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Home to Make Bone Broth: The Only Guide You Need

If I had to choose only one liquid drink with the highest impact in my life, it wouldn’t be a juice.


It would be a broth.

A bone broth.

If you are new to bone broth, consider yourself lucky for finding this post.

Because this one simple kind of liquid is going to transform your life as if like a charm.

Bone broth has attracted a lot of attention lately. Influential media like Time Magazine couldn’t stay away from the publicity as well.

This is my personal take on bone broth.

You will see how I cook it and why I love it so much.

You will see some important nutritional information, even though I really don’t care what the experts say.

I know it work. I know it works in a fantastic way.

If you too decide to make your own broth there is only one important point:

You absolutely HAVE TO get ORGANIC bones from GRASS FED animals. Period.

Please take this step very seriously. You don’t want bones from conventionally grown animals. Their bones are not that healthy, if at all beneficial.

In the following I’ll present my version of bone broth. The way I prepare it to best suit my needs. By no means do I claim this is the only way you can make it.

Now, let’s get right to it: how to prepare bone broth at your home!

How to Prepare Bone Broth at Home: Quick Start Guide

  1. In case you are dealing with beef bones, put the bones in water and let them simmer for at least 3 hours (6 hours or more is better; 24-48 hours is ideal). For chicken bones, you can probably get by with 1 to 1.5 hours of simmering as the bare minimum (3-6 hours is much better; 24 hours is ideal).
  2. At the end, add some veggies and continue cooking for half an hour to 45 minutes as with any other vegetable soup. Add some salt and other spices.

That’s it.

How to Prepare Bone Broth at Home: The Long Version

Here I’m going overboard to help you get used to every stage of the process. Just to have an idea. You don’t have to follow me to the letter.

Ingredients

  1. Bones from organic grass fed animals. It could be chicken neck or chicken bones, it could be turkey bones, it could be beef ribs, it could be beef marrow bones, it could be lamb bones. Any bones you like, as long as they are organic. Here I will use a beef marrow bone.

    Beef Marrow Bone from the refrigerator

  2. Vegetables. Whatever you have at home currently. It could be carrots, celery, onions, garlic, leek, parsley, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, zucchini. You get the idea. Organic is better, but if you don’t have them organic, at least peel off the skin thoroughly.
  3. Clean Water. Yes. The water should be clean. Not tap water. No fluoridated water.Use either spring water or pure filtered water.
  4. Spices. This is optional, but you should probably want to add some spices.I usually add salt, black pepper, mint, basil, and turmeric.
  5. Lemon juice or Vinegar (Optional). People who are new to bone broth might have trouble consuming it. They might dislike the taste, or have digestive problems. If you are among them, add a little bit of cider vinegar, or organic lemon juice to improve the taste. Moreover, the acidic environment will help pull out the minerals from the bones.

Instructions

Step 1. (optional if you use frozen bone marrow):

Remove the bone marrow from the bone.

As I almost always use frozen beef bones (due to availability), I have to make sure that the bone marrow is removed from the bone and put aside to be added in the soup at a later time.

Remove the marrow and add it back at a later time.

Here, I cooked the bone together with the bone marrow for 15 minutes. After that I removed the marrow.

Why I suggest that you remove the bone marrow?

Because it is mostly fat (with some protein and minerals) and it may get spoiled after many hours of cooking.

If you use chicken bones, it might be difficult to remove the bone marrow. But then chicken bones are not cooked as long as beef bones, so it might be acceptable.

Step 2. Add some chopped carrots

This is also optional. I suggest adding carrots at the beginning because many studies suggest that cooked carrots are actually much more healthful than raw carrots.

So I cook carrots all the time with the bones.

Carrots are a great addition to your bone broth.

Step 3. Set your alarm clock

Because I cook beef bones, I usually cook them for 6 hours. Sometimes more.

Set your alarm clock to remind you of the time needed to cook this stock.

I turn the stove to low heat and close the lid on the pot.

I set my alarm clock and forget about it at least in the next 6 hours. You have to make sure, however, that there’s enough water for the duration of the cooking, and check from time to time the water level in the pot.

Step 4. Prepare some veggies

In the meantime, prepare some veggies. And you have a lot of time, you don’t have to hurry.

Use the veggies you currently have in your fridge.

Open your fridge and search for ingredients you usually add when you cook your soups.

It doesn’t have to be anything special. As a minimum, I would suggest carrots and some green leafy vegetables.

Here’s what I found the day I cooked this stock: parsley, celery root, broccoli, and cauliflower.

Chop them like in the photo below.

Step 5. Simmer Another Half Hour

Simmer your broth for another half hour.

Step 6. Spice Your Broth and Add the Bone Marrow

At this point I usually add salt, basil, mint, black pepper and turmeric.

Organic mint.

Organic turmeric

You can add whatever you want to season your soup. You can do that at the beginning or toward the end of the cooking, like in my case.

Then I add the bone marrow and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Put the marrow back!

Your bone broth is ready!

What the Conventional Nutrition Science Says?

The conventional nutritional science doesn’t give a lot of credit to bone broth.

I’m not surprised at all. I have stopped following their advices a long time ago. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but if they knew what they were talking about (saturated fat unhealthy, really?), there wouldn’t be so many health problems related to bad nutrition.

Anyhow, let’s see what the experts have to say:

Time Magazine recently interviewed several prominent nutrition experts on this subject.

Even though neither of them said that bone broth was unhealthy, they also tried to minimize the health benefits.

For example, Dr. William H. Percy said, “The idea that because bone broth or stock contains collagen it somehow translates to collagen in the human body is nonsensical,… and “loosely based” on nutrition science… …Bone broth may contain both essential and inessential amino acids, and your body can use these nutrients to augment or support various parts of your skeleton..”

Dr. D. David Smith, maintained: ”And while there are two protein compounds that are found only in collagen, neither confers any special health benefits.”

Dr. Kantha Shelke, added that “…if your diet was deficient in protein-sourced amino acids, sipping bone broth could provide some of the stuff your body requires to fortify your bones and joints…”

As usual the article concluded that more research was needed.

More About Animal Bones

The bones of the animal body represent an actual organ. Just like the liver, or lungs, their function is indispensable.

Despite what you might think, bones are elastic. Both elastic and rigid at the same time. Its delicate elasticity is due to its collagen content. Without collagen, they would be brittle.

Bones have plenty of minerals: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, and other trace elements. If you don’t eat plenty of leafy green vegetables or diary products, than bone stock could be your best source of calcium. Organic sulfur is another vital trace element our bodies are usually depleted from.

Bone broth contains great minerals for your body, but the bones have to be organic. If they are not, they may contain some bad stuff as well, like the notorious lead toxin for example, which is deposited in the bone tissue and stored there for decades. That’s another reason to go organic.

Some bones can be purchased together with ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. This is an added advantage. This is great, as you will get some glucosamine in its natural form.

Ethical Issues

By boiling the bones of the animals whose meat we consume, we show a profound sense of respect toward the life we have (directly or indirectly) taken.

Everything we eat, be it an animal or plant, represents life. And we should honor it. We should treat it responsibly. We should use as much of it as we can, without throwing anything away.

Not throwing away the bones symbolizes our respect toward the animal life. At the same time we have a fantastic liquid to supercharge our body.

Our ancestors must have felt this. Because they have been boiling the bones since the time they were eating meat.

One of the main nutrition problems of the modern society is that we are so removed from the natural sources of food that we almost believe our food comes from a box.

What is So Special About Bone Broth Anyway?

Now is the time to see what is so special about this type of broth and what we can find in it.

If you take supplements, you know that there are indeed many beautiful aspects to it. However, what I prefer is the following: whenever I can I replace supplements with natural supplements taken from real food, from real natural sources.

Bone broth is one of the best ways to get the best nutrients from natural food without too much effort.

I can compare bone broth to a natural home made juice in many respects. Its minerals and nutrients are very much bioavailable.

The difference is that you are not juicing. So you are NOT getting all the extra carbs as you would with a fruit juice for example. So you won’t have any blood sugar issues with it.

Health benefits of bone broth include better skin, hair, nails, joints, and ligaments.

If you make your bone broth from grass-feed lamb or beef, you will get a lot of useful essential fatty acids, especially, CLA and ALA.

Chicken soup won’t have them, of course, but it will have all the great immune factors our ancestors knew about and used chicken soup very often.

One of the main healing aspects of bone broth is the natural collagen present there. It makes such a huge difference.

Collagen

Collagen is very important substance for our body, for example, it holds water and keeps your body well hydrated.

Your bone matrix, hair, nails, skin, the lining of the guts, all these things need collagen.

Your body forms its own collagen, but if you can provide it from outside it would be more than grateful.

Another important but less known thing about our cells is related to electron transfer. Your cells should be able to allow electrons to flow through them in order to function properly. For that, they need water, and to keep this water in place your body forms collagen.

Bone broth contains some very healthy nutrients, like glycine, arginine, proline, and magnesium.

Glycine

Glycine is the smallest amino acid there is. (Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins). But glycine is also a powerful fighter against inflammation. And glycine is also important if you are a regular meat eater.

Meat eaters – through the meat (and egg whites) they consume – get a lot of methionine, which is another essential amino acid. The metabolism of methionine which occurs in the liver depletes several important nutrients: choline, folates, betaine, and glycine.

By consuming bone broth you will replenish your glycine. If you eat egg yolks you will replenish your choline and betaine. If you eat green vegetables and liver you will replenish your folate. All this will make your meat eating much safer.

Bone marrow

Bone marrow is something our ancestors loved to eat very much. It is loaded with minerals and some proteins. Just make sure you don’t overcook it, as its dominant fatty content may be spoiled.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a type of glycosaminoglycan. It is one of the three found in cartilage and skin. Maybe you have heard of it in the context of beauty products as it is marketed extensively in the recent years.

In young age, our bodies have a lot of hyaluronic acid in circulation, but as we grow old, the levels of hyaluronic acid in our body is drastically decreased (because of stress, smoking, bad nutrition, etc.).

When administered topically, it will help you reduce wrinkles. More importantly, when you consume it together with your bone stock, it is great for reducing the risks of osteoarthritis and it will improve the condition of your joints.

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the essential elements lacking in our diet. Bone broth is abundant in it. If you have problems with insulin sensitivity or vitamin D absorption, magnesium from your bone broth will improve both.

More About Collagen

If you want to go into more detail, you should understand the following. When you boil bones, the collagen present there turns into gelatin. Gelatin is the cooked type of collagen. For most practical purposes though, it is more or less the same whether we are talking about collagen or gelatin. Why? Because our body breaks down both collagen and gelatin into the very same amino acids during the digestion process.

What we know today is that our ancestral diet was rich in gelatin (collagen), in strong contrast to our standard Western diet.

Gelatin heals the guts. It will help you if you have problems staying slim and healthy due to leaky guts. Gelatin helps transform leaky guts overpopulated with bad bacteria back into a strong wall that fights chronic inflammation.

Bone Broth in Numbers

How to estimate the actual nutritional potential of your bone broth?

We have seen there is gelatin, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, gcucosamines, and other trace elements.

But how much of them?

It’s difficult to say. Every animal is different, with different nutrient density because of the different food it ate.

What we could do is examine the nutritional profile of some commercial bone broths, but as far as I could see they don’t provide much info. It would be nice if someone could provide us with a link to a well documented bone broth nutrition profile.

Weight Loss With Bone Broth?

I have no direct proof, but from personal experience I know that bone broth will help you lose weight. The more you cook and consume this stock the faster you will lose weight.

Unlike any other type of broth, bone broth is very satiating, even if it doesn’t have a lot of calories. You may even feel like you’ve eaten a full plate.

Some people report a drastic reduction of carvings for junk food and carbs. I think I know why is that. Your body is finally getting the right stuff, the nutrients it has been craving for years.

The Metaphysical Value

If you are not into metaphysical and new age stuff, you might want to skip this chapter.

Still, I feel it is somehow related to what I try to convey here. Which is why bone broth is so healthy.

The ancient Chinese philosophy speaks of Jing energy (not to be confused with the yin/yang concept).

Jing is a metaphysical energy stored in our kidneys. It is believed to be a reservoir of nourishing power. For every person the size of this reservoir is predetermined at birth. Jing keeps our body organized, well fed, and fueled. The ancient Chinese also believed that Jing is the carrier of the heritage, similar to DNA.

As we grow old, this energy is gradually being spent on various activities (for example, sexual activity notably depletes this reservoir). That said, it is very difficult to  replenish Jing energy.

When the Jing fuel is below some threshold, our body has no way to be functional any more.

Now there are some foods that can help restore at least a bit of the Jing energy. There is actually a debate as to whether these foods just nourish and preserve your jing from wasting, or indeed boost its potential.

In any case, you might have guessed it by now: animal bones belong to this category of food (others include egg yolk, algae, royal jelly, and organs like kidneys). I didn’t know this when I started consuming bone broth, but it turned out it is one of the best anti-aging elixirs in the world.

Extra Tips!

  • Add some algae to your bone broth.
    They will bring in iodine, which will improve the functioning of the thyroid gland.

    Add some seaweed. I often use hijiki algae.

  • Add some cider vinegar or lemon juice to your broth.
    This will help extract the minerals from the bone.
  • Simmer as long as you can at low temperature.
    Go for 10 or 20 hours with smaller animals. If you feel adventurous, you can cook beef or lamb bones for several days (keep the temperature low and check for water).
  • Don’t avoid adding animal joints and ligaments

Where to Buy

If you are wondering where to buy bone stock, please don’t. Don’t buy it. Prepare it on your own. I’m not even going to bother to put a link to site where you can buy it. Because you shouldn’t.

You should make your own home made bone broth. Period.

Bottom Line

If you eat animal meat you should eat animal bones too. It is a sign of respect toward the life they gave to support our life, so you should never throw away those bones. And it helps with your health enormously.

To prepare them, you won’t have to go through too much trouble. If nothing more, you should put some bones in water and cook them for several hours. Your stove will do all the hard work.

And you will reap the benefits later.

Cheers!

References:

Cooking carrots is healthier than eating them raw as it increases the beta-carotene content:
www.prevention.com/food/5-veggies-that-are-healthier-cooked-than-raw/slide/5

The risk of lead contamination in bone broth diets should not be neglected:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23375414

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) are naturally found in beef. They both have various beneficial function in the human body:
www.livestrong.com/article/86214-dietary-sources-conjugated-linoleic-acid/

CELLS, GELS AND THE ENGINES OF LIFE, book by Gerald H Pollack. The importance of gels (gelatine) for celullar biological functioning of the human body.
www.nature.com/icb/journal/v80/n5/full/icb200270a.html

Glycine: Amino acid that benefits the entire body:
draxe.com/glycine/

Hyaluronic Acid Injections for Osteoarthritis:
www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/osteoarthritis-of-the-knee-hyaluronic-acid-joint-injections

Magnesium the Most Important Female Supplement:
kellybroganmd.com/magnesium-most-important-female-supplement/

Collagen vs Gelatin: What is the Difference?
paleoleap.com/all-about-gelatin-and-collagen/

Jing, Qi, and Shen: the Three Main Energies (Treasures) of Taoism and Chinese culture:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Treasures_%28traditional_Chinese_medicine%29

10 Foods That Nourish Jing:
lostempireherbs.com/10-foods-that-nourish-jing/

2 Comments on Home to Make Bone Broth: The Only Guide You Need

  1. There’s a huge difference when you buy a canned stock at your grocery store as compared to your home made broth. They add sugar, artificial coloring and flavors, questionable ingredients, and who knows what.So make your own broth with care, and from good produce. You will taste the difference and your body will notice it too.Anywhere, that’s my 2 cents. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Aaron, we appreciate the comment. Take care.

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