The Benefits of Homemade Bone Broth & How to Make it
Updated: Apr 20
Welcome to winter! And with winter comes flu and cold season. I wanted to share with you this month something I always have on hand to not only fight illness, but also to help prevent illness. Bone broth. Bone broth is making a big comeback right now and it should! It has numerous health and digestive benefits. Bone broth is incredibly nutritious, providing protein, gelatin, collagen, vitamins, and minerals. These key nutrients benefit virtually every system in our bodies, including our digestive, nervous, and immune systems as well as our bones and joints. There is a reason chicken soup is what we always take people who are sick. Homesteaders in the past knew the benefits, but in our “processed” society, its benefits have seemingly gotten lost. Bone broth is not just good for when you are sick, but research has shown it’s a great way to build your immune system by drinking a warm cup each day.
However, it’s important to understand that most store-bought “stock and “broth” today aren’t “real.” Instead, companies use man-made meat flavors in bouillon cubes, soup, and broths. Manufacturers also use mono-sodium glutamate (MSG), which is recognized as a meat flavor, but in reality, is not. If you want real bone broth and real bone broth benefits, you should make it yourself at home. Making your own is very easy and you can freeze or can it for future use. When you make it ahead of time, you have it ready when you need it!!
When you make a meal with chicken, turkey, beef, or pork and want to make broth with the bones, be sure to purchase high-quality, free-range, grass-fed animals. What the animal is raised eating is also in the bones. You are making broth at home for the health benefits. You need to make sure the animal is healthy to begin with.
After a meal, I freeze my carcasses in a freezer bag. I also freeze any vegetable scraps (onion ends and skin, carrot tops, celery ends) in a freezer bag. When I’m ready to make broth, I pull a carcass out of the freezer and a bag of veggie scraps and throw it all in the Instapot. I add water to the top fill line and add any spices I desire. I also add about ¼ cup apple cider vinegar. This is VERY important and is what ensures that the bones release all the essential nutrients that you want. Then, I set the Instapot on manual for 2 hours. Once the broth is done, release the pressure and strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer. Once the broth is cool, I can freeze, can or use right it away in a soup. Typically, I will put it in the fridge overnight for the fats to solidify on top. In the morning, I will skim that off and then use or can the broth. If you don’t own an Instapot, you can cook the broth on the stove or in a crock pot. It will just take much longer. Roasting the bones ahead of time will also help them release their nutrients and give you an even deeper flavor but is not necessary.
In my broth, I like to add different spices like turmeric and ginger that you might not think about. Many spices have health benefits and add to the immune building foundation of the broth. You can research the benefits of different spices, but I have included below a few that I have found make the best broth for me.
The following information came from an article I found. If you want to learn more, you can read the article here.
Basil is an aromatic herb in the mint family that has anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and antibacterial properties. It also works as a pain reliever, blood vessel protector, and immune booster. Basil contains essential oils that are rich in antioxidants.
Bay leaves come from the ancient tree Laurus nobilis, and it’s often used in cooking because of its distinctive savory flavor. Bay leaf has antimicrobial, antifungal and antioxidant properties.
Cumin seeds come from the herb Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family. It’s often ground into a powder for cooking. Cooking with cumin seeds can aid your digestion, boost your immune system, promote the health of your skin, relieve respiratory conditions, promote detoxification, combat oxidative stress.
Ginger root is the rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant that contains 115 different chemical components. It’s often used in Asian cooking for a sophisticated flavor and is even used as a pickling spice. It works as a potent antioxidant, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, supports digestion, reduces pain and lowers cholesterol levels.
Oregano is an herb that has been used for healing for thousands of years. Oregano has the power to reduce inflammation, fight bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections, fight allergies and even shrink tumors. Oil of Oregano is extracted from the herb to make a powerful antibiotic agent that can kill many species of harmful bacteria.
Paprika is a spice that’s made from a variety of peppers in the Capsicum annuum family. Capiscum, an ingredient in hot peppers that are used to make paprika, is known to support immune function and aid in treating autoimmune conditions. Paprika also contains many antioxidants, including carotenoids, that fight free radical damage that can cause disease, and it can be used to improve the health of your heart and eyes.
Rosemary is an aromatic herb that’s part of the mint family. It’s known for its ability to improve memory, promote hair growth, relieve muscle aches and pains, improve cognitive function and soothe digestive issues. Rosemary also possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, detoxifying, anti-stress and healing properties.
Thyme is an herb that’s part of the mint family and is often used in cooking. Thyme is a source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, manganese and calcium. It can be used to boost your mood, relieve respiratory conditions like sore throat and bronchitis, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful herbs on the planet and its benefits often rival those of conventional medications. Turmeric supplements can be taken in place of antidepressants, anticoagulants, arthritis medications, skin condition treatments, anti-inflammatory medications and cholesterol regulators.
However you decide to make your bone broth, do your body a favor and start making it yourself at home. You won’t regret it!!