by Stephan Lederer, Bakk., MSc
For me, it’s more than overdue to write about bone broth. Whether it’s about hormones, breaking a fast, ketogenic diet, sports, or weight loss in general, there’s no way around this electrolyte drink.
Beyond that, there’s probably nothing more primal than a pile of bones boiled down for hours into a nutrient-rich health elixir.
But beyond that ritual and excellent taste, making your bone broth represents to me the preparation of an all-natural nutritional supplement.
If you haven’t been making bone broth yourself for decades using Grandma’s recipe, you’ve come to the right place.
In addition to a simple recipe, you’ll find everything you need to know about bone broth in this article – from health benefits to dosage to any risks.
What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is not merely a fad since bone soups have been around for centuries.
Accordingly, various cultures have used bone broth to make healing elixirs, soups, and stews themselves.
Even hunter-gatherers used otherwise unusable parts of animals and turned them into broth that could be drunk.
Moreover, you can make broth with bones from almost any animal. Furthermore, precisely the feet, bones, and connective tissues are valuable sources of nutrients.
For example, the Jewish community has discovered chicken soup as a popular remedy for colds. In addition, among the most popular soup bones are those of beef, lamb, fish, or even game.
Bone broth is a simple broth made primarily by boiling bones, including marrow and meat. Moreover, in some recipes, vinegar is added as a medium, which we will discuss later.
Also, sometimes vegetables, herbs, and spices are added for additional flavor, which I consider optional.
Unlike soup, bone broth does not have to be a meal in its own right. Besides, you usually cook it longer than traditional soups.
Accordingly, you can use bone broth made with this recipe as an ingredient in other dishes, an energizing drink, or a full meal.
Why Should I Make Bone Broth at Home?
Although the assortment of ready-made bone broths is increasing year by year, I advise making bone broth yourself.
- It’s shockingly simple
- You don’t have to cook actively and save time
- This way, the broth is free of preservatives
- You know exactly what’s in it
- You can choose the bones and pieces as you wish
- So you can also give it your personal touch
- Eating the marrow gives an extra nutritional kick and tastes heavenly
Accordingly, bones house various powerful nutrients released when they are slowly cooked in water for a few hours.
Although our ancestors didn’t know precisely why bone broth was so good for them, we can now explain its health benefits thanks to science.
What Are the Benefits?
Because it can improve health and well-being, bone broth is rightly called liquid gold.
In addition to type 2 collagen, which is found exclusively in bone and cartilage tissue, bone broth provides other nutrients that are typically difficult to obtain from other sources.
Accordingly, the high nutrient density is the basis for the health benefits of this bone broth recipe.
1. Electrolyte Supply
Among the numerous minerals, you can find especially essential electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium in bone broth (*).
Therefore, it’s an ideal refreshing drink after working out or prolonged periods of fasting.
2. Improved Digestion
Studies suggest that the gelatin in broth can protect and heal the mucosa of the digestive tract (Scaldaferri et al. 20143).
Moreover, bone broth contains glutamine, an amino acid that helps maintain the intestinal wall (Achamrah et al. 20174).
3. Natural Collagen
Having been the essential building block for teeth, joints, connective tissue, skin, hair, and bones, collagen is the structural protein most abundant in the body (Stefanovic 20135).
Hence, increased collagen intake helps to counteract the breakdown of tissue in joints (Dar et al. 20176).
4. Less Inflammation
Since it’s a rich source of outstanding amino acids, collagen is the component of bone broth that gives it the ability to reduce inflammation (Liu et al. 20197).
5. Skin Renewal
Skin, hair, and nails require collagen for a healthy structure. However, the body cannot adequately absorb collagen molecules in creams.
In contrast, collagen consumed in bone broth is readily absorbed and can improve the surface of skin and nails (Proksch et al. 20139).
Hence, in one study, skin elasticity in older women increased significantly after only four weeks of consuming collagen (Hexsel et al. 201710).
6. Immune System Boost
According to studies, bone broth strengthens the immune system – especially that of the gut (Frasca et al. 201211).
Collagen is a cell-signaling protein that fights inflammation and fibrosis and can help with cell repair (Svoboda et al. 200212).
Accordingly, studies show that blood collagen levels tend to be low in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases (Koutroubakis et al. 200313).
7. Improved Weight Loss
Studies have found that regular soup consumption can increase satiety and help with weight loss (Zhu et al. 201314).
In addition, collagen combined with strength training can help increase muscle mass while reducing body fat (Zdzieblik et al. 201515).
8. Bone and Joint Protection
Bone broth contains calcium and magnesium and hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which are essential components of cartilage and connective tissue (Henrotin et al. 201216; Bishnoi et al. 201617).
It also contains the critical amino acids glycine and proline, which accumulate in cartilage and help alleviate arthritis, according to clinical trials (de Paz-Lugo et al. 201818).
These can reduce pain and inflammation in cartilage while improving joint mobility (Porfirio et al. 201619).
9. Improved Sleep Quality
Glycine, magnesium, and calcium in bone broth help improve sleep quality (Kawai et al. 201520).
How to Make Bone Broth – the Best Recipe
Now that we know about the benefits of bone broth, you may be wondering how to make nutrient-rich bone broth yourself.
Fortunately, the preparation and the procurement of the ingredients for the broth are easy.
You can find suitable bones in almost every meat section of a supermarket. Nevertheless, you should ask for them at your local butcher or farmer’s market for local bones.
At the same time, bones for the broth are very inexpensive, as most people consider them waste. Best of all, friendly butchers will sometimes even throw them in for free with a purchase.
As always, the best quality bones are also pasture-raised – no matter which animals they are from.
Moreover, you can also sustainably recycle bone waste for the broth. For example, this method lends itself to a whole roast chicken.
Nevertheless, our basic recipe below consists of beef bones, as they are the highest quality source of nutrients.
The Best Bone Broth Recipe (Beef)
Cook Time 12 hours
Servings 12 cups
- 4 lbs beef bones cut with marrow
- 1 slice celeriac
- 1 pcs leek
- 2 pcs carrots
- 1 pcs onion yellow
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2-3 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 145 oz water filtered, enough to cover the bones
- 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Peel the carrots, leek, and celery and cut them into coarse pieces. Then cut the onion in half, but do not peel it since the peel gives the soup a lovely color.
- Now fry the onion halves briefly in the pot with the cut side down. Then add the rest of the vegetables and bones and fill the pot with water.
- Add spices and apple cider vinegar, the acidity of which helps to extract collagen and minerals from the bones better.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 12 hours. The further it reduces, the more intense the flavor will be, and the more collagen will be extracted. Optionally, you can add water and get a thinner broth. Alternatively, you can use an Instant Pot as well.
- Strain broth and enjoy or store.
Because it is soothing, warming, and nourishing, the bone broth can be drunk as a pure, healthy elixir.
While some people add miso, green onion, or minced garlic to their bone broth, I usually just flavor it with freshly ground Himalayan salt.
If you follow a carnivore diet or want it even simpler, you can reduce the recipe to bones, water, and salt. In the end, it is predominantly the marrow bones that make up the strong flavor as well as the nutrient density.
In addition, you can use the bone broth recipe as a base for soups, gravies, sauces, and more.
How to Make Bone Broth Shelf-Stable
You may store bone broth in the refrigerator for up to a week at the proper temperature. However, you can also freeze it for longer shelf life.
Since it is easiest to make broth in large quantities, it makes sense to freeze it in portion-sized containers afterward. This way, you always have a valuable natural nutrient donor at hand.
How Much Bone Broth a Day?
Since no side effects are known for healthy people, you may consume bone broth daily. About 1-2 cups per day are sufficient for bone broth to exert its health benefits.
Nevertheless, larger portions here and there will not necessarily be harmful.
With This Recipe Anyone Can Make Bone Broth at Home
The basis of our recipe is marrow bones, water, and natural salt. All other ingredients are optional. Therefore, you are free to make a science out of bone broth or enjoy it in its simplest version.
The most important thing is to purchase high-quality bones from your local butcher or farmer’s market. Nonetheless, these are usually inexpensive or even free.
Whether you practice intermittent fasting, keto or paleo, or no specific diet at all, bone broth is an easy way to add more healthy nutrients to your daily routine.
But regardless of your diet, bone broth will always help you improve your satiety, get essential electrolytes, and burn fat more efficiently.
Since potential bones for broth often end up in the trash, you’re also contributing to sustainability when you make bone broth at home.
What are the best bones for bone broth?
Beef and game are the best and most nutrient-dense bones for broth. However, you can also use chicken and pork as well.
Is bone broth the same as chicken broth?
The difference between bone broth and regular chicken broth is the simmering time. For this reason, bone broth is more nutrient-dense.
Is it cheaper to make your own bone broth?
Since the bones cost little to nothing, it’s usually cheaper to make your own bone broth.
How long does homemade bone broth last?
Bone broth lasts 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. However, you can also freeze it, which lasts countless months and is convenient to portion out.
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