A warm nutrient rich bone broth is perfect for winter, simple to make at home and cheaply made from scraps you might otherwise compost or discard.
Bone broth has ancient roots. It been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2500 years to support the kidneys and digestive health and Hippocrates, in Greece also recommended it for digestion. Used around the world in different forms, today we recognize it is full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acid loaded gelatin and collagen. Studies suggest this combination can help aid digestion, reduce inflammation, improve sleep, protect your joints, reduce bone density loss and improve skin aging. (sources 1, 2, 3, 4) If you are vegan there are great alternative recipes (here and here) which include seaweed and mushrooms to provide some of the minerals from the bones in a vegan source.
You can easily make your own bone broth at home in a stock pot, slow cooker or instant pot and customize it to your tastes.
- Add 1-2 pounds roasted bones (pork, chicken, lamb or beef) to a pot. You can mix and match or keep different types separate.
- Add 2-3 cups vegetables like carrots, onion and celery Tip: Save vegetable trimmings and bones from meals in a freezer bag to make bone broth later!
- Add seasonings to taste, 1-2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, a bay leaf, perhaps 1 tsp each thyme, rosemary and/or sage
- Cover contents of pot with water.
- Add a 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar to lower the acidity and help pull nutrients from the bones, let rest 30 minutes.
- Cook 2 hours on pressure cook in an instant pot, 12-20 hours on low in a crock pot, or simmering 24-48 hours in a stock pot. Poultry bones on the lower end, beef bones on the higher end. You can pause cooking overnight and place stock in the fridge if desired
- Allow to cool, strain and store in airtight containers in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer until needed. Mason jars work well for storage.
Your delicious bone broth should set and be jiggly with a little fat on top, as it heats up it will liquify again. Enjoy plain, cook with rice, make gravy or use to make a hearty winter soup!