Bone Broth 101 - The Ultimate Guide
When you wake up in the morning is the first thing you think of that cup of fresh hot coffee?
Well, it might be time to switch out what’s in your mug from roasted beans to boiled bone broth. That’s right, bone broth is perfect for any time of day — energy-boosting, immune-supporting, and delicious, this ancient drink will get you going with no mid-day crash.
Get any preconceived notions about canned “soups” out of your head, because we are talking about bone broth here. Nutritious, and sworn by for centuries, this concoction would make your grandmother proud.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about bone broth, from the benefits it gives your body, to how to cook up this life-changing dish in only four simple steps.
Read on and get your pots out, because you’ll be running to the kitchen in just a few minutes.
So, Just What Is Bone Broth?
Bone broth is a nutritious liquid made from ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. Animal bones, meat, vegetables, and herbs all simmer together to release powerful nutrients like collagen, gelatin, calcium, plus loads of minerals.
Bones are hiding so much of what they have to offer. But all you have to do to learn their secrets is pop them on the stove with some apple cider vinegar and water. It is an elemental process, heat, water, bones, and time all combine to create the stock of life.
Once you master bone broth you’ll realize there is no such thing as scraps anymore. Think twice before composting your organic scraps, as leftover bones from any animal can be extracted for brothy goodness.
Why Is Bone Broth A Game Changer?
85% of your immune system hangs out in your gut, so it’s the best place to support a healthy body and strong bacteria-fighting organs. Your digestive system and gut are craving healthy ingredients. “Happy Gut = Happy Life” Processed sugars, saturated fats, and excess salt can hurt your gut and make you feel sluggish and weak.
Bone broth is health concentrated; it's high in amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, which in turn create your cells. Eating healthy creates a change in the very smallest level of your body. Bone broth is especially high in two extremely important amino acids: proline and glycine.
- Proline strengthens cell walls, a fundamental way to heal the gut from digestive disorders. Proline has even been known to assist skin in need, from adding a healthy glow to limiting unwanted acne breakouts.
- Glycine is used to treat metabolic disorders and strengthen your kidneys. It is also a natural detoxifier that calms your central nervous system and lets your body have an easier time digesting fats.
Your body can’t produce enough of these essential amino acids on its own, you need to eat right to keep your levels up. Instead of adding another daily supplement, bone broth is a fun and easy way to get proline and glycine to do their thing in your gut.
What Nutrients Can I Find In Bone Broth?
Bone broth is the drink that does not stop giving. Here are some more important nutrients your body will thank you for after the first sip:
- Electrolytes: Sodium, potassium, and magnesium (the core of electrolytes) all exist in bone broth. Electrolytes can help you recover from sickness or after a tough workout. Start thinking “hot thermos” before “sports drink” next time you get back from a run.
- Collagen: Built from the amino acids you get in a cup of bone broth, collagen keeps your bones dense and durable. It also hydrates your skin and lowers blood pressure.
- Gelatin: This protein is essential for building and maintaining body tissues. Gelatin also is known to provide energy and keep all your organs functioning properly.
- Calcium: All living organisms need calcium to survive, in fact, it's the most abundant mineral in your body. Proper bone growth depends on calcium. Calcium also plays a key role in your cardiovascular system, keeping your heart muscle strong and pumping.
Some people take each of these nutrients in supplemental form as pills and tablets. But you can save time and squish all those steps into one by just condensing those nutrients right out of your leftover bones.
Even MORE Health Benefits From Bone Broth!
You are getting so many nutrients out of these ingredients, you should know some of their considerable health benefits. You might be surprised what bone broth can do for your body.
- Improved Immune System: Your ability to naturally fight disease is enhanced through bone broth. The nutrients keep your body strong and prevent harmful pathogens from reaching your gut.
- Healthier Gut Health: The natural gelatin in bone broth assists your body’s ability to absorb and transport food and water. Healthy intestines lead to a healthy body and lessen symptoms of IBS and Crohn's Disease.
- Better Brain Function: The fatty acids in bone broth have been shown to increase mental acuity. Supporting a better memory, quicker mind, and less stress are some ways your brain is given a boost.
- Helps Joint Health: Collagen, gelatin, proline, and glycine — all components we’ve learned about so far, work together to support your joints. These proteins build connective tissue and cartilage — which can lessen the effects of osteoarthritis and general joint pain.
- Aids In Reducing Inflammation: Arginine, another amino acid found in bone broth, has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation. Inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
- May Help Weight Loss: Low in calories, but high in protein — this drink can make you feel full without overeating. The water content helps you feel fuller and manages appetite control.
- Sleeping Aid: Glycine (that super amino acid) also promotes healthy sleep. People who consume just 3 grams of glycine have been found to fall asleep faster and maintain a deep sleep all night.
- Source of Vitamins and Minerals: This list of vitamins and minerals that come out of bone broth seems never-ending. Vitamin A, vitamin K2, zinc, iron, boron, manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus omega-3, omega-6. It’s like a whole health food store filling up your bowl.
Where Can I Find Bone Broth?
Standard Grocery Store
There are dozens of brands claiming to sell the best bone broth. It is easy to get lost in row after row of different broths. There are a few great choices, but without your own research, you can’t be sure what you’re picking.
Buying from the grocery also limits you to what’s been prepackaged. For example, if you are monitoring your salt intake, you're stuck with however much sodium is already in the box. Store-bought broth leaves little room for improvisation, and generally are much less flavorful.
More and more restaurants are adding fresh bone broth to their menu. There are even a few small hole-in-the-walls, to-go-only locations where bone broth is served in a to-go cup.
While you might find some delicious options this way — you’re going to be overcharged for a just tiny amount that’s gone before you know it. No one wants to spend $10 on a single bowl of soup.
Make it Yourself with Seven Sons Bone Broth Kits
If you are after delicious, homemade bone broth — your best choice is to go with a farm that knows what it’s talking about. Seven Sons offers broth-making kits that come with actual bones from our high standard processing, so you can have full control over your meal.
The benefits of using quality ingredients from a farm and making it yourself are inspiring to say the least.
- You Get a Better Tasting Product: Seven Sons raises only humanely nurtured, pasture-fed animals. A healthy animal is a healthy, flavorful dinner. We are so transparent about our farm’s dedication to conscious farming we even offers tours. So, come see the Seven Sons guarantee next time you’re in Indiana, or even go behind the scenes and visit us virtually.
- All Nutrients & Vitamins are Intact: When you make your broth at home everything stays right in the pot. You don’t lose any nutrients in packaging or transport or weeks spent sitting on a shelf. Plus you know exactly what you’re putting into your body because you oversaw every single step.
- It’s Healthier Than The Grocery Store Option: Most 1-quart bone broth you find in grocery stores is watered down or heavily salted. These bland options aren’t only lacking flavor but miss out on key health benefits. There are some things you can’t replicate outside your kitchen.
- The Easiest DIY Option on the Market: In only 4 easy steps you can have your house smelling like warm life-giving broth. With no complicated procedures or timing, this is a recipe for everyone. Keep reading to find out how you can make our bone broths.
- You Control How You Cook: Don’t want to add too much salt? Well, you’re in control with our broth kits. Cater the flavor to however you like it. Growing some of your own vegetables? Toss them in the pot for more fun.
- More Access to Various Bone Options: We have chicken, beef, and lamb options, so you can try all the different flavors and benefits. We also offer hearty hunks of meat to give some depth to your broth and create a stew to be proud of.
- Affordable and Long-Lasting: Leftovers! You are going to get several quarts of finished product out of these kits. It will last months frozen and be a healthy meal or snack ready in minutes. Are you cooking for a large family? We even have a kit with 35 pounds of chicken and 8 veggie spice packets — that’s 40 quarts of broth.
- Create Teachable Moments with Your Family: Teach about sustainability by showing your family that nothing needs to go to waste when cooking right. You can also highlight the benefits of organic meats and vegetables and the amazing health qualities you get out of them.
How To Make Bone Broth
Ok. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for — How do you make bone broth?
Today we are going to show you how to make use of our Chicken Bone Broth Maker Kit that make use of Chef Beth Kandell's awesome veggie spice kit.
We’ve partnered with Beth to provide everything you need in a broth kit. Her veggie spice kit contains everything you need for the perfect bone broth, from classics like garlic and onion to unexpected spices or vegetables like turmeric or shiitake mushrooms. Trust us, it’s amazing, and we can’t get enough at the farm!
We've packaged these veggie kits with pasture-raised, all-natural chicken, so you can have the best backbones in the broth business. This match was meant to be, and you’ll see why.
Let’s go through each easy step and set you on the path to making your own broth at home.
1. Quick oven roast of the chicken backs.
Lay the bones flat on a roasting pan. Cook in a 375-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Use about 4 pounds of chicken for about a 4-5-quart yield. You can use necks and feet too for the same results.
2. Add seasoning packet, apple cider vinegar, water, and roasted chicken to a pot.
Add 6-8 Quart pot of COLD water, as cold extracts the minerals from the bones better. Or, if you have a different size pot, just make sure all bones are submerged (1-2 inches).
Then, add three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is needed to penetrate the bones and release their mineral content. Add the roasted chicken to the pot as well as all the drippings from the pan. Add the entire seasoning kit and stir.
*As an option you can add egg shells for additional calcium.
3. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for 24 hours, so nutrients can be leached from bones and flavor can develop.
Don’t be tempted to take your stock off the pot early. A low and slow method is best to extract all the vitamins and essential proteins from the marrow. If you are using an instant-pot, 6 hours on the highest pressure setting will yield the same results.
4. Strain and enjoy!
NOTE: First, be sure to skim off foam or scum/any impurities that comes to the surface during the simmering process, then strain and enjoy.
Or, store in the fridge or freezer for later use. Remove all leftover chicken, bones, and vegetables, and you’re left with pure bone broth. Make sure to keep some for later, so you aren’t tempted to drink it all at once.
Note: You CAN reuse bones! Make two batches with one set of bones.
Uses of Bone Broth
Now that you’ve spent all day perfecting your bone broth you’re probably ready to dive into all the meal opportunities it opens up. The options are almost limitless, the many uses for bone broth only stop when your imagination does.
But let’s get you started with a few great ways we love to use bone broth.
- Your Morning Pick-Me-Up: Instead of a cup of coffee, try some bone broth for stable energy all day, without that midday crash. And if you crave a second cup, you can go for it guilt-free.
- Sauces: Add just a touch of whole wheat flour and some grassfed butter and reduce — now you’ve got bone broth gravy. Perfect topping for a fast midweek meal. If your kids squirm at the sight of vegetables, this sauce will have them begging for seconds.
- Soups: The original! What’s better than a cup of your homemade bone broth with anything you want inside. Throw in some leftovers, and you have a great meal! Don’t discount a cup on its own, too. After all your work you should enjoy a pure, unadulterated cup of bone broth.
- Ramen: Cook your ramen noodles right in your bone broth. Add a hard-boiled egg, some pork shoulder, a dash of seaweed, and some bamboo shoots, and you’ll think twice about going out for Asian food next time.
- Cooking Vegetables: Put your favorite chopped vegetables on the stove, add bone broth, and cover. Let the broth do its magic and its flavor and health benefits will absorb into the vegetables. Take them out just as they’re getting crispy and those veggies are going to be graduated from side dish to the main course.
- Poaching: A poached egg in bone broth is a delicacy you can have in just minutes. Get your broth boiling and swirling around, add an egg until just cooked, top with green onions and pepper and this dish has been elevated to a whole new level. Don’t toss out that broth after you poach though — you’ll want it next.
- Marinating: Next time you order some fresh meat from Seven Sons, soak those chops or breasts in a bag with bone broth overnight. When you finish off those marinated cuts on a hot pan you’ll find flavor beyond belief.
- Rice: Yep that’s right, soak and cook your rice with bone broth. This is the best way to literally eat your bone broth. Great on its own or as a base.
The only thing more fun than making bone broth itself is all the ways you can eat and drink it. Hopefully, that got your creative juices flowing, and you’re already planning delicious never before seen broth dishes. When you start with such a great base you can’t go wrong.
Now That You’re An Expert...
Congratulations! You’ve made it through this guide, and now you’re officially your household’s bone broth authority. Time to order up some broth kits and get your stove simmering. Your body and family will thank you for a delectable and healthy broth.
Seven Sons Farm is here to help you, we ship across the United States (sorry, not Hawaii or Alaska) to get you fresh ingredients as fast as we can. If you have any questions at all about the farm or our partners, please reach out.
Become a free member today and order your bone broth kits now.
Bone Broth FAQ
Does bone broth really work?
It does! This superfood has been simmering on stoves for centuries in many fashions around the world. It is sworn by chefs and home cooks alike because it works.
Is it ok to drink bone broth?
Yes. It's loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients essential for healthy living. The only side effects are a strong immune system and wonderful flavor.
When should I drink bone broth?
Are you awake? Then it’s time to make yourself a bowl. As a perfect way to start your day, or as a calming lunch, or as a great addition to dinner, there is never a bad time to drink bone broth.
Is it ok to drink bone broth every day?
Yes! Drink one cup every day to experience maximum health benefits. Switch out that daily cup of coffee with a daily cup of bone broth.
What type of bone broth is the healthiest?
It depends on what you are looking for. Chicken tends to have more electrolytes and can improve skin conditions. Beef has more collagen and supports intense gut health.
How long will it last?
Homemade bone broth will last in the fridge for about 4 days. In the freezer, it will keep up to a year.
Should I skim the fat?
Only if you feel like it. It won’t harm you and some people even enjoy the consistency. If you want to remove the fat, let the broth sit in the fridge until the fat congeals and scrape it off with a spoon.
Does store-bought bone broth have health benefits?
Not even close to what you can make on your own. Often so-called “broths” are really “stock” which means they are missing out on gelatin and essential amino acids. Store-bought brands also tend to add artificial flavoring too. Stick to what you know, and cook it at home.