If there’s one food I wish my family would eat more of, it’s bone broth. (Or maybe liver, but that’s for another post 😛 ) The collagen in bone broth helps to heal the gut lining from leaky gut syndrome and is also great for joints, hair, skin and nails. It’s full of minerals and can be soothing to an upset stomach. But honestly, you’ve probably already heard all of the benefits of this stuff.
Bone broth has been a hot topic in the health world lately. Now-a-days there are bone broth powders found in health food stores and bone broth in cartons or glass jars that can be purchased from many grocery stores in the canned soup aisle.
Broth, stock and bone broth. Whats the difference?
There are a few differences between the three of these.
- What part of the animal is being simmered
- How long it is simmered
- End result nutrient profile
- Broth is made by simmering meat and possibly some veggies for a shorter time, usually less than 2 or 3 hours. It may contain some meaty bones, but they are not simmered long enough to extract any nutrients from them.
- Stock is made by simmering bones and connective tissues for about 4 hours. Stock is thicker than broth because it contains a bit more gelatin and collagen from the bones.
- Bone broth is made by simmering bones for a longer period of time. Usually between 12-24 hours for chicken bones and 24 to 48 hours for beef bones. Simmering the bones longer extracts more nutrients from the bones.
Veggies, herbs and spices can be added to all three of these to enhance flavor.
How to use bone broth
Bone broth can be used in place of broths and stocks in recipes. It can also be used in place of water when cooking things like rice, quinoa and other grains. A mug of warm bone broth is perfect for those days you may be feeling under the weather. It warms the body and calms the stomach.
Great option for fasting
Depending on your reasoning for fasting, whether religious or for health, bone broth may be acceptable during fasts. A couple years back when I was dealing with many health issues, my doctor recommended I do a bone broth fast. Actually he recommended all kinds of fasts, but I think bone broth was his favorite. He does bone broth fasts regularly for the healing effects of both bone broth and fasting. Bone broth is also a great ‘first food’ to eat when breaking a fast as it is gentle on the digestive system. This is something to look into if you suffer from chronic health issues or autoimmune disorders. Once again, I am not a doctor and I am not giving medical advice. I’m just a Momma sharing some food for thought. (Pun intended 😉 )
So, how do you make this stuff?
The 3 methods that I’m aware of are:
- Simmering on the stove (traditional method)
- Crock pot method
- Pressure cooker method (I use the Instant Pot for this and it’s my favorite method!)
No matter the method, the ingredient options are the same.
For this recipe you will need
- Apple cider vinegar
- Optional add-ins:
- bay leaves
Equipment needed (choose 1)
- large stock pot
- large crock pot
- Instant Pot
For the Bones, opt for bones from pasture raised animals. This can be a chicken carcass, beef bones (especially marrow bones), lamb, pork and even wild caught fish! Personally, I stick to chicken and beef. That’s what is readily available to me and it’s what my family likes. Leaving some meat on the bone adds some flavor too.
As for the optional veggies, any ‘scraps’ will do. Waste not, want not! 😉 When you’re finished cutting an onion, save the ends. Same goes for carrots. Keep the tips, ends and peels of carrots. You can keep a bag in the freezer for these scraps and pull it out when you’re ready to make broth. This adds some great flavor to your broth.
Directions for simmering or slow cooking
- Add bones and any other optional add-ins to your cooking vessel of choice. Cover with cool water and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Allow this mixture to sit for 30 to 45 minutes to allow the acids from the ACV to leech minerals from the bones. Don’t worry, your broth wont taste like vinegar. 😉
- Now it’s time to simmer. Slow cook on low, or simmer in a large stock pot on low heat for 12 to 48 hours depending on the type of bones. For chicken, stick with 12 to 24 hours. For beef, pork or other larger bones, 24 to 48 hours would be more appropriate.
- Once the simmering time has finished, remove the large pieces of bones and vegetables. The bones can be saved and reused to make another batch of bone broth, or you can toss them. I usually toss them, or give them to my Dads chickens if I planned on visiting soon. They LOVE it when we make broth 🙂
- Pour the remaining broth through a metal strainer into mason jars and refrigerate. Once cooled, the broth can be frozen or left in the fridge to be used in recipes within a weeks time. Leave the layer of fat at the top. This helps seal the broth inside and keeps it fresher for longer.
Directions for the Instant Pot
- Add bones and any other optional add-ins to your Instant Pot and cover with water to the max fill line.
- Add a splash of ACV. Now we want the bones to soak with the ACV for 30 to 45 minutes to allow the acids in the vinegar to leech minerals from the bones. The ‘delay’ feature works nice here! Just set it and forget it. That’s my kinda cookin’ 🙂
- Attach the lid and set the instant pot to pressure cook on high for 2 1/2 – 4 hours with a 30 minute delay and turn off the ‘keep warm’ function to allow for a natural release afterward. If you’re using chicken bones, 2 1/2 hours should work. If you’re using larger bones such as beef or pork, set the pot to cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- NOTE: Make sure you turn the pressure release valve to ‘sealing’. I’ve left it on ‘venting’ before without realizing and felt so silly afterward. Make it a habit to double check, just in case!
- Once the timer goes off, use the natural release method. NEVER USE THE QUICK RELEASE when making anything with a lot of liquid in any type of pressure cooker. Ask me how I learned that! Unfortunately it wasn’t from the manual (which I only skimmed through, lol)
- When the Instant Pot pressure has been naturally released, open the lid and remove any large bones and veggie pieces.
- Pour into mason jars through a mesh strainer. If you’re looking for a very clear broth, use a fine mesh strainer or even cheesecloth to collect any small pieces that cause a cloudy broth.
- The jars can be refrigerated for about a week and frozen for longer storage.
Homemade Bone Broth
Easy and inexpensive way to make broths for soups, stews and sauces. Full of gut healing nutrients that are also great for hair, skin and nails.
- beef, chicken, pork or lamb bones optional: leave some meat on the bones
- carrots, onions, celery or any other veggie scraps
- filtered water give or take a little
- salt and Peppercorns to taste, optional
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Add bones, veggies and seasoning to the instant pot and cover with water until reaching the max line.
Add apple cider vinegar.
Turn pressure cooker on high for 2 1/2 to 4 hours with a delay of 30 minutes to allow the apple cider vinegar to start bringing the nutrients from the bones. Turn off 'keep warm' function. If using small bones (chicken) cook less and cook longer if you're using larger bones.
Allow for a natural pressure release.
Once pressure has released, remove large bones and veggie pieces.
Pour broth through a mesh strainer into mason jars for storage. Refrigerate and use within a week or 2, or freeze for longer storage.