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The Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth

bowl of bone broth

You may have heard about bone broth and its purported health benefits, which include everything from decreasing inflammation to improving joint functions. But is there any truth to these wide-ranging claims?

“The benefits of bone broth have been making headlines because it’s believed bone broth has special nutritional properties,” registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic  says.

Even though there is not a lot of evidence-based research that bone broth is the secret to good health, “this does not mean bone broth is unhealthy, it just isn’t the cure all for everything that ails you,” says Jamieson-Petonic.

What is Bone Broth?

The terms broth, stock and bone broth are typically used interchangeably. Bone broth, broth and stock are built on the same basic recipe of water, meat or bones (or both), vegetables and seasonings.

There is nothing new about bone broth because chefs and home cooks have been using feet, knuckles, tendons and bones of all sizes from poultry, beef, pig and fish to make rich, nourishing broths forever.

“Many cultures have long regarded broth as a healing food, especially if you consider the tradition of eating chicken soup when you're sick with a cold or the flu. There’s seolleongtang in Korea, sopa de lima in the Yucatán and ‘Jewish penicillin’ (chicken soup with matzo balls), to name a few,” Jamieson-Petonic says.

One benefit of a steaming bowl of chicken soup filled with vegetables is that it can reduce inflammation in nasal passages and improve healing from a cold, she says.

"So your grandmother was right. Eat your chicken soup," she says. It’s good for you.”

How to Make Bone Broth

Packaged or canned broth is readily available in supermarkets, but anyone who can boil water can easily make bone broth at home.

“If you read the labels, you will see prepared broth is high in sodium, which may be okay for healthy adults, but is not good for people with high blood pressure or kidney problems,” she says. “That’s why I tell my clients to get back into the kitchen to improve their health. When you make your own broth, you use fresh ingredients and can season the broth to suit your own taste.”

The good thing about homemade broth is that you can use any part of an animal, including feet, heads, necks and backs, knuckles or tails. After letting the broth simmer for up to 24 hours, the stock will have a clear, rich color ranging from translucent (fish bones) to golden-yellow (chicken bones) to deep brown (ruminant bones). If you added vegetables, this may affect the color as well; for example, beets will turn the broth red.

For a delicious, substantial soup to be enjoyed during Northeast Ohio’s cold winter months, Jamieson-Petonic recommends these recipes for either a hearty bone broth made with beef bones or a nourishing vegetarian stock for people on a meat-free diet.

Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Serves eight

  • 3 pounds beef bones, or more to taste
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorn 2 bay leaves
  • Cold water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; spread beef bones out on prepared baking sheet.
  2. Roast bones in preheated oven until browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Place roasted bones over vegetables; pour in enough cold water to cover bones. Add apple cider vinegar and kosher salt.
  4. Cook on low for eight hours. Pour broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and discard any strained solids.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can skim the froth that forms at the surface of a stock as it cooks, but there's no real reason to do so. Do this only if you must have a clear broth. Otherwise, keep it in and garner the health benefits.
  • You can also remove the congealed fat that forms at the top when the stock is cooled. If the bones are from grass-fed and pastured animals, the fat will be healthy for you.

Source: Allrecipes

Vegan Bone Broth

Makes about 8 cups

  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, rough chopped
  • 1/2 Maitake mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bunch oyster mushrooms, rough chopped
  • 2 pieces kombu or wakami sea vegetable, left whole
  • 2–3 large or 5 small brown onions, rough chopped
  • 1–2 shallot, rough chopped
  • 5 green onions, rough chopped
  • 4–5 large unpeeled carrots and rough chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, rough chopped
  • 3 celery stalks plus leaves, rough chopped
  • 1 cup or more chopped leek tops, rough chopped
  • 1 head of garlic halved
  • 1/2 bunch parsley with stems
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 knuckle fresh ginger
  • 1 piece fresh turmeric
  • 1 Tbl. Celtic Sea Salt
  • Olive oil
  • *Optional ingredient: 2-3 tsp. miso paste, lemon grass, and or avocado or olive oil to drizzle or avocado chunks when serving.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a parchment lined baking sheet, roast: onions, carrots, parsnips, beets, shallots and halved garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and a little sea salt.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes.
  4. Cover with about 12-14 cups of cold water.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer uncovered.
  6. Simmer for 1-2 hours until reduced. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  7. Lastly, strain vegetable stock, save vegetables you wish to eat, and sip your golden delicious broth with delight!

Source: Curry Girls Kitchen