Today I want to talk about bone broth.
Bone broth is great; it’s a healthy food, full of protein and minerals, and can be an easy way to add nutrition to foods like soups, or to pack in some nutrition while enjoying a warming, savory snack. In the winter, I get sick of tea, and I love having something salty to sip on throughout the day.
However, the idea of bone broth is not as new as modern marketing makes it out to be. Back in the day, folks just called it “stock.” Boiling bones as a base for soup was the old-fashioned way of reducing waste, up-cycling the extras from cooking meat, and adding flavor on the cheap.
Yes, that’s right…bone broth is really inexpensive to make.
My husband and I were at the grocery store the other day, and the regular retailer was selling jars of bone broth for $8.99 each. My jaw nearly dropped to the floor. Bones are something that I would ordinarily throw away. In some ways, bone broth is made from adding water (free) to garbage (free) and boiling it — no manual effort involved. To think that companies are profiting nearly $10 off of something that costs only a few cents to make appalls me.
Yes, bone broth is extremely healthy. Animal bones are full of minerals that we need to consume daily, like iron, magnesium, calcium, and manganese. It also is a great source of collagen protein, and can boost amino acid intake without having to eat a piece of chicken. At the same time, it’s light, convenient, and extremely satisfying on a cold winter day.
Healthy and nutritious food should not be something reserved for the elite. We shouldn’t have to be wealthy to purchase nutritious food options, and realistically we don’t have to be if we just cook things by ourselves.
The marketing tactics used in the health world are completely haywire. They create the idea that eating healthy food, taking care of ourselves, and being kind to our bodies requires an enormous financial investment. While there are certainly times when the cheap way isn’t the best way, most health trends are way over priced and hardly deliver what they promise.
Overall, I’m definitely pro-bone broth. I believe that it offers an easy and affordable way for folks to add nutrition to their lives in a tasty and satisfying way, but there’s absolutely no need to pay $8.99 for a 16 oz jar.
Bone Broth Recipe (Easy, Quick, and Cheap)
- 2-3 lbs bones (beef, chicken, or pork, ideally organic)
- 1 gallon of water
- 1 Tbs vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- Optional: carrots, onion, celery, pepper, bay leaves, other spices
* If the bones are raw, many recipes advice roasting them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes to improve flavor
- Add bones to a large stock pot, and cover with enough water to cover, plus an inch or two (about 1 gallon) and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 12-24 hours. (As an alternative, use a crock pot on low heat!)
- Every 2-4 hours, skim the foam off the top and discard
- When the cooking time is complete, strain through a fine mesh strainer and freeze.
- (Once cool, the texture should be like jello. It also will have a layer of fat on top which can be skimmed off and discarded.)
Ways to Use Bone Broth:
- Drinking as a tasty beverage
- Base for soups
- Instead of water when cooking quinoa or rice
- In recipes that call for broth or stock
- Instead of expensive collagen supplements