Since the beginning of mankind, bone broth has been used as sustenance. When times were frugal and the entire animal had to be used, bone broth was an elixir of life. Today, fish and beef stocks and broths are major components of daily cooking in most cuisine around the world. Broths and stocks are used in sauces, braising, soups and stews. Huge pots of simmering bones sit on the stove tops in the finest restaurants and family homes.
Most broths and stocks use a higher meat-to-bone ratio than a typical bone broth. For example, a typical chicken broth or stock contains an entire chicken, not just the bones. Similarly, beef stocks and broths use meat as well as some bones in the recipe. Bone broth, on the other hand, is made totally out of the bones with the very small amounts of meat that are left on the bone after butchering. Also, normal broths and stocks are simmered for a shorter amount of time than bone broth. They are ready after 45 minutes to two hours compared to eight to 24 hours for a bone broth. Meat stocks are made by roasting the bones before simmering, something that is done in bone broth preparation, too. At the end of the cooking process, broths and stocks are lighter in color and have a tasty, subtler flavor. Bone broth is darker, richer and very highly flavored. The bones release trace minerals as well as gelatin and collagen. The bones will probably crumble at the end of the cooking because they have released all their nutrients.
How Is Bone Broth Made?
Not only is homemade bone broth easy and economical to make, but it's delicious and nutritious, too. Making bone broth simply means simmering animal bones in water with an addition of acid, like wine, for many hours. It's important to start with high-quality bones from organic, grass-fed animals. This way, the broth will have the highest nutrient level possible. The bones that offer the highest amount of collagen are knuckles, feet and femur bones, but any bones or ligaments work well in a bone broth. Most recipes include a variety of vegetables to boost the mineral and vitamin content as well as the flavor. Herbs and spices such as garlic, thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and oregano are optional additions. It is essential that the bones and other ingredients simmer slowly for a long period of time. That way, all the protein, minerals, collagen and other nutrients are released from the bones and available for absorption in the body.
Benefits of Drinking Bone Broth
The list of benefits from drinking bone broth is long and diverse. Healthy bone broth contains over 19 essential and nonessential amino acids in a form that is easy for the body to absorb. It also contains large amounts of collagen for connective tissue and skin health as well as nutrients that aid digestive functions, boost the immune system and support a healthy brain.
Bone broth helps protect the joints because natural collagen works as a lubricant for the cushioning between the bones. Collagen is also one of the building blocks for building and maintaining bone strength. Another advantage of the collagen found in bone broth is that it aids the formation of elastin and helps maintain a youthful skin tone and smooth appearance.
Gelatin has been proven to aid in restoring the lining of the gut. A healthy gut helps people overcome food sensitivities and promotes probiotic growth. Because of bone broth's positive effect on the gut, this in turn gives a big boost to the immune system.
Different Ways to Incorporate Bone Broth in Cooking
Bone broth on its own is delicious for sipping as a tea or eating as a soup. It's fast and easy to make a quick soup with a cup of bone broth and a handful of pasta. Use bone broth in place of water when making rice, quinoa or other dishes with grains. It makes delicious risotto or stews that are full of added benefits and flavor. Besides the obvious uses, bone broth can also be made into smoothies or yummy treats like gummy bears. When there's ready-made broth in the refrigerator, it's easy to turn regular dishes into nutritious powerhouses of flavor.
Different Types of Ready-to-Use Bone Broth
For people who don't have time to make their own broth, or for those who don't have access to high-quality ingredients, there are many different types of ready-to-use products available. Bone broth is readily available in powdered form in many different flavors. It's as easy as scooping it out of the container and stirring it into food or liquids. Add a scoop to hot water and enjoy it like tea, or replace morning coffee with it. It will add a huge nutrient boost to any smoothie that's either sweet or savory. How does a chocolate, French vanilla, cinnamon apple or peanut butter bone broth smoothie sound? Delicious! For more savory options, there are chicken, beef, turkey, turmeric and coffee flavors to try. There are also single-serve packets available that are easy to take on the go. There's no need for unhealthy, boring lunches when a cup of bone broth is right at hand.