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What Is Bone Broth And How Do I Make It?

by Heather Fairall, L.Ac.

Bone broth is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Most traditional cultures have a history of bone broth as a part of its cuisine for its amazing health benefits and amazing flavor. In traditional Chinese Medicine, bone broth is an excellent way to tonify qi and build blood. It is also known to boost your immune system, that’s why chicken soup is often called “Jewish penicillin”! I recommend to every patient that I see to start adding bone broth into their diets.

Yes, but what is bone broth?  Bone broth is simply broth or stock made from meat bones, usually beef, chicken, pork, or fish.  Bones are slowly cooked in a large pot with water and veggies (carrots, onions, ect.), then the broth is then strained and ready to use!

Bone broth is one of the best “nutrient dense” foods you can feed children (nutrient dense foods are especially important in feeding young kids and picky eaters). It is full of vitamins, minerals, and collagen and glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s) which help bone and joint health. One of the most amazing benefits of bone broth is that it can help to heal the gut. The gelatin in bone broth can help to heal leaky gut and reduce inflammation in the intestines. It is beneficial for all digestive problems including diarrhea, constipation, as well as conditions such as food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases.

Making bone broth may sound daunting, but it is not only easy, it can be done on the cheap!!!  Here is my cheap mom recipe for bone broth.Bone broth for the freezer

1. Save all of your meat and/or fish bones. Put your chicken carcass in a zip-lock and keep it in the freezer. I also save steak bones, pork bones, and get “soup bones” from the butcher. Sometimes I mix the bones, sometimes I keep them separate. It depends on my mood or OCD level of the day.

 2. Save all of your veggies scraps from cooking and keep in a zip-lock in the freezer. The ends of carrots, ends of onions, garlic skins, squash peels, kale ribs, etc . It can all go into the pot.

veggie scraps for bone broth

3. When you have a few bags stored up, throw them in a large pot or crock pot, cover with water and cook for at least 24 hours (I like to let mine simmer for 48 hours). Make sure you add a tablespoon of vinegar to the water to help extract the minerals from the bones.

bones and veggies in a ziplock in the freezer for broth

4. Strain the broth from the bones and veggie scraps.  I usually strain through a mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth.  I then funnel it into the containers I will freeze it in.

I usually try to have some in my fridge at all times, but I freeze most of it to use as needed. I drink it straight, and use it in cooking (recipes and ideas in next blog).