Light salads, morning energy smoothies, collagen-boosting gummy bears — these are just a few of the countless creative ways you can get more bone broth into your diet.
While sipping a hot and nourishing cup of bone broth is one of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of protein and energy-packed goodness, it might not be the first thing you want to reach for during the dog days of summer. You might also be short on time to make bone broth at home. But these are no reasons to miss out on all the health benefits of drinking bone broth. We have a wide range of bone broth benefits at Bone Broth
Bone broths have long been revered for their health benefits. Chicken soup was a regular dish served up by my grandmother, and as a child, the broth was always served when feeling ill. Thankfully, this nutritious liquid is still regarded for promoting good health and current dietary trends have blown up broths! Loaded with amino acids and minerals, bone broths are a valuable attribute to a healthy and fully functioning immune system. By simmering bones for long periods of time, gelatin is extracted, which promotes better digestion and tone the skin.
What is a Bone Broth?
Similar to stocks, bone broths can be made with just bones or a soup bone which has a bit of meat attached. Bone broths are typically simmered for longer periods of time than stocks, sometimes upwards of 48 hours. The result is a deep rich broth with gelatinous properties. The long, slow simmer pulls as many minerals and nutrients possible from the bones. In some cases, especially with chicken, the bones will be crumbly once the simmer is complete.
Bonus Broth Love
The average American, with regard to consuming animals foods, largely utilizes lean muscle meats over organ meats, skin, and connective tissue. This is due to the modern convenience of prepackaged-portioned cuts of meats that fill grocery stores. Most families are no longer eating a farm-to-table or nose-to-tail diet which was previously the norm for cultures all over the globe.
Eating lean muscle meats to the complete or near-complete exclusion of organs, skin, cartilage, marrow, etc., supplies the diet with an unhealthy balance of amino acids. One, in particular, methionine, when received in large amounts (relative to other amino acids, like glycine), can promote IGF-1, which in turn can support the growth of cancerous cells in unhealthy individuals. Supplementation with glycine (or simply eating snout to tail) balances these amino acids out and does not promote this process. Omnivory that eats solely (or mainly) lean muscle meats is purported to promote cancer over a strict vegetarian diet, however, omnivory that fully utilizes the animal (as in hunter-gatherer diets) is known to produce almost no cancer, even in old age.
It all starts with the Bones
For today’s post, I am referring to grass-fed beef bones, although wild game, lamb, or poultry carcasses can be used with great success. For a rich/deeper flavour, roast the bones in a 375°F oven until nice and brown. This will yield a much more pleasant taste in the end.
Grass-fed bones are more nutritious than those sourced from factory farms or grain-fed animals. While choice cuts of grass-fed beef can be expensive, grass-fed bones are very inexpensive ($5.00/lb) and at times, maybe given away from your local butcher or farmer.
Ingredients You Should Be Adding to Your Bone Broth!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Although I never learned this in culinary school, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar should be considered an essential ingredient in bone broths. With a low ph, the vinegar acts as a solvent, helping to pull calcium and other minerals from the bones as it slowly simmers on the stovetop.
We are fortunate enough to have a high quality, locally produced apple cider vinegar. Sewell Orchard is located just south of us in a small town along the mid-coast of Maine. His organic vinegar is unpasteurized and is aged for a minimum of 2 years. I have been using this vinegar for several years now and use it in a variety of ways.
I hardly ever purchase vegetables to put into my stocks and broths, but I do save my vegetable scraps in the freezer until I have gathered enough to put into stock. Onion peels, chunks of tomato, leek tops, and bits of celery add great flavour and aroma to the stock. Keep a produce bag on hand and collect bits and pieces of vegetables and freeze them up until you gather 4-6 cups worth. Be mindful to avoid brassicas, as they will impart an unwanted bitter flavour.
Since moving to Maine, sea vegetables have become an integral addition to my stocks, broths, and diet in general. An abundant and sustainable resource, sea vegetables are loaded with vitamins and minerals and help build on an already nutritious broth. With the added bonus of being a wild food, sea veggies like kelp, wakame, and kombu impart a deep earthy flavour that I strive for when making broths. Kelp is a vigorous plant, can grow several feet in a day and is my go-to sea vegetable to add to bone broths. This brown alga is high in iodine, making it a good resource for assisting a properly functioning thyroid.
Medicinal Mushrooms can save the world! A TED talk by mycologist Paul Stamets suggests mushrooms can help to restore our ecosystem and fight against illness and disease. Polypore mushrooms like chaga, reishi, and turkey tail make for excellent additions and can be foraged in many parts of the world. I also look to store-bought varieties like shiitake and crimini for the earthy flavour they impart in the broth.
An excerpt from an article by botanist Arthur Haines reveals more benefits of mushrooms and why cooking is the most optimal way to liberate their nutrients “Mushrooms improve the functioning of our immune system in a manner that protects us from bacteria, viruses, and cancer. It is important to note that to get the full effects of the glucans in fungi, they must be cooked to liberate these compounds from indigestible cell wall material. Without cooking, these polysaccharides are not bioavailable, and a major reason for the consumption of fungi is not realized in the diet.”
While everyday culinary herbs like thyme and parsley go into just about every pot of bone broth I make, medicinal herbs like ashwagandha, astragalus, fresh turmeric, nettle root, and ginger are just a few of the herbs that regularly go into my stocks and bone broths. From supporting the immune system to working as an adaptogen in the body, many of the mushrooms and herbs I consume regularly have a host of benefits. But these dense roots and fungi require boiling or long slow simmers to extract their water-soluble nutrients. You can find these herbs in your backyard, surrounding local forest or from various online retailers. Bone broth is a great delivery system to use herbs and to consume them in this savoury way.
Time to Make Some Bone Broth
- 2 pounds of grass-fed beef bones
- A splash of apple cider vinegar
- 4 litres of high-quality water
- 4-6 cups vegetable scraps
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 strips of kelp or wakame
- A handful of dried mushrooms (turkey tail, reishi, shiitake, chaga, or other medicinal mushrooms)
- a small handful of medicinal herbs (astragalus, ashwagandha, nettle root, etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F
- Place the beef bones onto a sheet pan. Roast in the oven until well browned, drain the fat, then transfer over to a heavy bottom stockpot. Add the remaining ingredients, including the vinegar.
- Pour in 1 gallon of cold water. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before gently raising the heat, and bring the water to just under a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 4-24 hours.
- While simmering, skim off any discoloured foam that rises to the top.
- Remove pot from the stove and carefully strain through a cheesecloth of fine-meshed colander.
- Cool the stock immediately in an ice bath; then store in a glass jar, in the fridge.
- Use within 3-4 days or freeze in appropriate containers.
Incorporate Bone Broth Benefits in Your Recipes
There are many healing properties of purchased or homemade bone broth. It can support gut health and aid digestive health issues such as leaky gut syndrome, thanks to the collagen, gelatin, and a bounty of amino acids. Organic bone broth can also improve muscle recovery, relieve joint pain, promote healthy skin, boost the immune system, and can even support weight loss.
It is an extremely versatile ingredient that can be used to infuse flavour and nutrient content in an unbelievable number of dishes, including cooked vegetables and grains, braised meats, condiments, and cool drinks. From a smoothie to a tasty side dish to the main event, there are plenty of ways to incorporate bone broth in your cooking.
To get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen, here are delicious ways to add it into your summer recipe repertoire.
The Ultimate Bone Broth Smoothie 4 Ways
There are few better ways to start the morning than with a healthy, fast, and filling bone broth smoothie. We came up with four twists on our ultimate bone broth smoothie recipe, each of which can be made in under five minutes. Choose from four flavours: blueberry protein, green, mixed berry, or pineapple mango ginger.
Summer Super Boost Shake
Not feeling smoothies? Try a shake. This hormone-balancing super drink combines bone broth as the base with fresh herbs and greens. It’s packed with protein and vitamins to boost the immune system and support gut health.
Bone Broth Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are another way to sip on bone broth and cool you down in the heat. Flavoured with herbs and spices, you can pop these protein-infused cubes into any beverage or add them to one of the smoothies mentioned above.
Bone Broth Gazpacho with Chimichurri
Sip on a chilled summer soup with this gazpacho recipe. Few things evoke summer cooking more than a zesty gazpacho. Rich bone broth works to enhance the fresh flavours of peak-season tomatoes and peppers in this light yet filling soup.
Creamy Corn Soup
This creamy corn soup with charred jalapeno, avocado, and pepita salsa also uses a bone broth base to highlight the best summer of produce. It can be served cold for a refreshing lunch or hot on a cozy summer night in.
Paleo Ginger Carrot Puree
For a snack or accompaniment to a main meal, this paleo ginger carrot puree made with chicken bone broth is so versatile it can be served hot or cold. Eat it on its own, add a protein for dinner, or top it with eggs for a fast, filling, and delicious breakfast.
Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps
For fresh weekday meals, you could try cooking meats in bone broth. The beef in these Asian lettuce wraps is flavourful and tender after cooking it in bone broth, while crisp lettuce leaves and a lemony vinaigrette keep them light and perfect for a hot summer day.
With Scrambled Eggs
While we’re talking about eggs, why not try adding a little bone broth to your morning scrambled eggs. For a perfect healing breakfast, add some turmeric powder and chopped coriander (cilantro) to the mix as well.
In a Homemade Tomato Sauce
This one should have been staring you right in the face. Of course! Why not add some bone broth to the next batch of your homemade tomato sauce. Serve with crunchy zucchini noodles or over gluten-free pasta. Try this simple recipe from the Food Renegade website.
To Steam and Sauté Vegetables
Veggies will absorb nutrients from whatever they’re cooked in – so why not cook them in bone broth? And when it comes to veggies, I recommend broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, asparagus or Brussels sprouts. Add a few cloves of garlic and a dollop of butter at the end, and voila – your perfect side dish is ready.
Use It In Dips And Paté
Making some paleo hummus, pumpkin dip or liver pâté? Why not add a little bone broth? This paleo and AIP friendly turkey and chicken liver terrine from Provincial Paleo is a great example of how you can use up the bone broth in a pretty creative way.
Cheesy Panade with Swiss Chard, Beans & Sausage
Panande is basically a French bread stew, studded with beans, greens, and sausage. It’s also a little bit brothy, like French onion soup. I’m partial to beef bone broth in this recipe for a deeper flavour, although chicken bone broth makes for absolutely delicious results as well.
Quinoa Summer Salad
Another fresh idea: bone broth salads. Yes, bone broth salad is now a thing. And it might just become your new favourite, starting with this quinoa salad with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion. Cooking the quinoa in bone broth instead of water infuses it with a meaty depth of flavour, and boosts the nutrition of the overall dish. Once you start cooking your salad grains this way, you may never go back. Looking for bone broth benefits ? Look no further! Bone Broth has you covered.
Slow Cooker Crispy Chicken Carnitas
Taco Tuesday can be made endlessly healthier (and tastier) with a little bone broth. These slow cooker crispy chicken carnitas by Kim’s Cravings do just that, as the chicken gets tender and flavourful from a long simmer in the slow cooker with bone broth. After being shredded, it then crisps up with a quick minute under the broiler.
Easy Shoyu Ramen
Soup recipes, of course, are the most obvious choice for using up that bone broth. And while it might not be the first thing you think of in the summer, few things beat a killer bowl of ramen any time of year. The ultimate comfort food, this easy shoyu ramen proves that with the right bone broth, ramen can be super easy to whip up when you need something delicious, nourishing, and fast.
Just Sip On It
Let’s start with something simple and straightforward. Heat the broth, pour it in a mug and sip it slowly. A lot of people hit a cup of warm broth first thing in the morning in place of coffee; I prefer to have a small bowl seasoned with a little garlic and fresh coriander before my main meal at dinner time.
You can add any seasoning you like to flavour the broth: grated ginger and spring onion; cracked pepper and celery salt; a little lime juice and fish sauce; tomato paste, garlic and basil; miso and seaweed, and the list goes on.
Use Bone Broth In A Soup
This is an obvious go-to use of bone broth, but I thought I should mention it anyway. Any soup that calls for ready-made stock or stock cubes can be upgraded into something much more nutritious with some heavy-duty bone broth. Try my zucchini, turmeric and coconut soup with some lovely chicken or beef bone broth for a seriously healing and nourishing meal.
For an Asian-inspired meal, check out my egg drop soup with greens and shiitake mushrooms. It can be made with chicken or beef bone broth. Vietnamese beef pho or Thai Tom Kha Gai is also tasty choices for using up the bone broth.
In A Stuffing
While traditional Thanksgiving stuffing isn’t something you’d consider the healthiest item on the menu, it can be nutrient-dense and beneficial. This innovative, gluten-free stuffing from Kitchen With Broth uses bone broth as an integral ingredient, making it very tasty and gut-friendly.
Use Bone Broth In A Gravy
A Thanksgiving classic just got a little healthier with this recipe from Raising Generation Nourished. This 5-minute gravy with bone broth contains collagen – one of the many beneficial elements which will help to heal your body and gut. Not to mention, it tastes delicious.
Make Cauliflower Rice with It
Cauliflower rice is a healthy staple side dish these days, and for a good reason. It’s rich with vitamins C, K, B and folate, and packs enough fibre to keep you on schedule. Using bone broth to cook the cauliflower in is a great way to add both some flavour and nutrients to this dish. Check out this simple recipe from Don’t Mess With Mama. I love making my cauliflower rice by first sautéing some onion and garlic, which you can also do in a little bone broth.
In Mashed Potato
My favourite comfort food – mashed potatoes – is fantastic with added bone broth. The dish becomes a little tastier – and a lot healthier! Pair with some grass-fed beef and veggies for a nutrient-dense dinner. Simply add half a cup of bone broth to whatever veg you want to mash. Try my parsnip and cauliflower mash with garlic butter.
In A Marinade
This bone broth marinated chicken from Bare Bones Broth Co. packs an entire day’s worth of protein into one meal, as well as many other nutrients (like B vitamins, selenium and choline). Pair it with some green vegetables like kale or spinach, to round out a great meal.
Use Bone Broth In Stews
Stews are traditionally rich with nutrients, and the addition of bone broth only adds more health benefits. Whenever you make a stew, try adding some bone broth to the mix. I find that beef and chicken bone broths are often interchangeable and you can often use meat broth in vegetable-based stews. Try my hearty beef stew or this chorizo and vegetable stew.
Tomato-Basil Chicken and Rice
Cooking rice in broth is always a good idea, as it’s a simple way to bring even more flavour to dinner. In this skillet dinner, both the chicken and the rice simmer in the broth for a rich flavour.
Farmers Market Risotto
If you have a big stash of bone broth, risotto is always a great option to consider, as it can be used in place of traditional broth. This veggie-packed rice dish can come together with whatever veggies you have in the crisper.
One-Pan BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls
The only thing better than burrito bowls for dinner is when the whole meal comes together in a single pot. Easy cooking and easy cleanup! Swap any type of bone broth for the chicken stock in the recipe and see how this recipe doubles in flavour. Bone Broth has a wide range of best bone broth benefits in Melbourne
Whether you make your own or choose a ready-to-eat option, any summer meal can be instantly upgraded with the addition of slow-simmered bone broth. The foundation for many delicious real food recipes is the broth — and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a foundation with more essential nutrients than bone broth.