As you probably know, I am a proponent of healthy, clean, wholesome foods that promote wellness throughout the body and particularly in the gut. One of my favorite gut soothers that I frequently prescribe to help soothe and heal the problem guts of my patients is bone broth. It’s such a simple and effective health-promoting tonic, not adding it to your culinary repertoire is a missed opportunity to fortify health with ease. Though it may seem like a new foodie discovery, bone broth — made with meat, fish, or vegetables – is actually a staple in traditional cuisines around the globe, and I propose we follow suit! To inspire you to get into a bone broth groove, here’s a primer on this wonderful brew:
Bone broth is a truly nutritious ‘souper’ food.
A few years ago barely a blip on the culinary radar, bone broth has now achieved “super food” status – and deservedly so. Among the reasons why:
- The broth is rich in collagen which is packed with amino acids that support and heal overtaxed digestive systems.
- The collagen combines with good fats, fat-soluble vitamins, and minerals to counter inflammation and support joints and skin; and boosts your immune system (hot broth in winter = obvious preventive tool!).
Start your (healthy) drinking habit.
All those benefits should persuade you to make bone broth your new, daily, drinkable, no-brainer health habit. Keep some on hand in the fridge, ready to heat and eat as an anytime snack or mini-meal, and keep a supply in the freezer as a nutrient-rich base for simple soups and stews. If you’re sitting down to a meat-heavy meal, start with broth to help your digestive system break down the proteins. Try it as a tasty, warm-up cup instead of hot tea. In the morning, a cup of bone broth, spiked with coconut oil or ghee, might tempt you to skip coffee entirely. In the evenings, replace blood-sugar-raising snacks with a cup of bone broth. It will satisfy while also letting your digestion rest before you hit the sack.
Stock up with help from the Broth Guru.
Where to get the best bone brew? You can make your own using the recipe below, or stock up on time-saving frozen broth from quality sources like Brodo.com, myshopify.com or bonafideprovisions.com. If you’re going the DIY route, I can think of no one better to show you how to make the absolute best than my good friend Chef Marco Canora. He is the Broth Guru and author of Brodo, a bone broth cookbook, founder of Brodo broth bar in New York, and the person responsible for bringing hot-broth drinks, flavored with exotic herbs and spices, into fashion. How to broth it up like Marco? Invest in three simple tools, then follow his ‘how to’ below and broth it up!
3 Essential Bone Broth Tools
- Mortar and Pestle, for pounding fresh herbs or roots into a paste. Place the paste at the bottom of a cup and pour the hot broth over it to make the flavors really blossom.
- Battery-Operated Milk Frother, for adding quality fats to your broth, like bone marrow, tallow, grass-fed ghee or butter, MCT oil, coconut oil, chili oil, or spicy EVOO. Blend dried spices or spice blends into the fat before you incorporate it into the broth to make a tastier, more filling drink.
- Microplane Grater, to grate literally anything edible into your broth. It’s great for fresh ginger, turmeric, and garlic, but get creative and try grating in some veggies with a kick, like spicy radish or fresh horseradish.
Chef Marco Canora’s How To Make Bone Broth Tutorial
STEP 1: GATHER YOUR MATERIALS
You’ll need 2 to 4 pounds of bones. They can be from poultry, fish, shellfish, beef, or lamb (look for 100 percent grass-fed or certified pastured meat). If using beef, try to include some meaty neck bones for maximum flavor. Another option: Use the carcass of a whole roast chicken, with any leftover meat on it. For this, you can use a smaller pot.
YOU WILL ALSO NEED:
- 1 gallon water, or enough to cover the bones by a few inches
- 3 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or some other natural vinegar) to draw out the minerals from the bones
- Large (8- to 12-quart) pot or slow cooker
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
Optional: vegetables (carrots, garlic, onion), sea salt, and herbs improve the flavor and can be added toward the end of the cooking time, if desired
STEP 2: FILL YOUR POT
Place the bones in your pot, filling it at least halfway; cover with water to within 1 inch from the top. Add vinegar and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
STEP 3: COOK AND WAIT
While it simmers, you can use a spoon to skim off any scum that rises to the top. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow the broth to simmer very gently. Cook on low heat for at least 6 hours or overnight, to extract the most gelatin and nutrients from the bones. A few hours before it’s done, throw in the vegetables, sea salt, and herbs, if you’re using them.
STEP 4: SEPARATE AND STORE
Remove from the heat and let cool. Pick out the heavy bones and discard, then strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth-lined strainer set over another pot or large bowl. When the broth is cool, ladle it into glass mason jars. The solid fat can stay on top of the broth until you are ready to use it; discard the fat before pouring. If you intend to freeze the broth, leave 2 inches of space at the top of the containers to allow for expansion, or freeze it without lids and then put the lids on after.
STEP 5: REHEAT AND SIP
When your broth is cooled, it should wiggle like jelly due to the high gelatin content (the cooked form of collagen)—that’s the indication of a nourishing broth. Don’t worry: When you warm it up in a pan, it will liquefy. If it doesn’t turn gelatinous, it’s still very good for you—just add more gristle into your mix next time (ask your butcher or meat provider for feet or knuckle bones, or add the skin from your roast chicken. If you’re making fish stock, be sure to include the head.
Not a meat-eater?
Then use leftover and wilting vegetables to make a mineral-rich vegetable broth. It won’t have the same amino acid profile, but it’s still considered a health tonic. And, if you add seaweed (like kelp strips) or mushrooms (especially immune-boosting shiitake), you’ll further boost the mineral content and medicinal benefits.
Adapted from my book, How To Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life with the help of Chef Marco Canora of Brodo.