Here are my 5 best tips so that you can easily turn your left-over bones into a healthy, collagen-rich, gut-healing bone broth!
Everyone loves bone broth!
Have you been wondering how you can make your own? Would you like to learn how you can capture all the goodness from the bones?
Let me show you how can easily make your own bone broth!
Bone broth has been enjoyed for centuries. People had to make the most use out of the animals they hunted. What they couldn’t eat, they would use for clothing or other purposes (such as tools etc.).
Even our grandparents knew how to make bone broth. Out of necessity since they couldn’t afford to throw away any parts of the the cow or the chicken. They knew how to turn bones into a tasty, healthy broth.
Bone broth has been marketed as a new super-food. It is purported to contain huge amounts of collagen, a protein that is found in the skin and connective tissues.
Collagen production in humans declines as they age. Therefore, it seems beneficial to consume dietary collagen – as found in properly prepared bone broth.
Bone broth is highly nutritious as it contains many vitamins and minerals.
Collagen-rich bone broth is also supposed to heal leaky gut and fight inflammation.
Bone broth has been used to boost the immune system (source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323903.php).
Regardless of the health benefits, making bone broth is a tasty way to make use of bones.
You can simply sip it: there is nothing better than warm chicken bone broth when you’re down with a cold or flu. Or you can add it to soups and stews to increase the flavor.
How to make bone broth
Tip # 1:
Roast your bones.
Roasting adds deep flavor to the bones.
Sometimes, I roast a chicken and once I have taken all the meat off, I’ll make bone broth from the chicken carcass.
Other times, I’ll buy just the bones. I like to visit a local sustainable farm where I can buy frozen beef bones very inexpensively. In that case, I’ll roast the bones at 450˚F for about 30-40 mins (turning them after about half the time).
Once, your bones have been roasted (or you picked the meat off the chicken bones), put them into a stock pot and just about cover with filtered water.
Obviously, the amount of water depends on many factors. For example, how deep and wide your pot is. Also, the size and shape of your bones.
You want the bones just about covered with water but not so much that they float. If you’re using too much water, your bone broth will still be good and healthy but might not gel.
Tip # 2:
Add apple cider vinegar.
I like to add about 2-4 TBSP apple cider vinegar to my water. Once I have added my cold filtered water to the bones, I add the apple cider vinegar and let everything sit anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.
This helps draw the minerals out of the bones. I also find that it adds a nice flavor to the bone broth.
Speaking of flavor: to increase the flavor of the bone broth, I like to add veggies. I also like to create a low-waste kitchen.
Thus, whenever I peel onion, chop off the wilted parts of green onions, peel carrots or celery roots, I keep them in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I might also add parsley stems to this bag. When I am ready to make bone broth, I’ll simply add these frozen veggie scraps.
You might also like to add a tsp each of peppercorns, sage, rosemary or any of your favorite herbs. Obviously, fresh is better but dried works great as well.
Tip # 2:
Only simmer your bones!
This may be the most crucial tip for making bone broth that gels.
After adding filtered water and apple cider vinegar to the bones, I heat everything over low heat to slowly bring it to a slow simmer. If you boil the bones at too high a temperature, the collagen might be destroyed. You can still use it and it will still be fine, tough!
How can you tell the best simmer? You want little bubbles to come up here and there. With this gentle simmer, the collagen will be slowly drawn out. For chickens, I like to simmer my broth for about 6 hours (sometimes I simmer it for longer without problem). For beef bones, you’ll want to simmer it for up to 48 hours.
If you don’t like to keep your stove on at night or while you’re away from the house, you can turn off the heat and simply turn it back on when you’re back!
Tip # 4:
Use knuckle bones.
Collagen is most abundant in the joints. This means knuckles, ribs, and oxtails for beef. Or legs, wings, and feet for chickens. Of course, you can also use fish bones and fish heads. Or pig’s feet (I have yet to try that but they’re supposed to be great!).
You can really use any bones and sometimes if you buy them frozen in a package, you’ll just get what you get. If you have a choice, go for knuckles!
As I said above, making bone broth is a great way to make use of most of the animal. It would be ideal if you could get a whole chicken so that you can use the head and the feet in addition the the rest of the bones.
Or ask your butcher for a whole roast and have them cut it for you into various parts. It will be cheaper and you’ll have the bones, too.
Tip # 5:
Get the best bones you can afford.
The health of the animal is not only important to me as an ethical factor but that also affects the quality of the food (or the bone broth).
Therefore, we love to get meat from animals that have been pasture-raised and pasture-fed. The next best option is organic and free-range. You can look here for more information.
When you’re done simmering your bones, let the broth cool off slightly. You’ll want to pour it into glass jars through a strainer to strain out bones, veggie scraps, pieces of meat, and herbs.
Again, let your broth cool down. Depending on the type of bones you used you might get a layer of fat on top of your broth. That’s great! When the broth has completely cooled off, put the jars in your refrigerator. If they’re wide-mouth you can also put them in the freezer. I find that the layer of fat keeps the bone broth fresh longer.
This fat – the beef tallow – is excellent for frying potatoes! I carefully take it off and put it in a different jar which I’ll keep in the refrigerator.
Usually, bone broth lasts 3-7 in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.
Now you can use your bone broth for sipping, or as a base for soups or stews.