By Meagan Sewards, MS, RD

There are a great deal of bone broths now out on the market. Whether they are sold in your local grocery store or ordered from a broth delivery service, there is no doubt that these broths hold a vast nutritional benefit. Knowing how to choose or prepare the most nutritious broth however can be confusing. Many consumers often get tricked into buying more “stocks” vs. broths; stocks tend to have much lower mineral/protein content. Here are a few tips to help you choose the highest quality product.

Ideally broths should typically simmer for a very long period of time (often in excess of 24 hours), with the purpose not only to produce gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release minerals from bones. Choosing a high quality bone that is from a sustainable organic farm is also essential, as the intent is avoiding needless antibiotics or hormones in your broth. When purchasing a pre-made broth look for these details on the label.

Why bone broth is good for you

Antiinflammatory

Boosts Immunity

Gelatin and collagen from bones help repair damaged muscle tissue as well as coat bone joints= decreased pain/improved movement

Helps aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients

Promotes supple/strengthened skin/nails/hair

Cheaper to make at home
Bone broths are easy to prepare at home, very inexpensive (the cost of bones is usually under $2/lb), and are very convenient and simple to make. Ask your local butcher, farm or even Whole Foods if their bones may be available for purchase.

How to Use Bone Broth

Drink it plain with a little salt, ground pepper and crushed garlic or seasoning of choice. Add turmeric, ginger and lemon for added anti-inflammatory/immunity boost.

Braise & Roast Meats with broth to promote more moist/higher protein preparations

Soups & Stews can use broth as a base

Braising Vegetables

Cook/boil with rice or lentils or grain of choice

How to Store Bone Broth

Bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than a week.  You can also freeze it in ice cube trays, and transfer the frozen cubes of broth to a re-sealable freezer bag where they will keep for 6 months.

For those ambitious chefs:

Sample Recipe:

Roasted chicken stock

Prep time

5 mins

Cook time

24 hours

Total time

24 hours 5 mins

Serves: approximately ½ gallon

Ingredients

1 Leftover Roast Chicken Carcass

Vegetable Scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)

2 Bay Leafs

1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  1. Pick the chicken carcass clean of useable meat and reserve that for another dish
  2. Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leafs to a Crockpot.
  3. Pour filtered water over the carcass to cover.
  4. Add cider vinegar.
  5. Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for 24-hrs or longer.
  6. By adding water to the cooker, you can continue to cook the broth until the chicken bones become flexible and rubbery.
  7. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into mason jars.
  8. The broth should gel, but it is not necessary.

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