Broth made from beef or poultry is a powerful, nutrient-dense food. Find out how to make bone broth and where to buy it if you can’t make your own!
The Difference Between Bone Broth and Bone Stock
The terms bone broth and bone stock are often used interchangeably. Technically, bone broth is made with meat as well as bones and is simmered for a shorter time. Bone stock is made with bones and a small amount of meat attached to the bones and is cooked longer.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein found in the body, making up 15 percent of our dry weight. Derived from the Greek word kólla, meaning glue, collagen keeps our bodies from falling apart—literally.
Collagen production begins to decline in our mid-20s, and by the time we hit 40, our collagen levels have fallen up to 30 percent.
With less collagen, we are more susceptible to inflammation. Inflammation signals the body to release metalloproteinases, enzymes that chew apart our collagen. This creates a cycle that makes us vulnerable not only to wrinkling but also to skin cancer and other degenerative conditions.
The bottom line? Collagen matters, and even more so as we age.
Will eating collagen make a difference? In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Catherine Shanahan addresses the unique benefits of bone stock, a natural supplier of glycosaminoglycans (a type of collagen).
Glucosamine can stimulate the growth of new, healthy collagen and help repair damaged joints. And collagen isn’t just in your joints; it’s in bone, and skin, and arteries, and hair, and just about everywhere in between. This means that glucosamine-rich broth is a kind of youth serum, capable of rejuvenating your body, no matter what your age.
The key to collagen-rich broth is the gelatin. While any broth is beneficial, the more it gels, the more the collagen. Getting the broth to gel can be easier said than done. From my experience, a beef stock made from knuckle and marrow bones gels easily.
Turkey carcasses gel easily. Chicken stock can be tricky. Add chicken feet to ensure gelatin.
Online sources of chicken feet include:
*Read more about the health benefits of bone broth here.
How to Make Bone Broth
- 1 whole free-range chicken or turkey (or turkey parts, chicken carcass/bones. If making beef stock, use 2-3 pounds grass-fed beef bones.*)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
Place poultry, poultry pieces, and/or bones in a large stock pot with water, vinegar, and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30-60 minutes. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. Strain and refrigerate broth.
Bone broth provides the foundation for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) diet. Learn more about our experience with GAPS here.
* To ensure good flavor, roast the bones for about an hour at 400 degrees before making your bone broth.
Where to Buy High Quality Bone Broth
Sometimes life’s circumstances prevent you from making your own bone broth. Sources of high quality bone broth include:
- Kettle & Fire (beef)
- US Wellness Meats (beef)
- KOL Foods (chicken)
- Bare Bones (chicken and beef)
- The Brothery (chicken and beef)
If neither option noted above is possible, consider adding powdered gelatin to your diet. Learn more here.
My favorite way to incorporate bone broth is with homemade miso soup. Miso offers unique immunity properties and tastes great in chicken stock. Find the recipe here.