I love that bone broth is making a come back. Hopefully you have heard by now what an awesome superfood it is. Did you know that it is ridiculously easy to make at home?
The knowledge about the magic of bone broths was once passed down over many generations and was basic common knowledge in households. Sadly, with the introduction of the modern diet with it’s “convenient” fast foods, the use of this amazing elixir has vanished for the stove top
But now it’s making a comeback! And many of us are making it at home on a regular basis.
Why drink bone broth?
Adding a good quality bone broth to your daily diet can be good for you in so many ways. It is full of minerals and amino acids that our bodies need. It is very healing to the digestive tract and joints. It is also a great immune booster. If anyone in our family is sick, we defrost a bit of bone broth as it is comforting, healing, and easily taken, even if the person does not feel like eating.
Be sure to check out my post on The Benefits of Bone Broth if you want to know all the good things that it can do.
Ready to make your own bone broth?
All you need for a good quality bone broth is bones, water and a bit of apple cider vinegar (to help leach minerals from the bones You can add vegetables, herbs and spices to add flavor. I usually make mine in a my slow cooker, leaving it to do it’s thing for 24-48 hours. You can also use a large stock pot on the stove top.
For chicken bones, we use the leftover carcasses of whole chickens. I cook a whole chicken about every week or so. I save the bones in the freezers until I have enough to make broth.
For beef bones, ask your local butcher for soup stock bones. ( See tip on quality of bones below.) I like to roast my beef bones for about 20 minutes at 400’F before I make broth to add to the flavor.
Where to source your bones?
- Save leftover bones when you roast a whole chicken or turkey.
- Visit your Farmer’s Market to find local farmers who raise pastured and grass fed animals.
- Check out your local butcher.
- Check out online companies like Tropical Traditions for good quality chicken, beef or bison bones at a good price.
Things you can add for flavor:
- bay leaf
Tips for Making Bone Broth:
- Use good quality bones: I recommend using bones from animals that have been properly and sustainably raised, meaning pasture-raised chickens and grass fed cows. Animals raised in commercial farming operations often loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics and have been raised in unhealthy and cruel environments. I highly recommend finding a local farmer to get your meat and bones from. The Farmer’s Market is a great place to look.
- Cook times: For chicken bones, I recommend 24-48 hours. If using beef bones, I recommend 48+ hours. The longer you cook the bones, the more nutrient-dense your broth will be.
- Adding veggies and herbs: I like to add a carrots, onion, celery, and 1/2 bunch of parsley to my broth for added flavor and nutrients. I have recently started doing this about 6-8 hours before the broth is done (instead of when I start it) because it preserves the minerals and nutrients in the vegetables. I have found that the flavor is better when I wait until the end (about 6-8 hours before broth is done) to add my extras.
- Supercharge your broth: Chicken feet make for the very best bone broth. They are made of tendons, bone and cartilage that will give you the gelatin-rich broth that you are looking for. To use chicken feet in your broth, be sure to peel the yellow membrane off the foot. Simply boil the feet in water for a 1-2 minutes (no longer) then place into cold water bath. Yellow membrane should come right off. After peeling off the yellow membrane, cut off the talons at the first knuckle. The chicken feet are now ready to go into your broth pot.
- Keep the bones covered with water. This will prevent any off flavor from dried, burned bones.
How to Store Bone Broth:
- Store in refrigerator for up to one week.
- Freeze in large ice cube trays and transfer to freezer bags or large containers to store for up to six months.
- Freeze in quart-sized glass containers in freezer until ready to use.
How to Make Bone Broth:
- You will need either a 6 quart slow cooker or a large stock pot. Place bones into pot, cover with water, and add apple cider vinegar. For slow cooker, set on HIGH for 2 hours then lower to low for duration of time. For stock pot, bring to a boil then lower down to a simmer for the rest of the time.
- During the first couple of hours of cooking, impurities will rise as you cook the bones. Simply skim the cloudy/foamy residue with a large spoon and discard.
- About 6-8 hours before broth is done, add any veggies or fresh herbs for flavor.
- Once broth is done, allow to cool slightly and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove bones and veggies. Once cool, store in fridge for no more than a week or freeze for later use.
The following recipe is for my easy chicken bone broth. The recipe is the same for turkey, beef, and bison bones. The time for cooking is a bit longer for bigger bones like beef and bison.
- Chicken bones from a healthy source (1-2 carcasses or a random assortment of leftover chicken bones)
- 2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 bay leaves (dried)
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or ½ tsp dried)
- 5 black peppercorns
- filtered water
- Optional: 1 carrot, 2 stalk of celery, ½ bunch of parsley, an inch long piece of ginger, cloves of garlic
- Place the bones in a large stock pot or crock pot.
- Pour (filtered) water over the bones and add the vinegar and bay leaves and thyme.
- In a stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Once it has reached a vigorous boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until done.
- In the crockpot, cook on HIGH for 2 hours then turn down to LOW until done.
- After a few hours of simmering, remove the impurities that float to the surface. A frothy/foamy layer will form and it can be easily scooped off with a big spoon. Throw this part away. Grass-fed and healthy animals will produce much less of this than conventional animals.
- About 6-8 hours before broth is done, add veggies and fresh herbs.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Strain using a fine metal strainer to remove all the bits of bone. When cool enough, store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze for later use.
- For chicken bones, I recommend 24-48 hours. If using beef bones, I recommend 48+ hours. The longer you cook the bones, the more nutrient-dense your broth will be.