Every so often you hear about a current trend in health or food that makes you go “hmm.” You brush it off and forget about it as quickly as you heard about it— but it just keeps coming back. If you’re like many, this may have been the case with bone broth, a mainstream culinary trend that has been rapidly consuming the consumers for nearly a year now. We’re here to give you the inside scoop— what it is, why it’s good for you, whether it truly is as good for you as advertised, and how to make it yourself.
What is bone broth?
Bone broth, in a nutshell, is exactly what it sounds like— broth made from bones. When the bones from an animal are boiled over extensive periods of time (think in excess of 24 hours), the nutrients from those bones are absorbed into the broth, creating a healthy and extremely nutritious staple for many traditional diets. Bone broth is great to drink on its own, but it also makes an excellent base for broth bowls— a soupy, delicious, nutritious meal that’s become popularized throughout the States.
Why is it healthy?
Bones from cow, pigs, and chickens have tons of nutrients that go underutilized in today’s society; but in traditional cultures where the entire animal was used in some way, bone broth was (and still is), a staple. Why? The bones of these animals are packed with protein and minerals that the body needs in order to fight off sickness. Bonus: Minerals found in these bones are also believed to improve skin condition! The broth also takes the nutrients from the gelatin found in the bones, which is believed to help digestive health. All of these nutrients are easily and readily absorbed by your body, helping to heal you and keep you healthy. So yes‚ bone broth is very good for you, and can aid in a number of problems, such as indigestion and joint pains. Whether or not it can completely heal joint pains and cure gut problems, among other extravagant claims, is left to be determined.
How to make it:
The next time you cook a full chicken or any other meat that comes bone-in (preferably of the grass-fed variety), keep the bones— and don’t go crazy trying to scrape all of the meat off of them. Instead:
- Roast them in your oven (which will enhance the flavor of the broth).
- Place the bones in a pot, add enough water to cover the bones, and throw in a bit of apple cider vinegar (or any other kind) to kelp extract the nutrients from the bones.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer them for about 2 days on your stovetop, keeping the lid on and stirring occasionally and skimming the top for any impurities that will rise during the cooking process.
- Add in veggies like onions, carrots, and celery, plus any spices you’d like.
- Cook for a few more hours until the veggies are tender. Voila— you’ve got yourself a bone broth.