How to Make Bone Broth

Bone broth seems to be a hot topic lately – and for good reason. This is a simple, economical way to add both flavor and nutrition to your diet. There really is nothing new under the sun because people have been making nutritious broth for thousands of years; however, with our modern focus on convenience this is just one of those practices that become uncommon.

Did I mention it’s delicious? Many of us have only used broth from a powder, can, or jar. This homemade version is light years better! There are many health benefits of bone broth. I’m going to explain some of those and show you how to make your own. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked.


Broth cooking in crock pot square


Health Benefits

Many people, especially traditional food enthusiasts, agree that bone broth is great for the immune system. Thus the timeless and cross-cultural admonition to eat chicken soup when you are sick. Many people point to bone broth’s rich composition of gelatin with its amino acids (glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, lysine, hydroxylysine) along with vitamins, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, sodium and potassium) and other nutrients.

"Good broth will resurrect the dead."

“Good broth will resurrect the dead.”


Here are some other issues nutrient-rich bone broth has been know to help people with:

  • Replenishing electrolytes and aiding in sports recovery
  • Weight balancing (both weight loss for those who need it and weight gain for malnourished individuals)
  • Cellulite reduction
  • Collagen repair
  • Bone health
  • Wound healing
  • Joint and cartilage health
  • Improved digestion, especially of proteins
  • Repair of damaged digestive tract.
  • Balancing of beneficial bacteria in the gut
  • Heart health
  • Detoxification
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • General inflammation
  • Food cravings
  • Adrenal support
  • Strengthening immune system
  • Alleviation of allergic reactions and sensitivities
  • Dental and bone health
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Skin health


How to Make Bone Broth


  • bones – leftover bones from chicken, beef, or fish or fresh bones from the store (Whole Foods has a good selection of natural bones for this purpose in their freezer section). It is always best to use antibiotic free, organic meat if possible*
  • veggie scraps – onion, garlic, celery, carrots, sweet potatoes*
  • apple cider vinegar
  • water

* I keep a running Ziploc bag of leftover  bones from roasted chicken and odds and ends of vegetables that I have leftover from making other stuff in the freezer- things like carrot ends, onion outside layers, sweet potato peels, ends of celery, etc. I also like to add a least a full head of garlic to each batch (separated into cloves). I don’t cook beef often so I usually buy those bones in the freezer section at Whole Foods. It is important to use a variety of types of bones – flat, long, joint, chicken feet and wings, etc. to get a wide variety of nutrients and benefits.


Place bones, veggie scraps/pieces, and a couple tablespoons apple cider vinegar to soup pot or crock pot.


Freezer bag of scraps dumped into the crock pot

Freezer bag of scraps dumped into the crock pot


Adding vinegar to the broth helps to release the nutrients from the bones

Adding vinegar to the broth helps to release the nutrients from the bones

Add cold water to fill.

Let sit about an hour so the vinegar can soften the bones a bit to release some of the nutrients, then turn on to simmer. Remove any scum that floats to the top in the first couple hours of cooking.

Continue simmering for 4-48 hours (or more). I put it in a crock pot on low and just forget about it. The longer you simmer the more flavorful it will be.

Simmer, simmer, simmer

Simmer, simmer, simmer


Note: Some people with compromised guts can be sensitive to broth that has been cooked long periods. Apparently there are natural glutamates that are released that can cause digestive distress in sensitive individuals. In those cases it is best to use a shorter cooking time such as 4-5 hours and start out with small amounts.

You can remove some of the broth from the pot and refill with water if you like. Some people keep a crock pot or pot of this simmering on the stove all week and just remove some and refill as needed with fresh water. When I am making broth, I often scoop out mugs of it to drink throughout the day. I add a little sea salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper and anything else that sounds good. It’s amazing . . .

When you decide it is ready  – this is pretty subjective! – put a colander over a large pan or bowl and strain out the veggies and bones. I often pick out the meat and garlic to use in soups and some of the choice bits of marrow, soft bones, or mashed carrots for my pooch. After a couple days of simmering you will be able to crush the bones easily with your fingers. I squish them up to make sure there are not sharp edges, but my dog loves these leftovers. He hovers around me when I’m straining the broth because he knows what’s coming!

Louie - did you call me       photo 4


I like to keep the broth in the refrigerator in mason jars or freeze it in baggies. It’s so nice to have large amounts on hand for soups and also smaller portions to use for rice or sauces. Do not use regular mason jars in the freezer or you will regret it (speaking from firsthand experience!!) There are special freezer safe jars you can buy or just use Pyrex, Ziploc bags or plastic containers.

You will not believe how much flavor bone broth adds to  your cooking. It is both soothing and nourishing. Plus I love feeling so resourceful by using the leftover bones and vegetable ends that would have otherwise gone to waste.

How to use the broth:

Remember this doesn’t have salt, so you will need to season accordingly.

  • Use soups or casseroles wherever broth is called for.
  • Use in place of water for cooking rice.
  • Use in sauces in place of water.
  • Use to simmer vegetables in or to saute vegetables.
  • Drink in a cup with a little sea salt, cayenne pepper, pepper. YUM.


This so delicious and extremely nourishing.











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