Have you heard about bone broth? If not, you may be living under a rock and should evaluate some of your life choices.
Of course you've heard about bone broth! It's either the world's cure for all types of illnesses, or simply a tasty excuse of spending more time in the kitchen. In either case, there's lots of information about what it is, what it does, how to make it and how to use it.
What is bone broth?
Well, it is stock. But, really good stock. The idea of what makes it bone broth over stock is that it is cooked longer and becomes thicker because of the collagen that comes out of the joints and bones. Also, the use of apple cider vinegar in bone broth, which helps in drawing out the collagen.
What are the benefits of bone broth?
People are somewhat divided on this. At the very least, it is considered a healing food. Think about what you want to eat when you have a cold – chicken soup! And research has supported your body's craving, "Chicken soup may have a number of beneficial effects for an individual with a cold." Some of those benefits include improving hydration, clearing mucus and a reduction of the inflammatory response caused by colds, according to this study from 2000.
Further, bone broth can help as a sports recovery drink. First, the replacement of fluid from the liquid, then the replacement of electrolytes with the sodium. Following that, the amino acids from the collagen helping to rebuild muscles, bone broth seems to be a way better choice than one of those store bought sports drinks.
Is bone broth the cure all? Not likely. The vitamins and enzymes from it get cooked and become less useful. The collagen, which will be broken by your digestive system for amino acids, probably won't promote bone growth or restore lost collagen in your body. And your body will use those amino acids wherever they are needed, not necessarily directly for your bones, according to this 2015 NPR article.
While bone broth won't heal all wounds or right all wrongs, it certainly won't hurt. And will make your kitchen smell delicious!
How to make bone broth
Nearly every chef has their own recipe for bone broth. They range from taking whole chickens, meat and all, to using bare bones and scraps. Some use stock pots on the stove for hours, others instapot and some choose crockpots. As you delve in to your bone broth personality, you'll find the ingredients and method that works best for you. Then, soon, you'll personalize your own recipe to pass along. Because with bone broth, you don't have to be tied to an exact measurement of ingredients; bone broth offers a lot of grace for too much of one, not enough of another.
If you prefer a bone broth that uses a whole chicken, try out this recipe from Epicurious.
If you want a bone broth that uses mostly bones with some added chicken, try this recipe from Savory Lotus.
For a bone broth that is made entirely from bones, check out our recipe for Bone Broth from Scraps.
How to use bone broth
The quick answer is to simply drink it! Some people replace coffee in the morning with a warm cup of broth. It's also easy to use as the base for soups and gravy. When reheating leftovers, sprinkle some broth on to add moisture and flavor.
Once you've gone through your soup repertoire and are looking for more uses for bone broth, the opportunities are endless. You can use it to make rice or even bloody mary's! It can be used to make a homemade alfredo sauce, braising meat or cooking vegetables (like cauliflower rice).
The problem won't be how to use it, but how to keep enough on hand!
Written by Kerri Haack for The Healthy Moms Magazine.