I spent a large part of the day listening to and discussing natural health through food and nutrition, and bone broth definitely came up several times! So, it seems fitting to share with you my bone broth recipe.
I’m currently in a sunny, but rather chilly, Santa Clara, California, attending the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference, which is a conference emphasizing traditional nutrition, farming, and cooking.
What is bone broth? It’s really what it sounds like – broth made from bones. It’s something that’s been around in the traditional cooking of many cultures around the globe because it’s nutritious, delicious and helps absorption of nutrients!
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There are quite a lot of different bone broth recipes adding a variety of ingredients to flavor the broth, and Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe (here) is one of my favorites. But I also really just want a simple recipe that I can make over and over again (without going through the hassle of chopping up vegetables).
Bone broth is so full of flavors that even without all the vegetables and spices, you’ll find it most definitely Not Bland! To give the broth different flavors, I also like to add spices to it after cooking it or to use it as the base stock for other soups (see here for an egg drop soup recipe using bone broth).
The main thing you need for bone broth is of course the bones! I got these from my CSA, but you might be able to find them at your local butchers or even at Whole Foods (I saw them selling it one time). I found that beef bones tastes the best (don’t use pork bones – it doesn’t taste good).
I love making this broth in my crock pot (I use this one), because you can just put it in and forget completely about it (it’s totally fine to overcook it even)! Of course, you can also make this in a large pot with lots of water. So just fill up the crock pot with water and add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp for each gallon of water). The vinegar draws the minerals out of the bones and makes the broth even more nutritious.
It goes into the crockpot for around 10 hours on low heat (more is good if you have the time). Let it cool down. Then simply strain it (because who wants to have bits of bone in their broth!) into a large container and refrigerate it.
As you can see the from the photo below, after refrigerating it, the broth will thicken (due to the gelatin in it), and form a sort of jello. Don’t worry, as soon as you heat it up, it’ll be a broth again.
Oh, and let me tell you this is a great tip that I learnt from Nom Nom Paleo. After the broth cools, all the fat (and there will be a lot of it) will congeal and form as a large layer on top of the broth (it’s like ice on top of a pond during the winter). Although the fat is great, it’s just a bit too much for me to drink in! That smooth yellow layer you see in the photo below is the congealed fat.
So, once it’s congealed, you simply scoop it out and you’re left with the de-fatted broth. Now you can just take some out whenever you want a bowl of the broth and heat it up in the microwave. I love adding my own spices into it (e.g., turmeric, cumin powder, nutmeg, and salt).
And what do you do with those bones? Why, simply throw them back into the crock pot and fill the pot back up with water (and the vinegar). The bones are good until they fall apart! Here are my bones back in the crock pot for the second round.
- 3-4 lbs of bones
- 1 gallon water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Add everything to the crockpot.
- Cook on low setting in crockpot for 10 hours.
- Cool the broth, strain and pour broth into container.
- Store in refrigerator.
- Scoop out the congealed fat on top of the broth.
- Heat broth when needed (with spices, vegetables, etc).