Bone Broth Benefits & Recipes

By Lea Wetzell, MS, CNS, LN
March 24, 2016

BoneBroth_CupOfBroth.jpg

Bone broth has been in the news, on talk radio, major TV shows and recently in the Star Tribune with Kevyn Burger asking “Is bone broth the new coffee?”

I remember my grandmother making bone broth, which she learned from her mother before her. So I guess it isn’t a new food; it’s an oldie and a good one. But what exactly is it, and why would I cook some up in my kitchen?

In short, bone broth is remnant bones and veggies simmered in water for hours, producing a tremendous amount of nutrients. During the simmering, all the collagen and minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium, along with the bone marrow and amino acids, seep into the broth. The result is a healthy, rich-tasting liquid I guarantee you’ll enjoy.  

How could you and your family benefit from regularly sipping down broth?

  • Relief from joint pain
  • Improved gut health
  • Healthier hair and nails
  • Reduced wrinkles
  • Stronger teeth
  • Faster wound and injury healing
  • Increased energy
  • Enhanced immune system

I want to point out that bone broth isn’t the only way to get the benefits mentioned above. If you’re familiar with Nutritional Weight & Wellness, you know that our real food approach yields similar results. Just think of bone broth as an extra high “dosage” of real food. Since it’s a liquid, the nutrients in bone broth are often easier for most people to digest.

With all those healing properties, broth can be an especially beneficial if you have a chronic illness.

How to Make Bone Broth

My family has been making broth every week or so for the past few years for all the reasons I listed above, but also because it’s a sustainable resource. Throughout the week we collect the extra bits of our veggies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. We include the peelings and ends of all our carrots, onions, celery, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower; you name it. Think of all those extra pieces you would normally throw away. Why waste them when you can turn them into a healthy broth?

Next comes the bones. We buy a lot of bone-in meats, whole chickens, drumsticks, quarter-roast chickens, etc., so after a meal we stock pile the bones in a bin in the freezer. Once there’s over a pound of bones we use that for our broth. I say a pound for us because we have an extra-large slow cooker, which is where we make the broth. If you don’t have such a large container feel free to experiment with your bone quantities.

If you don’t typically cook bone-in meat you can always go directly to a farmer or find beef bones in the freezer section at your local co-op. Just as with the meat you’d eat, for broth bones you ideally want a high-quality source to avoid toxins or heavy metals leeching out.

If you’re interested in trying out bone broth in your kitchen, here are a couple of our favorite recipes.

Bone-Building Broth

From the Weight & Wellness Cookbook & Nutrition Guide.

  • 1 lb. bones from a free range animal (chicken, beef, ham bone, etc.)
  • 4 qt. water
  • 2 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 large onions – cut in half
  • 3 carrots – cut into large pieces
  • 4 celery stalks – cut into large pieces
  • 8 whole cloves garlic
  • 3 parsnips – cut into large pieces
  • 10 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 10 whole peppercorns

Place bones, water and vinegar in a large pot. Let sit for 30-60 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Periodically scoop off foam that rises to the top and discard.

Strain broth into a large bowl, keep refrigerated or freeze for later use. (Tip: freeze broth in an ice cube tray or muffin tin for later use in small amounts.)

The same steps can be used with a slow cooker set on low for 8-12 hours.

 

Our Family Broth

  • 1 lb. bones from a free range animal (chicken, beef, ham bone, etc.)
  • As many vegetable pieces as we’ve collected in the refrigerator that week. If there isn’t much compiled, use similar vegetable amounts as the above broth recipe.
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Cover the bones with water in slow cooker, add the apple cider vinegar and let sit. This starts the process of leaching minerals out, which the vinegar helps as well.

After an hour or so, I throw all that into my slow cooker with all the vegetables. I add as much water as I can, filling the slow cooker all the way to top.

To season the broth, I throw in a ton of pepper, some organic Italian seasoning, rosemary and anything else that sounds good. It’s nothing precise; I just try to coat the top of the water with flavors we like.

Once you’re set, turn the slow cooker on low for 12-24 hours. Strain broth into a large bowl, keep refrigerated or freeze for later use.

How to Use Bone Broth

From cooking to drinking cups of broth, it’s easy to incorporate bone broth into your diet. We often use our broth in the Nutritional Weight & Wellness Bone-Building Chicken Wild Rice Soup. Or if I’m cooking rice, I’ll use broth instead of water. You get the idea!

Additionally, I often tell my clients to drink bone broth around lulls in the day, mid-afternoon for instance. It’s also a good alternative to coffee, giving you energy without the jittery feel of coffee.

So, what do you think? Have you tried bone broth? Will you?

About the author

Lea is a licensed nutritionist at Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Lea has her own life-changing nutrition story—a story that ignited her passion for nutrition. Her journey to health and wellness started in 2003 when she lost 50 pounds and healed her chronic asthma with real food and exercise. She received her M.S. in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut and is a licensed nutritionist through the Minnesota Board of Dietetics and Nutrition. She is also nationally recognized as a certified nutrition specialist through the American College of Nutrition, an association composed of medical and research scientists to further nutrition research.

View all posts by Lea Wetzell, MS, CNS, LN

Comments

Rose Lagasse
I made the crock pot version of bone broth and I have to admit that it sat in the fridge for a few days before trying a mug of it. It just didn't LOOK appealing! But once I tried it, I loved it! I had a mug of it every day until it was gone. I am collecting bones and storing them in the fridge until I have enough to make more. Yum!
January 23, 2017 at 1:14 pm

admin

That's great Rose! We understand that initial hesitation too, glad you tried it and enjoyed it. 

Cam
Thank you for providing this simple recipe, I'd like to try this once I get the time. Since i'm too busy to do one, I'm drinking Au Bon Broth and it's tasty as a home made. What's best is, I've felt positive changes with my body after drinking bone broth.
May 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm

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