Made by slowly simmering animal bones and connective tissue for 24-36 hours, bone broth has a place of honour in most culinary traditions. From Thai coconut chicken soup to Turkish lamb stew to classic American chicken noodle soup, people worldwide have been simmering animal bones into savoury goodness for thousands of years.
The bone broth tradition was almost lost in the 20th century, introducing MSG-based bouillon cubes, making that savoury flavouring easier to achieve. However, we’ve since learned that MSG can contribute to hypertension, obesity, gastrointestinal tract troubles, and impaired function of the brain, nervous system, reproductive, and endocrine system.
Bone broth is a wonderful food rich in minerals, collagen, and amino acids—nutrients lacking in the standard American diet. But whether you drink bone broth for its nourishing qualities or simply to warm you up on a chilly morning, drinking cup after cup of broth can get a little boring.
The solution? Elevate the taste of your bone broth routine with these ten flavour additions—they’ll have you falling in love with this healthy drink all over again. All you need is twelve ounces of beef or poultry bone broth, then build flavour with these simple recipe additions. We have a wide range of bone broth benefits at Bone Broth.
10 Ways to Consume Bone Broth
To most, the reach of bone broth goes only as far as that special soup mom used to make on rainy days. While it can be found in soup, the ways to consume bone broth reach much further than chicken noodle soup. We’ve compiled ten usual and unusual ways that you can get the health-supporting, skin-enhancing, muscle-boosting superfood into your diet (without having to wait until you are feeling sick).
In a Soup, Bisque, or Stew
Yes, soup is pretty standard, but your bone broth doesn’t need to just be in chicken noodle soup. Try a bone broth in place of stock in any soup, stew, or even bisque to improve the dish’s nutritional value. For example, give this creamy Butternut Bisque Recipe from Ancient Nutrition a try.
In a Mug
Without anything too fancy, you can sip on bone broth without too many frills. Simply heat it and replace your morning cup of coffee. Or add some cilantro and garlic and have a mug before your dinner. It will help fill you up and avoid the urge to overeat. Taking bone broth straight may take some getting used to, but some have found that consuming it in its most basic form helps everything from your joints to your metabolism and even managing your weight.
With Quinoa or Couscous
If you like adding couscous or quinoa as a side to your dinner, try cooking them in bone broth instead of water for both a huge taste upgrade and a boost in nutrients. This is especially smart if your meal is light on protein, to begin with.
Just like with grains, replacing your bland water with a healthy and hearty bone broth in your Thanksgiving stuffing preparation is sure to impress your guests (even your mother-in-law). The chicken flavour from your broth complements the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving spread so perfectly. But, of course, no one will suspect they’re getting even more benefits from a more delicious version of this holiday staple.
I know what you’re thinking, a chicken noodle smoothie does not sound very good. But this raspberry banana chia smoothie does. And don’t forget that bone broth doesn’t have to be a liquid. Using bone broth protein powder recipes, you can get the sweetness you crave with the added benefits of classic bone broth.
In Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the go-to comfort food. On their own, they don’t contain a plethora of nutrients, but making them with bone broth can add a kick of those key elements your body craves for your gut, joints and immune system.
Instead of using high-calorie and sugary sauces to flavour your chicken, base your bouquet of herbs in a bone broth. The added nutrients will supplement the already high-protein meat and bring out an even stronger flavour.
Just like with the surprising smoothie suggestion, adding bone broth protein powder to your desserts can not only give you the protein you need but add to the flavour. Check out this chocolate peppermint squares recipe for a delicious and natural treat for your sweet tooth.
In scrambled eggs
Adding milk or a splash of water to your morning eggs is a sure-fire way to get them fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth good. However, if you like a good savoury breakfast, try substituting a bit of bone broth instead. It will add to that hearty flavour while also bringing more nutrients than water and fewer calories than milk. We have a wide range of the best beef bone broth at Bone Broth.
To add a little flavour and a boost of protein to your vegetable-heavy meal, add a splash of bone broth while you’re sauteing. Try this kale saute recipe with garlic, red wine vinegar, and bone broth protein greens for a delicious and healthy side.
Adding bone broth to your meal isn’t as hard as it may sound. The benefits include healthy joints and a healthy immune system. It may also help with healthy skin, nails, and hair. Plus, the improved taste of these dishes should be enough to convince you that bone broth is so much more than chicken soup.
Things You Didn’t Know About Bone Broth.
- Your gut loves it. Nutrients in bone broth feed the cell walls lining your gut and help it to thrive.
- It’s easy to make. Just throw some chicken or beef bones into a large pot, fill up with water to cover, bring to a boil, then simmer on really low heat for 12-24 hours. Strain, chill in the fridge overnight, and in the morning, pull away from the hard fat layer that has formed. Then warm up a mug of the broth, add a pinch of salt and enjoy your rewards.
- It’s a natural collagen boost for your skin. Well made bone broth is rich in collagen nutrients that help to support the natural regeneration of your skin.
- Recovery from illness. Old wives tales often turn out to be right! Sipping on bone broth when you are ill can help speed up recovery because of its glutamine content, helping heal the body.
- Bone broth can help you lose weight. That’s because a mug of bone broth is so satisfying, helping you to curb cravings for other snacks that might be less beneficial.
- Helps improve digestion. A well-made bone broth contains gelatine, and one of the gelatine’s properties is to help draw digestive enzymes into the gut. Which for you means improved digestion of the food you eat.
- Improved mood and sleep. Perhaps an area of greatest interest is how much the health of your gut affects your mood and sleep quality. Bone broth helps to support the health of your gut lining, and so a flow-on effect from this can be improvements in mood and sleep.
Other Ways To Include Bone Broth in Your Diet
A person pouring the bone broth into rice on a wok. Drinking bone broth straight up isn’t for everyone. Luckily there are lots of other ways to include bone broth in your diet.
- Make soup. This is the classic way to make bone broth part of your diet. Use it in any soup recipe that calls for stock or broth. Try a classic like chicken noodle or French onion soup, or go for something spicier like Mexican pozole or Chinese hot and sour soup. Most soup recipes can be made in big batches and frozen ahead for quick week-day meals.
- Make rice, grains or pasta: Use bone broth instead of water when cooking rice or pasta. Bone broth adds flavour and health benefits to these simple dishes.
- Saute with vegetables: Use a bit of bone broth to saute or stir fry vegetables.
- Add to mashed potatoes, parsnips, and cauliflower: Use bone broth instead of water or milk when making any mashed vegetable dish.
- Freeze in ice cube trays: Keep some bone broth ice cubes handy in the freezer. You can pop a couple of cubes into stews, casseroles, stir-fries, or any other savoury recipe.
- Check your favourite cookbook and recipes. Any recipe that calls for stock or broth can be replaced with bone broth.
Impressive Bone Broth Benefits
There’s a laundry list of health benefits of bone broth. For one, it’s a great source of protein (about 6 grams per cup) and minerals like calcium, phosphorous (good for bones and teeth), and potassium, which helps move nutrients into cells and waste out of cells. That’s not all. Keep reading for more of the benefits of bone broth. We have a wide range of chicken bone broth at Bone Broth.
Heal and seal your gut.
One of the main bone broth benefits is for your gut. According to Jill Grunewald, a cup of bone broth a day can help with a leaky gut syndrome, but it’s also good for protecting non-leaky guts, a holistic nutrition coach and founder of Healthful Elements. The gelatin in the bones typically used for broth (such as knuckles, feet, and other joints) is said to help seal up holes in the intestines. (People who have leaky gut syndrome have a porous intestinal lining.) This “patching” can help ease chronic diarrhea, constipation, and even some food intolerances. Not to mention, it goes down easy; that’s why dietitians recommend broth as one of the best hangover foods or for patients with food sensitivities.
Protect your joints.
Taking glucosamine supplements has long been used as the first line of treatment for people with joint pain, but it turns out that bone broth has glucosamine, too. In addition, unlike pills, the broth offers other nutritional and health benefits that can help reduce pain. For example, chondroitin sulphate, which is found in the cartilage that protects joints, has been shown to help prevent osteoarthritis.
Keep your collagen strong.
According to Daniel Auer, a holistic medicine doctor based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the real benefit of bone broth is the low-and-slow cooking process, which breaks down the bones and connective tissues of the meat. Then, as you sip the broth, you take in collagen (a building block of cells found everywhere from your skin and bones to your brain) and gelatin (a form of collagen that aids digestion) – both of which he says are incredibly healing.
Experts are torn on whether you can gain the skin-firming, joint-strengthening benefits of collagen by ingesting it. Still, studies have shown an improvement in skin’s elasticity and fine lines from collagen supplements. (Learn more about whether you should be adding collagen to your diet.)
Another (somewhat unexpected) bone broth benefit: Research has shown that glycine, found in bone broth, may help improve sleep and ward off fatigue. (Here are more tips on what to eat for better sleep.)
Support a healthy immune system.
Because of bone broth’s high concentration of minerals, Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, goes as far as to call bone broth a “superfood” that can strengthen your immune system. (Stock up on these other immune system-boosting foods too.)
Increase bone strength.
The phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium in the bones seep out into the broth, leaving you to sip all those essential nutrients for your healthy bones.
Get some bone broth protein.
We’re not suggesting an entire bone broth diet. It cannot (and should not) be your only means for getting essential nutrients like amino acids. However, if you don’t regularly eat meat, one of the benefits of bone broth is that it can help supply amino acids from animal protein via bones. Amino acids are important for muscle recovery and energy – two key factors in your fitness performance.
While no one food is a magic ticket to weight loss or good health (instead, look to these five indisputable guidelines for healthy eating), bone broth is low in calories and high in nutrients, making it a great choice if you’re looking to lose weight or consume a more nutritious diet. Of course, the exact nutrition facts and benefits of all bone broths will be slightly different, but in general, one cup of bone broth has just 30-50 calories.