Bone broth has been making a big comeback lately, and everyone seems to be toting the benefits of adding it to a healthy diet.
What is so great about bone broth?
Bone broth is rich in minerals that help support immune system function and reduce inflammation in the gut (where your body absorbs nutrients from the food you eat). It is also full of collagen and other healthy fats that benefit your skin and joints.
Where do I get bones?
The best place to start is by asking someone behind the butcher's counter at your local grocery store. If they don't have them behind the counter they can direct you to the freezer section where bones are stocked. If you frequent a farmer's market, ask the meat vendor if they sell bones.
How do I make bone broth at home?
Although there are plenty of packaged broths you can buy in the store to grab-and-go, with some simple planning you can cut way back on cost by making your own at home.
Place about 1 pound of bones (chicken or cow) in a slow cooker*
Bonus for nutrition and flavor: Include vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, and garlic, if desired
Pour in water to cover (by about 1/2 an inch)
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar (which helps to extract those good nutrients from the bones)
- Throw in a few pinches of sea salt
- Cover with a lid and set on low for 6-8 hours
*Don't have a slow cooker? No problem! Bring everything to boil in a large pot on the stove, then cover and let simmer on medium for about 1-2 hours. Let everything sit in the pot for an additional hour or two to let it cool to room temperature.
When the broth is finished, let the bones cool and place in a container or bag to store in the freezer for re-use. Chicken bones can be used one additional time for broth, and cow bones can be used again about 2-3 more times.
Skim any unwanted fat that has collected at the top of the broth (save the fat to use for cooking, if desired), remove any other bones or vegetables, then carefully pour the broth into jars and store in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
If you've left some of the fat it will form a seal at the top of the jar that will keep the broth fresh for longer as long as it stays unpunctured (about 2-3 weeks).
What do I do with bone broth?
You can drink it as a warm and healing beverage, use it as a base for soups or sauces, or cook grains in it such as rice or quinoa. It adds a delicious flavor to all kinds of foods, as well as an extra kick of nutrition.
[Credit: Flager, Madison. 7 Ways to Make Bone Broth (It's Easier Than You Think). Greatist.]