Bone Broth 101

This post is long overdue. I've been drinking (and posting about) bone broth for awhile now, and consider it a key part of my wellness routine. I would even go so far to say that bone broth is one of my favorite foods, or superfoods, actually - it really is that awesome.

I've personally seen the following benefits as a result of drinking bone broth:

  • Stronger and more healthy hair, skin and nails
  • Fewer gut issues (pain, indigestion, bloating, etc)
  • Better energy (especially when I sip bone broth instead of a caffeinated beverage)

In this blog post I'm going to cover the following:

  1. What is bone broth and how is it different from stock?
  2. Why should I drink bone broth?
  3. How can I easily include bone broth in my diet?

Plus, I'll share my favorite delivery bone broth services so that you can get yourself some broth no matter WHERE you are and what your cooking abilities are.

Let's dive in!

What is bone broth and how is it different from stock?

Bone broth is made from simmering bones (and marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments) over a period of days. This slow cooking causes these normally non-digestible parts of the animal to break down and release amino acids and minerals that are super good for you.

Making broth was the way our ancestors (and even our grandmothers and mothers!) made use of every part of the animal. However, nowadays many broths and stocks (especially the ones you buy in cartons from the supermarket) are made much more quickly. As a result, the bones do not break down and thus the broth is not infused with all those beneficial amino acids and minerals.

Technically, there's a slight difference between broth, stock and bone broth:

  • Broth is typically made with meat and small amount of bones. It's simmered for a short period of time (45 minutes to 2 hours) and is light in flavor and thin in texture.
  • Stock is typically made with bones and a small amount of meat.  It's simmered for a bit longer than broth - about 3 to 4 hours - and is a good source of gelatin.
  • Bone broth is typically made with bone and a small amount of meat. It's simmered for a very long period of time (anywhere from 8 to over 24 hours) and is a great source of gelatin, minerals, and protein.

Why should I drink bone broth?

Besides being delicious, bone broth is a nutrition powerhouse.

  1. Bone broth helps heal the gut. The gelatin in bone broth helps restore the lining of the gut and the good bacteria (probiotics) that live in your gut. In addition, drinking bone broth can reduce food sensitivities (like wheat or dairy) and supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive tract.
  2. Bone broth is anti-aging. The collagen in bone broth helps form elastin and other compounds within skin that are key for maintaining youthful skin tone and texture. Studies have also shown that increasing collagen can decrease the appearance of cellulite.
  3. Bone broth is immune-boosting. It's estimated that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut (yep!!), so when you heal the gut, you're also increasing your immune strength, which means you'll get sick way less. Despite having a busy schedule AND living in a crowded city, I didn't get sick once this year. I know that keeping my gut healthy with bone broth and other superfoods was key to this.

How can I easily include bone broth in my diet?

Here are a few easy ways to incorporate bone broth into your daily diet:

  • Drink a cup in the morning (in place of coffee, if you want!) or as an afternoon pick me up
  • Make my Bone Broth Breakfast Soup
  • Use as the base for any soup or stew
  • Swap for water when cooking grains
  • Add a splash to sauteing veggies for extra flavor

I've also heard that you can freeze bone broth in ice cube trays and then add to smoothies, but I haven't tried this... yet!

How to make your own bone broth:

Making bone broth isn't hard, but it does require some time and effort. If you're not ready to make your own broth - no worries! Broth shops are popping up all over the place (stay tuned for my guide to NYC's bone broth scene!) and you can usually find some sort of broth at your local health foods store. I've also included some of my favorite bone broth delivery services below so you can have the good stuff shipped directly to your doorstep!

There are two essentials you'll need to make your own broth:

  1. Quality bones
  2. A large pot with a fitted lid, Crockpot (or other slow cooker) or InstantPot

Where to get your bones: Your broth will only be as good as the bones you use, so you want to get quality bones! I've found bones at some health foods stores and some Whole Foods. You may also find them from your local butcher or farmer's market.

You can buy the bones directly (often the case for beef bones) OR you can use leftover bones from a whole roasted chicken or turkey (I did this after Thanksgiving last year and it worked great!).

Which pot should I use? It's really up to you. I've made bone broth in a slow cooker and am currently hunting down some bones to try it in my InstantPot. These two sure make the process easier, because you can "set it and forget it" for most of the process. If you choose to make it on the stove in a traditional pot, you'll want to plan accordingly so that you can be around for the time it needs to simmer.

In making my own bone broth, I've exclusively used the recipe from Go with Your Gut by Robyn Youkilis. There are plenty of recipes online, but this recipe is easy to follow and includes beef, chicken, fish and veggie options. The rest of the recipes in the book are pretty fabulous too, so it's worth ordering yourself a copy! Order Go with Your Gut on Amazon.

Me checking out my homemade broth!

Me checking out my homemade broth!

Bone Broth Delivery Services:

  • BareBones - If you're looking for fun flavors and varieties, BareBones is your place. They have classic chicken, beef and turkey, as well as flavors like Tomato Spice and Rosemary Lemon. Currently their broth is shipped frozen, but I've heard that they will be switching over to shelf-stable broths soon. Order BareBones here.
  • BrothMasters - BrothMasters was started by a fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduate and her mom! Their signature chicken bone broth is the most flavorful I've tried and is packd with organic onions, carrots, celery, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and bay leaves. Order BrothMasters here.
  • Kettle & Fire - Kettle and Fire was the first shelf stable broth (aka no fridge needed!) I discovered. They offer both beef and chicken variations that are delicious. Order Kettle + Fire Bone Broth here.
  • Thrive Market - I recently joined Thrive Market and was happy to see that they carry shelf stable bone broth. I was pleasantly surprised with the Thrive Market brand Beef Broth - it's rich in flavor and thicker (i.e. contains more of the gut healing gelatin) than many other shelf stable broths I've tried. Join Thrive Market here and receive 15% off your first order!
  • Amazon - YUP you can even order bone broth on Amazon! I've tried the Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth - it's good and very affordable (I've also seen this at my local health foods store). If you don't have Amazon Prime already (fast, FREE shipping on all orders), use this link for a free trial membership: Try Amazon Prime for FREE Today!

Where can I get bone broth in NYC?

That's another whole post in itself ;) I'm actually putting together a guide, so make sure you're signed up for my newsletter list to be the first to know when this is available!

Sign up for my newsletter list here!

Additional reading:

Dr Axe - Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite

Nourished Kitchen - Bone Broth, Broths and Stocks

Wellness Mama - Bone Broth Benefits for Health

And that's a wrap folks. I hope this post has clearly answered some of your bone broth FAQs and highlighted the awesome benefits of this superfood!

 
Got another question? Let me know in the comments below!
As always, I love hearing from you.