What is the best bone broth and how do you choose? This is an in-depth comparison of perishable and shelf stable bone broths as well as “bone broth” protein powders.
If you’re into bone broth already or are just starting your journey, you’ve probably asked yourself “what is the best bone broth for me and how do I choose?”. For some, it’ll be all about cost, but in that scenario you’re probably going to get what you pay for. In this post, we’re talking from the standpoint of food as medicine, not from a cost perspective. We’re going to let you know about all of the health benefits of bone broth and why it should become a staple in your daily diet. Should you make bone broth or buy it? If you buy bone broth, which variety is best for you? We’re here to help you answer these questions.
First, What Is Bone Broth
There is a reason why your grandma always cooked up a pot of chicken soup when you were feeling ill. Bone Broth has been used and prescribed for centuries by physicians and grandmothers alike to help heal you from the inside out. By slowly simmering the bones, meat, tendons, ligaments, and feet of an animal, you are able to transfer their nourishing benefits into an easily digestible liquid of gelatin, essential amino acids, and minerals.
Fans of bone broth say it:
- supports the immune system
- promotes healthy digestion by healing and sealing the gut
- strengthens bones, skin, nails, and hair
- reduces inflammation and joint pain
- boosts energy levels
- promotes better sleep
Bone broth is rich, satisfying, nutrient-dense, and has the ability to fill your belly without adding many calories. Bone broth increases absorption of nutrients while also creating the perfect environment for your gut flora.
Can’t I just make it myself?
Absolutely you can, but do you really want to? It’s a very time and labor intensive food to cook. First you have to find responsibly raised bones; cut up beef femurs, knuckle bones, chicken feet, chicken backs, etc. Next you have to roast those bones. This will not only help to break down the bones while simmering, but it makes your bone broth have more depth of flavor.
Then you have to simmer your bones, meat, veggies and herbs for at least 24hrs. on low heat never allowing it to boil. After all that, you need to filter out all the solids and fat. And finally, you have to let it cool and develop it’s flavor overnight. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a bunch of cold broth that is the consistency of jello! If not, well… it’s not as excellent as it could be. The good news, we’re here to help when you don’t want to devote all this time and energy 🙂
What are the different types of commercially made bone broths?
Perishable Bone Broth
“Real food shouldn’t last Real long”. Bone broth is a food known for its gelatin content. The truth is, gelatin is fragile. Hence, the recipes always call for slowly simmering the bones over low heat for a long time. It just takes good, old-fashioned TIME to draw out the minerals from the bone and heating the broth too high will destroy the gelatin. Once the bone broth is strained and cooled, it has a shelf life of around one week refrigerated and 6-12 months frozen. If made the right way, perishable bone broth is thick and gelatinous with a jello like consistency when cold. Although it requires refrigeration and consumption within a week, you’ll notice the benefits of bone broth best with a perishable version.
Shelf Stable Bone Broth
These bone broths have the long shelf life along with the ability to keep them on the shelf, outside of the refrigerator. When you shake them, you’ll notice a watery texture and not the thick and gelatinous texture that’s characteristic of a perishable bone broth when cold. As I’ve already mentioned, gelatin is fragile. In order to make a shelf stable bone broth, it must be heated to a very high temperature (~275 °F). This high temperature, even for a few seconds, often destroys the fragile gelatin (protein denaturation), leaving behind a liquid similar to the texture of water. What you gain in portability and shelf life you will lose in health benefit and “superfood” status. Real quick, when a protein is denatured, its shape (secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure) is changed so that it is no longer as effective or absorbable by the body.
Faux Bone Broth – Protein Powders that are marketed as actual bone broth
“Bone Broth” Collagen Powders
Most “Bone broth” (used only as a marketing term for these brands) collagen powders currently on the market today don’t have the benefit of a slow simmer for 24+ hours like traditional recipes. Rather, they are using cheap collagen powder, derived from only the hides of animals, mainly cows to form collagen which is then powdered. Collagen does have its own benefits, mainly related to skin, nails, and hair. It is also incredibly versatile, with the ability to be added to smoothies and coffee. If you’re looking for nail and hair strength, then this is a good option for you. Just keep in mind, what you’re getting isn’t bone broth, but rather collagen based protein powder. It typically won’t contain all the macronutrients that traditional bone broth will have due to the long simmer of high quality bones, organic veggies, time and well… care.
While there are many differences between these versions, the following is a short summary. Perishable bone broth has a short shelf life, whereas the shelf stable and powdered form have long shelf lives. Perishable bone broth has the benefit of a long simmer over low heat for a long time. This long simmer makes this high quality bone broth thick and gelatinous with a jello-like consistency. Shelf stable bone broths use ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) which denatures the fragile gelatin making it less absorbable by the body. Powdered bone broth/collagen powder is made from only the hide of animals, allowing your hair and nails to strengthen without a similar benefit in your gut.
Why Choose Osso Good
There is one huge component of bone broth we have not even discussed yet…FLAVOR!!! When we say Osso Good is ridiculously good and sippable, we mean it. What are others saying about it?
I ordered the 7-day cleanse and OMG it’s SO delicious! I started yesterday with the Revive the Gut and Chicken. The chicken was FABULOUS! – Rivka
As an endurance athlete, I’m constantly pushing my body to the limits. Good nutrition plays a crucial role in my ability to train happily, healthily, and consistently. Without question, discovering Osso Good Bone Broth has made a significant and positive impact on my running. -Larisa Dennis, professional endurance runner
If you haven’t had luck making homemade bone broth, like myself, Osso Good is for you! Used the chicken broth for chicken soup and it turned out great! We love the product and the friends I share it with fall in love with it too! – Danielle
Just finished the last of my Osso Good, its delicious and I really think you have an amazing product here! I work with food coaching clients who are always looking for places to buy broth, so I’ll definitely be sending them your way! – Kristen Boehmer, founder and creator of Living Loving Paleo
I have 2 autoimmune conditions, one of which is Crohn’s disease. Last year, I dedicated myself to making my own bone broth since I discovered that bone broth was helpful for intestinal issues. I was skeptical that a company could make a bone broth that tasted anything like homemade. Once I tried your bone broth, I was convinced that your company was the only one worthy of my business. I thank you for a product that I can trust, an essential ingredient on the path of healing what ails me. – CJ
What’s the Osso Good difference?
The best bone broth comes from the best ingredients. Beef that is not only pasture-raised, but grassfed with raising practices that go beyond organic. Pasture-raised and organic chickens and organic veggies and herbs! All that and our broths are also gluten free, antibiotic free, hormone free, and as always, free of mysterious “natural flavors”. We are also one of the few major bone broth companies that actually make our own bone broth in small, controlled batches to ensure the quality is always consistent and the taste is always amazing. We take a lot of pride in tasting each and every batch that is made. If you’ve never had our bone broth, you can taste the difference at www.ossogoodbones.com.