Bone Broth

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about dietary and lifestyle practices for optimal health. Bone broth features prominently in several authors’ writings. Here are a few of its benefits:

  • As a natural, easily-absorbed source of collagen, bone broth helps stem the tide of age-related joint cartilage degradation. It also promotes skin elasticity and moisture.
  • It strengthens the gut lining and supports growth of probiotics (i.e., good bacteria). A healthy gut contributes to proper immune system functioning.
  • Bone broth promotes cellular and liver detoxification. It helps eliminate heavy metal toxins while contributing to absorption of essential nutrients.

Here’s how I make it:

beef bones
Step 1: I purchase bones from a local rancher who raises healthy, grass fed beef and pork. I start by roasting the bones for 45 minutes at 350° to enhance flavor and get rid of some of the fat.
bone broth in crock pot
Step 2: I place the roasted bones in a crock pot with 9-10 cups of water, a sliced onion, 1-2 carrots, 2-3 celery stalks, and crushed garlic (with skins). I cook the broth for at least 24 hours on low.
bone broth
Step 3: After the mixture cools a bit, I pour it through a strainer into a large bowl and discard the bones and vegetables. When the broth reaches room temperature, I place it in the refrigerator for several hours.
bone broth
Step 4: The fat rises to the top and congeals. The oil residue in beef broth snaps into pieces for easy removal. The oil residue in pork broth has a creamy consistency that can be scraped off with a spatula.
bone broth
Step 5: I decant the fat-free broth into smaller containers for storage in the refrigerator or freezer.

For chicken bone broth, I start by roasting an organic, free-range chicken and serve it for dinner. We collect the bones from the meat we eat and de-bone the leftovers. A full set of chicken bones plus 8 cups of water, a sliced onion, 1-2 carrots, 2-3 celery stalks, and crushed garlic (with skins) yields a tasty broth after 24 hours of simmering.

While I generally use bone broth when making soup, it can be consumed as a hot drink. I find beef and chicken broth more flavorful than pork broth, although the latter tends to be more collagen-rich.