By Ariane Resnick
Bone broth is a fairly new health trend, but it is one of humanity’s oldest foods. For as long as we have been cooking meat, we’ve been boiling the bones with water afterward. While there are many health benefits of well-sourced animal products, there are even more from bone broth. Rich in collagen, gelatin, amino acids, CLA, and Omega 3, and useful for healing ailments including inflammation, sports injury, cellulite, leaky gut, and IBS, the broth of grass-fed and pasture-raised organic animal bones is America’s powerful new superfood.
Often confused with soup stock, bone broth is the result of boiling animal bones with water for far longer than one would for stock, and without the need for a bouquet garni. With many hours of simmering, the taste and health benefits of onions or carrots would be long since lost, though you can certainly add them after. You need only to add a small amount of salt and some apple cider vinegar to help pull the minerals out of the bones, in addition to bones and water.
If the process sounds familiar to you, you may already be familiar with an ethnic version of bone broth. In Jewish culture, long-boiled chicken soup is a common cure for colds and lovingly referred to as “Jewish penicillin.” Asian cultures consume “long-life broth” to promote longevity, and nearly every native group worldwide has their version. However, it is only in the past year or two that bone broth has gained popularity in America, fueled both by the Paleo diet movement and the opening of bone broth cafes in major cities.
The benefits of bone broth are manifold, but they can only be obtained from properly sourced bones. If you boil factory-farmed conventional bones, you will be concentrating the pesticides the animals are fed, the hormones and antibiotics they’re given, and all of their inflammatory conditions. Bone broth is only useful if made with grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic bones. That said, all types of bones are good for broth, from chicken carcasses to pig’s feet to lamb shanks. You can use one, or a mix, and should choose whichever animal’s flavor you most prefer. You can use either leftover cooked bones from a meal you’ve made, or buy them specifically to make broth.
My ratio for making bone broth is a simple one: 1 pound of bones to 1 quart of water, with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ tablespoon of cider vinegar. If you are using raw bones, the taste will be improved by browning them first in the pot, but that isn’t necessary. Bone broth is cooked for 2-3 hours in a pressure cooker, 12-24 hours on the stovetop, or 24-48 hours in a slow cooker. After simmering for the right duration of time for your cooking method, cool and strain out the bones. You can increase the ratio to make any amount of broth, and it freezes very well; make sure to chill it thoroughly first. The fat that collects on top once the broth is cold is nutrient-rich and can replace butter or oil in other recipes. It can be used as a warming drink, a base for soups, or to replace water when cooking grains or legumes. I have 50 recipes for everything from stews to tonics using bone broth in my upcoming book, The Bone Broth Miracle, which will be released late this spring by Skyhorse Publishing. However you choose to use it, bone broth is a simple, delicious tool for wellness.
Ariane Resnick is a private chef and certified nutritionist who specializes in organic farm-to-table cuisine and creates indulgent, seemingly “normal” food out of impeccably clean, whole food ingredients. She has cooked for celebrities that include Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin, Matt Groening, Lisa Edelstein, and Jeff Franklin, and has been featured in media such as Well + Good NYC, In Style, Star, Goop.com, food.com, Huffington Post, Refinery29.com, Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, and Food Network’s Chopped. She is also a survivor of late stage Lyme Disease and chemical poisoning, and recovered holistically from both. When not crafting beautifully presented tasty dishes that accommodate just about any dietary restriction, Resnick consults clients and chefs on wellness and nutrition, and provides hands-on instruction for simple ways to cook more healthfully. Her first book, The Bone Broth Miracle, will be released late this spring by Skyhorse Publishing.
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