Bone broth is a true human original. Our ancestors have been drinking bone broth since we first discovered how to harness fire. Then, as now, it was priced for both its nourishment and culinary properties. There are a lot of coming and going trends in the health and wellness universe, but the bone broth superfood is not one of them. There are so many bone broth benefits that people flock to it as a source of nutrition. This perennial provider of nutrition to humans has been with us for thousands of years and isn’t going to depart from us anytime soon. Bone broth has had a long journey from the caves of pre-civilized man to a trend being featured on sites like Goop and other health and wellness gurus. You can either make your own bone broth with meats from the local butcher, or purchase it from a grocery store. Let us help clear some of the confusion, hype, and misinformation out there about bone broth and the health benefits of bone broth.
What Is Bone Broth Anyways?
Many people may do bone broth a disservice by describing it as “basically the same ” as soup or soup stock. This is, however, not accurate. Bone broth differs from soup stock in a few different key ways. The first is preparation time when you make bone broth: bone broth must be simmered for at least 8 hours but is usually done for up to 24 hours or more. This is a time-consuming process. The other difference centers around the proportion of various ingredients used. Bone broth usually contains vinegar or acid to help strip the nutrients from the animal bones and uses a higher proportion of bones in the mixture that is boiled, whereas normal stock is cooked for not as much time and uses much more meat than bone. Another difference between the regular stock and bone broth is the texture. Stock is watery, whereas bone broth has a high content of fats, amino acids, and collagen, which gives it a rich and creamy texture. It also is often less flavorful than stock; however, this is usually easily fixed by the addition of some of your favorite flavor enhancements!
Why Is Bone Broth So Nutritious?
Using the bones as the base of stocks extracts vital nutrients that are particularly rare in our modern diet. Some of the most sought after nutrients in broth are:
Collagen: This is one of the essential proteins in our bodies. It’s found mainly in the skin, the joints, the bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, and it gives our tissue structure. One way you could think of collagen is as one of the most critical glues that holds everything together. It is hard to find high amounts of this vital protein in the modern diet, so you can take collagen supplements or incorporate it into your diet via foods like chicken bone broth or beef bone broth.
Gelatin: When you cook collagen for long enough, the result will be gelatin. This is one of the main textural components in the broth and part of the reason why bone broth’s stock has gone up in the culinary world. Healthwise, gelatin is thought to have positive effects on gut health. This is one of the nutrients contained in bone broth that makes it so helpful to those with leaky gut syndrome or other digestive system or digestive tract issues.
Amino Acids: These are the building blocks of life. Bone broth typically contains a wide range of different amino acids. These vital molecular structures are the building blocks of protein and human tissue. The presence of these amino acids is thought to give bone broth restorative and healing properties. If you’re not getting enough amino acids, you can potentially have an adverse side effect in every system of the body, not limited to digestive issues, fertility problems, weak immunity, or muscle degeneration.
Glycine: One of the most important and hard to find amino acids that is plentiful in bone broth is Glycine. This is incredibly important for a myriad of bodily functions. It is particularly important in one of the body’s most essential functions, digestion. This nutrient helps the body break down foods into their core components to be used by the body.
It appears Glycine may also help regulate glucose in the body, which would help regulate blood sugar levels. This can also help prevent heart disease, nerve problems, and diabetes.
Proline: This is another amino acid that has an outsized role in our health. This compound is particularly important in the body’s healing and restoration process. It also helps reduce free radicals in our system and maintains strength in essential muscle groups.
Should I Consume Bone Broth?
The answer is, of course, up to you, but we can give you a little guidance to help inform your decision. As we said before, even though it may seem as if bone broth is a new trend, it is not. It is one of the oldest human culinary creations in existence, and it’s been used to nourish our ancestors as long as anything. This means, as long as you’re doing due diligence, that bone broth can be consumed safely and regularly. Is bone broth a magic elixir or a cure-all? The answer is, of course, not. Bone broth is not medicine, and it should not be explicitly taken to cure or treat any symptoms unless, of course, that is recommended by your physician or nutritionist. If you do choose to try bone broth, you may not have the time, desire, or skill to cook your own for 24-48 hours. Luckily, there is a new generation of specialty bone broth providers who do all the work for you. Try one of Osso Good Bones sample packs to begin your bone broth journey.
What Does Bone Broth Taste Like? What If I Don’t Like It?
Bone broth can range very much in taste based upon preparation time, process, and the animal protein or proteins used. Many people expect bone broth to taste different than it does. If, for instance, you think bone broth is going to taste like soup you’ve had before, you may be turned off by the relatively bland flavor and viscous consistency. If you do not care for the taste of bone broth, worry not; many people who regularly enjoy bone broth never enjoy it alone and instead spice it up to match their particular palate. Here’s a few tips and tricks we have for you if you don’t like bone broth just on its own.
- Add it to soup or even a smoothie- That’s right, bone broth critics complain about its blandness, but for those enjoying it for health benefits, the taste was never the point anyway. Because it is bland, it can easily be added to other flavorful concoctions, and it will be drowned out by whatever it’s mixed with. Combining it into a bone broth soup will add all of the flavor you want.
- Brighten it up with acid or citrus- Bone broth has a creamy and rich texture from the collagen. This culinary property is easily brightened up and enhanced by adding either citrus like lemon or lime juice or maybe some vinegar like apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar. If you also add a little chopped garlic, black pepper, and salt, you will surely have a flavorful treat that can also double as a classy amuse-bouche.
- Add The Flavors of Your Favorite Cuisines- Are you a fanatic for the spiciness of Mexican food? Maybe you’re into the cuisine of France. Regardless of your favorite cuisine, bone broth provides a sophisticated medium for enjoying those flavors. Add some lime juice, veggies, coconut, and turmeric to give yourself a creamy bone broth that is reminiscent of Tom Kha Gai. Add some Tapatio and tortilla strips to give your bone broth a Mexican kick! Or you could put a tea strainer of Herbs de Provence in your cup of bone broth as it’s heating and add black pepper, salt and butter to give yourself an authentic French treat!
Should I Cook My Bone Broth Or Buy It?
This, of course, is a highly personal question, but we’re here to help you answer it. So, here it goes. Cooking your bone broth helps you have a rewarding and satisfying experience. It can also be frozen for later use as long as it is strained properly. There are a plethora of online recipes to guide you. All you have to do is google search ‘bone broth recipes,’ and you will have an ample amount of options to choose from to help you through the cooking process. Many celebrity chefs even have their bone broth recipes with special little touches. If you have a favorite chef you follow from the food network, it could be a cool idea to search whether they have a particular bone broth recipe that you could try. Please use caution when cooking your bone broth. Most recipes suggest long cooking times. It is unlikely you will be able to supervise the pot the entire time it is cooking, so use caution. Even if the recipe is for the slow cooker, you should still be available for the broth.
There are options for those of us who are filled with fear and dread in the above paragraph. If people regularly use the kitchen besides you, or you’re not confident in your culinary skills, do not fear, we have you covered. Bone broth specialty vendors like Osso Good Bones provide all sorts of bone broth options, from introductory sample packs for those wishing to dip their feet in this new trend to full-on 21 day cleanses for bone broth enthusiasts and veterans.