring out an even stronger flavor.
Just like with the surprising smoothie suggestion, adding bone broth protein powder to your desserts can not only give you the protein you need, but add to the flavor. Check out this chocolate peppermint squares recipe for a delicious and natural treat for your sweet tooth.
In scrambled eggs
Adding milk or a splash of water to your morning eggs is a sure-fire way to get them fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth good. If you like a good savory breakfast, try substituting a bit of bone broth instead. It will add to that hearty flavor while also bringing more nutrients than water and less calories than milk.
To add a little flavor and a boost of protein to your vegetable-heavy meal, add a splash of bone broth while you’re sauteing. Try this kale saute recipe that uses garlic, red wine vinegar, and bone broth protein greens for a delicious and healthy side.
Adding bone broth to your meal isn’t as hard as it may sound. The benefits include healthy joints and a healthy immune system. It may also help with healthy skin, nails, and hair. Plus, the improved taste to these dishes should be enough to convince you that bone broth is so much more than chicken soup.
Written in partnership with Dr. Axe.
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- 3 pounds beef bones, or more to taste
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- cold water to cover
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- kosher salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil spread beef bones out on prepared baking sheet.
Roast bones in the preheated oven until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Place roasted bones over vegetables pour in enough cold water to cover bones. Add apple cider vinegar and kosher salt.
Cook on Low for 8 hours. Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and discard any strained solids.
BONE BROTH 101: HOW TO SEASON, EAT & DRINK BONE BROTH.
Bone broth, however, is different from regular soup broth—it’s typically simmered for two to three days, resulting in a dense brew that extracts all the collagen, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids from the bones. In the past two years, bone broth has become all the rage: Just read this New York Times article for evidence. Still, though, veggie-centric human that I am, I was a bit afraid to try it. But the first cup of bone broth I had completely changed all of that.
It was beef broth (which seemed extra scary to me don’t laugh vegetarianism dies hard) spiked with aromatic herbs, lime juice, and flaky sea salt. The broth came in a beautiful mug, on a tray garnished with pinch bowls of salt and herbs and a generous handful of lime wedges. It was an aromatic choose-your-own-adventure flavoring kit. And it was delicious. The next time I started to feel sick, I drove to this bone broth purveyor and downed two cups of the stuff on-site. And you know what? I actually got better.
Thus began my quest to integrate bone broth into my diet. I have some incredible friends who buy carcasses for bones and make the broth themselves. My friend Beth, on Tasty Yummies, has an amazing tutorial you can follow if you’d like to venture down this DIY path. I’m not there yet in my bone broth journey. Instead, I rely on my friends at Bonafide Provisions to make certified organic, delicious, nutrient-dense broth from grass-fed bones for me.
Today I want to share with you some of the benefits I’ve experienced in regularly drinking bone broth, as well as my favorite ways to season and eat this nutritional goldmine. Do note that Bonafide Provisions makes both chicken and beef broth—I just happen to prefer the taste of beef. For me, the flavor is milder. But that’s entirely personal and I urge you to explore your own preference.
Here are some of the benefits I’ve experienced from regularly drinking bone broth (one cup three to five times per week):
This past year was rough for me as I worked to write, recipe test, style, and shoot a cookbook in addition to running a full-time business. I found myself getting sick often, or simply feeling run down a lot. The vitamins, minerals, amino acids, gelatin, and collagen of bone broth helped to restore my immune system on an elemental level.
Plain and simple: When I drink bone broth, I immediately feel a balancing and restoring of energy. I get sick less and feel better and stronger.
The gelatin and collagen extracted from bones in the broth-making process (which make bone broth jiggly and dense when its cool) do wonders for parched skin. Mine feels more hydrated and more glowy (the millennial crew has decided this is a word now, right?) than ever before.
Beyond the skin, my hair and nails are also thriving in ways they haven’t in years. Gelatin, amino acids, and minerals work wonders for hair growth and the health of all cells in the body, both internal and external.
Bottom line: We all know the research about how cleansing doesn’t actually work, right? But you know what does work? Restoring balance to your system, feeding your body the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs, and equipping yourself to thrive from the inside out. I feel stronger, clearer, and more energetic when bone broth is a part of my diet.
I like to drink a cup of bone broth in the morning, and have two favorite flavor combinations—both following a standard template. Here’s the template:
Bone broth + aromatic herbs + acid + sea salt + spice.
Today, I’m sharing not-recipes for my favorite flavor combinations, both of which use the heat of the broth to express the flavor and aroma of fresh herbs: A punchy lime, cilantro, and ginger broth with chives and chili, and a mellow garden herb broth with apple cider vinegar, dill, and parsley. Scroll down for full seasoning details.
Finally, you can of course add bone broth in any soups where you’d typically use a vegetable or meat broth or stock. It’s the perfect way to integrate a medicinal food into a regular meal. I’ve been using it to make a white bean and tomato stew for weeks on end now (pictured above with shaved kale, crème fraîche, and parmigiano).
I’d love to hear your experiences with bone broth, and if you’re jonesing to give it a try for the first time, use this page to find Bonafide Provisions in your neighborhood (hint: it’s sold at most Whole Foods stores).
How to Make Bone Broth Taste Good - Recipes
What is Bone Broth:
Bone broth truly is one of the greatest superfoods. A soul-warming, healing, mineral-rich infusion found in many traditional households across many diverse cultures, bone broth is rich in amino acids and minerals and it’s healing properties run the gamut. This nutrient-dense, inexpensive magic elixir provides minerals in a highly bio-available form, meaning that the body can absorb easily them. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. As the cartilage and tendons breaks down, you’ll also receive chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, both sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. The long cook time of bone broth allows the maximum release of nutrients. Bone broth contains collagen and gelatin, providing great healing value to cartilage and bones but also to the skin, digestive tract, immune system, heart and muscles.
Bone broth is a liquid made by simmering bones for an extended period of time, between 4 and 24 hours. Any bones can be used: chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, bison and even fish. Vegetables, herbs and spices are often added to enhance the flavor and the bones and vegetables are strained and discarded before serving. Typically, the bones will have some connective tissue, like joints and tendons, and some meat attached.
Additionally bone broth and stocks is a wonderful way of letting nothing go to waste. The nose-to-tail concept of sustainability.
You’ve probably heard the terms Bone Broth, Broth and Stock all used fairly interchangeably, but there are actually some differences between them. Each is made using meat and/or bones, cold water, vegetables and spices / seasonings. Cooking remains similar but the time of simmering varies between them. Bone broth is different from traditional stocks and broths in that it typically is made just from the bones and whatever small amounts of meat are adhering to those bones. Bone broth is simmered for a very long period of time, upwards of 48 hours. Stock is made generally with bones and a small amount of meat and is simmered for much less time, just several hours, 3-4. Meat broth is generally made mostly with meat and sometimes a small amount of bones, simmering for usually under 2 hours. Meat broth and stock still have great health benefits, however it’s a lower nutrient content then long simmering bone broth. For some, bone broth vs stock also means the presence of meat and veggies vs. just bones. Bone broth usually does not contain these and stock usually does. That said, those clear definitions have definitely blurred as bone broth has become more prevalent and people find their own ways of making it, so don’t get too hung up on the words.
Why Bone Broth is Good For You:
Bone broth is rich in minerals and amino acids (the building blocks of protein used by ever single cell in our body). Two of the most abundant and important amino acids you’ll find are proline and glycine which play a very major role in healing and are two vital components of healthy connective tissue, the biological “glue” that holds our bodies together. These two amino acids are often underrepresented in our diets and while they are non-essential amino acids, meaning that our body has the ability to produce them if we don’t get enough in our diet, it is most more efficient to consume them in our food, helping ensure we get their maximum health benefits!
Glycine is required for synthesis of DNA, RNA and many proteins in the body. As such, it plays extensive roles in digestive health, proper functioning of the nervous system and in wound healing. Glycine aids digestion by helping to regulate the synthesis and of bile salts and secretion of gastric acid. It is involved in detoxification and is required for production of glutathione, an important antioxidant. Glycine helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling gluconeogenesis (the manufacture of glucose from proteins in the liver). Glycine also enhances muscle repair/growth by increasing levels of creatine and regulating Human Growth Hormone secretion from the pituitary gland. This wonderful amino acid is also critical for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. In the brain, it inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters, thus producing a calming effect. Glycine is also converted into the neurotransmitter serine, which promotes mental alertness, improves memory, boosts mood, and reduces stress.
Proline has an additional role in reversing atherosclerotic deposits. It enables the blood vessel walls to release cholesterol buildups into your blood stream, decreasing the size of potential blockages in your heart and the surrounding blood vessels. Proline also helps your body break down proteins for use in creating new, healthy muscle cells.
Why is My Bone Broth so Jiggly?:
As your broth cools you will notice that it congeals and becomes bouncy and jiggly like jello. This is due to the presence of gelatin, a therapeutic and healing agent. Bones, connective tissue, joints and skin are all naturally rich in collagen. Through the process of simmering the broth and in the presence of heat, the collagen breaks down into gelatin. It’s the proline and glycine that we spoke about previously that form gelatin. Even if your bone broth doesn’t gel, it still contains all these rich nutrients. The lack of gel can happen if there aren’t enough jointy bones or if you used too much water or if you heated on a vigorous boil for too long, which breaks it down to the individual component amino acids. You are simply looking for a subtle simmer where the top of the water is barely dancing. Again this isn’t bad, you are still receiving all of the benefits from the individual constituent amino acids, it just means that there is less actual gelatin.
How-to Find Good Bones:
It’s always best to source your soup bones from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals. Ask your local farmer at your local farmers market how they raise their animals and if they carry soup bones, specifically asking about knuckle, shin, marrow, neck bones. Many typically do not have these on hand, as they can take up a large amount of room and aren’t necessarily a popular farmers market item, but with notice they may be able to bring them for you in the future. You can also ask the butcher, as well be sure to have a look in the freezer at your local grocery store (usually they are tucked away, fairly hard to find in the bottom shelf of the freezer case near the meat counter). Chicken feet and necks make great additions to broth and can also be found from local farmers or with your butcher. Bones with the most connective tissue and cartilage, such as knuckles and trotters are more abundant in gelatin, providing that silky, rich texture and all the wonderful health benefits. Marrow and neck bones bring a rich, deep flavor. I find the combination of marrow-rich bones with jointed and meaty bones bring the most cohesive and well-rounded flavor.
When making poultry broth, you can use the leftover carcass from roasted chicken or turkey. Save all of the bones from your Sunday roast chicken, that whole rotisserie chicken you grabbed at the market or your Thanksgiving turkey, drop them right into the stock pot for amazing Chicken Bone Broth, made the same way. (see the notes below)
No Time to Make Bone Broth?
If I don’t have time to make my own, Kettle & Fire is my go-to store bought, shelf stable option! The Chicken Mushroom Bone Broth is NEXT LEVEL!
How much weight can you lose on the bone broth diet?
According to Dr. Kellyann, most of her patients lose between 10 and 15 pounds on the 21-day bone broth diet.
I lost 9 pounds in three weeks which was thrilling. I was very satisfied with my results especially since I stopped the mini fasting after week one.
Common results by participants in Dr. Kellyann's weight loss independent trials.
Lost up to 15 pounds and up to 4 inches in body measurements
Saw diminished fine lines and double chins
Noticed more even skin tone
Bone Broth Common Mistakes
We know. We know: Bone broth. It's almost too hip for its own good. But whether you consider it a miracle cure for all ailments, or just a hearty broth to sip on during cold winter months, it's a cooking project worth tackling. That said, poorly made bone broth can be about as palatable as, well, a bowl full of bones. Avoid these common mistakes, and your bone broth will be the hottest ticket in town—or at least your kitchen.
If you think bone broth is too funky, you've probably had to suffer through a mug or bowl that was made without blanching. This step, to be done before roasting and boiling, removes any impurities (read: the nasty bits) from the bones. And if you're using the right bones, there will be some nasty bits. A real bone broth is made with bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, like marrow, knuckles, and feet. While beef is the meat most people associate with bone broth, it can also be made with lamb, pork, chicken, veal… you name it. A word on these collagen-heavy bones: They make for a stock that's gelatinous at room temperature. Don't let the texture of this meat Jell-O alarm you that's a sign you did it right. To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes before draining and roasting (see mistake no. 2!).
Repeat after us: "I will always roast my bones." This browns and caramelizes them, and we all know what browned and caramelized means: Better flavor. Don't be afraid to really take the bones to the limit: Crank the oven up high—a bold 450˚, says senior food editor Andy Baraghani. Lily Freedman, test kitchen contributor, also adds that you have to put in ample oven time. A quick 15 minutes won't do: Take those bones right up to the edge of "too done." Once you're ready to boil the bones, don't waste the crisped brown bits on the bottom of the pan loosen them with a little water and a metal spatula, and add those to your stockpot. This adds flavor to the finished broth.
Into the oven you go. Photo: Rochelle Bilow
According to Baraghani, a good bone broth doesn't need much more than bones and a few choice aromatics, like onions, garlic, and black pepper. "Don't even get me started on carrots," he says, which add sweetness. (We won't dock points if you choose to add them, however a little sweet can help balance the deeply savory quality of bone broth). But ultimately, this is not the best place to dump all of your compost scraps. Keep the flavor focused and concentrated. Worried about it tasting "one-note"? Just roast the bones to build depth of flavor, and that won't be an issue.
Those femur bones you're using? They're pretty big. This is not a task for your 4-quart sauce pot, says senior associate food editor Claire Saffitz. Use the biggest, heaviest stockpot you've got, and fill it up with your roasted bones, plus your (carefully curated) selection of aromatics. Add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. "There shouldn't be so much water that the bones are floating," Saffitz explains. The bone-to-water ratio should be close enough that the resulting broth is intensely flavored. Adding too much liquid will make it taste, well, watered down.
Q: How long can you simmer a bone broth? A: How much time have you got? Saffitz recently made one that she kept on the stove overnight. Because the bones used are thick and hardy, they have a lot of flavor to offer up. This is in contrast to a simpler broth, like basic chicken stock: Those smaller, thinner bones will disintegrate after hours on the heat, and won't add much more flavor.
"Beef" up your broth by adding cooked veggies and meat. Photo: Rochelle Bilow
Not to alarm you, but hot broth can be a breeding ground for bacteria—and not the good kind. "Cool it as quickly and efficiently as possible," says Saffitz. This will also keep the broth fresher for longer. Once you've strained out the bones, she recommends adding ice and transferring it to a shallow and wide container, where it will lose heat more rapidly. Don't worry about the ice diluting the broth it's so intensely flavored (you did roast the bones and simmer them for a heck of a long time, right?) that a few cups of cubes won't drastically impact the flavor. One thing's for sure: Don't put screaming-hot broth in the fridge. Not only will it invite bacterial growth, it will raise the temperature of the refrigerator and potentially contaminate the rest of its contents.