If you throw away meat bones, connective tissue, and the more seemingly inedible animal parts, you could be missing out.
Bones, marrow, and more can be used to make broth, which is a nutrient-dense, versatile tool that can really take your diet to the next level.
Read on and we’ll discuss why bone broth has developed such popularity in the wellness community, and the best ways for you to prepare bone broth at home.
What is Bone Broth, Anyway?
Bone broth is a liquid made from various animal parts. The idea is to lump bones, marrow, connective tissue such as tendons, and more odd animal parts in a large pot of water, boiling it to bring out a wide range of nutrients.
Since the start of mankind, we’ve been making and consuming bone broth. Today, in many cultures, we’ve grown used to discarding many parts of animals used for food. Yet when our ancestors needed to hunt for every meal, the custom was to make use of every part of the animal. Hence, they would create bone broth from all the leftover parts.
Once prepared, bone broth can be consumed in many different ways. You can drink it, use it as a base for soups, or use it to create sauces, gravies, and more.
Top Health Benefits of Bone Broth
The benefits of bone broth go beyond simply not being wasteful. Bones and connective tissue contain a number of beneficial nutrients, which are quite easy to get when consuming broth.
The exact benefits you get from the bone broth will vary, depending on the ingredients used. For example, beef bones may contain different nutrients to pork bones, which in turn will be different to fish bones, and so on.
You can also add various vegetables and herbs to your broth, which will again affect the nutritional profile.
Bone broth commonly contains high concentrations of protein and relatively low calories. It’s also a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and amino acids such as glutamine, glycine, and arginine.
These minerals and nutrients are believed to provide the following health benefits:
- Improved digestion, and relief of leaky gut syndrome
- Healthier skin
- Lower inflammation
- Improved joint health
- Weight loss
- Improved sleep
- Increase brain function
While the research around these potential health benefits is still emerging, and there is some question whether bone broth contains high enough nutrient levels to really make a difference, there is very little downside to consuming bone broth.
How to Make Bone Broth
It’s quite easy to make bone broth. It just takes some time to complete. You’ll want to get a large pot or a slow cooker to cook it in, which can be left to cook for the best part of a day.
The exact recipe you use can vary greatly. It’s completely up to you what type of bones you use, as well as what else you add to your broth.
Here’s a simple three-step method for preparing a bone broth:
Step One: Bones
First, gather the bones, tendons, and any other animal parts you want to use. There’s no need to be picky here – a good mix of different types of bones, joints, and more will give you a flavorful broth, as well as provide maximum nutritional benefit.
You can also include things like necks, feet, knuckles, and more from various animals (chicken, beef, pork, turkey).
Load all the bones etc in your pot, and fill with water, coming to a level high enough to cover all your ingredients.
Step Two: Extras
You can make your broth using only animal parts, or for added flavor (and increased nutritional power), add in herbs, spices, and/or vegetables.
Some popular ingredients include:
- Salt and pepper
- Bay leaves
Additionally, acidic ingredients like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can help break down bones and connective tissue to release the nutrients inside.
Step Three: Simmer
Once everything is in your pot, bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot, bring the heat down, and let it simmer.
This will take some time, as you need to give the bones and other ingredients time to break down. You can simmer for anywhere between 16 to 24 hours, but generally speaking, the longer the better.
You may also want to intermittently skim off the foam that gathers on the top, to maintain the texture of your bone broth.
The method above is simple but time-consuming.
If you don’t have time to simmer the broth for a whole day, consider a bone broth protein powder like Naked Bone Broth.
This protein powder is naturally sourced from European beef bones and comes with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients of bone broth, already extracted from the bones.
All you need to do is mix 2 scoops of Naked Bone Broth with hot water to create a convenient bone broth for everyday use.
Whether you make your own or use a bone broth powder as above, there are many ways you can consume bone broth, and reap the health benefits.
If you cook a large batch, you can store it in the refrigerator, then drink 1 cup every day. Alternatively, use it to create a soup, or make a nutritious sauce or gravy. The options are endless.