Bone broth could be called “nature’s multivitamin.” It’s packed with over 19 easy-to-absorb, essential and non-essential amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) and collagen/gelatin, which helps form connective tissue. It literally boosts every part of your body, from your gut to your brain, from your muscles to your ligaments. Its no wonder this superfood used in every ancient culture has become such a popular health “fad”.
It’s also relatively low in calories, yet very high in minerals and other chemical compounds that many people lack. There’s no doubt that bone broth makes a great everyday addition to your diet. More specifically, it:
- supports digestive health
- supports joints and bone health
- boosts your immune system
- keeps skin, hair and nails strong
- boosts metabolism
- helps your body’s natural detoxification process
- helps your body heal from surgery and childbirth
- supports optimal brain health
I absolutely love bone broth and haven’t gone a week without drinking it in years. I drank several cups each day when I first went paleo to heal my leaky gut, and because of it, felt like an entirely new person after just 4 days. When I was healing from childbirth last year, I drank 2 cups of very strong broth everyday and at my 5 week post-baby checkup, my doctor was amazed that my body was completely healed, especially since I gave birth naturally and did have some stitches. I still drink it several times a week and always use it instead of water in my cooking.
How to make bone broth at home
The basics of what you’ll need to make bone broth at home are:
- Beef, chicken, lamb or pork bones (or a combo)
- Assorted veggies like onion, garlic, carrots, celery
- Fresh herbs like parsley stems, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves (optional)
- A large pot, like:
- Slow cooker
- Stovetop pot (though some people don’t like leaving a flame on for long periods and your broth will be simmering for at least 24 hours)
- Pressure cooker
- Combo slow cooker/pressure cooker
- Apple cider vinegar
- Good water
- Mesh wire strainer
Where to get organic/grass fed bones:
- Online at US Wellness Meats (they have some pre-made broth options, too)
- At your local health food store
- At your local butcher (though these are not likely to be organic/grass-fed…call first and check)
My favorite way to make bone broth is to roast a whole chicken with veggies, eat the meat, throw all the bones and veggies into a pot with water, 2 tablespoons vinegar and salt and simmer for 24-48 hours. Here’s a video on exactly how to prep the chicken:
If you want to start with beef bones, here’s a video for that (its an old one…my first cooking video EVER!). Also in this video is a deeper explanation of the benefits of eating bone broth:
Here’s a complete bone broth recipe from my cookbook, Paleogasm:
Beef Bone Broth
- 4 pounds of beef marrow, knuckle bones
- 3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
- 4 or more quarts cold water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 onions, coarsely chopped
- 3 carrots coarsely chopped
- 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 head garlic
- Bay leaves, rosemary spring, and thyme, optional but quite nice
- Celtic sea salt or Redmond’s Real Salt, once broth is finished
- A squeeze of lemon juice, optional
Place all of your bones that have extra meat on them on a large cookie sheet (with sides) or roasting pan and brown in the oven at 400 degrees until well-browned (45-60 minutes). I like to roast my onions, carrot, and celery for added flavor, too.
Meanwhile, throw all of your non-meaty marrow bones into a stockpot, add the water, vinegar and vegetables (unless you’re roasting). Let sit while the other bones are browning. Add the browned bones to the pot, deglaze your roasting pan with hot water and get up all of the brown bits, pour this liquid into the pot. Add additional water if needed to cover the bones.
Bring to a boil and remove the scum/foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for at least 12 hours and as long as 72 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the more rich and flavorful it will be.
After you simmer for 12-72 hours, strain the stock into a large bowl, then ladle into glass containers. Allow to cool, then refrigerate. I would not recommend freezing in glass as they often break when they expand. Better to freeze in BPA-free plastic or silicone once totally cooled. Lately I’ve been freezing individual portions in these large silicone baking cups or this baking loaf and defrosting individually so I can sip on a cup in the morning.
Stays fresh in fridge about a week.
Other options for getting the benefits of bone broth without preparing it at home:
Please note: the stock you find at the supermarket is basically flavored water and will not suffice if you want to get the health benefits of drinking bone broth.
1. Bone broth protein powder by Ancient Nutrition
I’m super-excited about this brand new way to get your bone broth! It can be used as a soup base, a protein powder replacement, or to supplement your favorite recipes. I’m going to be replacing my protein powder with this and using it when I travel and in many of my current recipes. Its made by gently simmering all of the bones for many hours and then drying the finished broth into a powder, making it much more portable and convenient for you without losing the essential nutrients. The pure one has no flavor, so you ca add it to almost any recipe, so you’re not limited to just drinking a savory bone broth. It comes in pure unflavored, turmeric, chocolate and vanilla.
2. Gut Healing Kit by Pete’s Paleo.
This is perfect to jump start to help you heal your gut and feel the benefits that come from drinking lots of broth over a 30 day period. It includes bone broth, soup packets, gelatin gummies and a cookbook.
3. Shelf-stable bone broth by Kettle & Fire. You can get a free box from Thrive Market with a free trial membership or get it at Barefoot Provisions (no membership required).
- Buy prepared bone broth. Here’s a couple options:
- Gut Healing Kit that includes bone broth, soup packets and gelatin gummies. Check that out here.
- I recently learned about a real grass-fed bone broth thats made with organic veggies and cooked over 24 hours thats supposed to be delicious made by Kettle & Fire. Our friends at Thrive Market are offering a free full sized box (retails for $27). Click here to get yours free.
- Take a collagen and/or a gelatin supplement. You wont get the full spectrum of benefits that you get from the broth, but still a good option. I love and use the Vital Proteins brand in my morning coffee, smoothies and green juice. I’ve also been known to add it to my already gelatinous soups because I’m rebellious like that 😉
Options if you don’t want to make it from scratch
The reality is for most people, unfortunately, that they don’t have the time or patience to go through the lengthy process of making this ancient superfood. With the increased popularity, several companies are offering some exceptional products.
- Bone broth protein powder by Ancient Nutrition
- Gut healing kit with gelatin gummies and frozen bone broth by Pete’s Paleo