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10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth

Would you drink bone broth? I thought it was a little crazy until one week threw me into desperate measures…

In that week, my toddler got pneumonia, my second grader threw up, my preschooler coughed for days on end, my husband coughed…and I would get a tickle of a sore throat now and then.

I knew about the health benefits of bone broth, but I always just used it in soup, not a cuppa.

RELATED: Natural Pneumonia Remedies.

10 Reasons you should be drinking bone broth

But I knew other people just poured themselves a mug, and since I didn’t have soup on the menu plan, I decided to try it. Funny thing about that throat tickle – it went away.

I almost always have bone broth on hand – either recently made or saved in the freezer – because it’s a way for me to stretch my chicken and make a nourishing food that is super frugal. 

My friend Tiffany of Don’t Waste the Crumbs shares:

We made a commitment last September to buy only organic, free-range chicken. It didn’t take long – oh, say 2 minutes of browsing the weekly grocery circulars – to realize that paying $6.99/lb for breasts was simply not in my grocery budget. Seeing the $2.49/lb price tag was already a significant change to the 79¢ per pound price that I was accustomed to. The only way to soothe my pocketbook was to maximize the chicken in every way possible by: 

1. Buy whole chickens and butcher them yourself.

2. Save ALL your bones.

3. Reuse the bones until you can’t. Bones can be reused to make several batches of broth and like number two above, why throw them away if they still have something to offer?

10 Reasons to Drink Bone Broth

1. Immunity Boosting Fat

Chicken stock has long been thought to have special immune-boosting powers.

While there isn’t much science to back up this claim (don’t worry, I won’t tell your grandma), a 2000 study found that, in a lab environment, chicken soup had an inflammation-reducing effect which might account for its ability to kick colds and other minor bugs to the curb. 1

2. Warm Liquid is Soothing

It’s okay to mention the obvious.

There are plenty of other immune-boosting strategies, like apple cider vinegar water, using lots of raw garlic, and taking cod liver oil, but the soothing feel of a warm liquid on a cold day can’t be beat.

3. Super Mineral Boost (Uh-Oh…check the update!)

Bone broth contains minerals from the bones that are not only abundant but easy to assimilate into our bodies (unlike the whole mess with whole grains and phytic acid and such – see the soaking grains series for more info on that). Minerals that will help you stay in optimal health include:

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • other trace minerals

But if you can’t find the time (or the well-sourced bones) to make your own, it’s hard to find commercial stock that actually uses bones, the key to all these benefits. Pacific Organic is one, found here at Thrive Market.

UPDATE: I was challenged by a reader in the comments, and she shared this guy’s actual analysis of the minerals in bone broth, which thoroughly debunks the claim, especially for calcium!

Was this just something people accepted on common sense assumptions?If bones have calcium, it must therefore come out into the broth.” That’s a pretty big assumption.

I browsed around to some authority sites, but not one of them cites any research or real data. I know it’s more difficult to get nutritional info on homemade traditional foods, but all the real food blogs who talk about broth link to each other or to the Weston A. Price Foundation.

It goes in circles.

I do question the pressure cooking for 7 hours (!!!) that the guy doing the analysis did – although the fact that minerals went up when he doubled the time is interesting.

I wish he would have long, slow simmered for 12-24 hours and/or pressure cooked for 1 hour. Maybe it would have been the same result, but I’m a questioner. I want it to be true! But I’m also now a skeptic. Darn.

I guess there’s really only 9 reasons I drink broth now! 😉

Note: I emailed for more info as the article suggested and got no reply. Does that just mean this guy is tired of inquiries and doesn’t have time, or does it call into question the validity of his claims? I have seen elsewhere since that bone broth is NOT high in minerals. Shame.

4. Better Carrier for Garlic and Cayenne than Tea

Fresh garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper are great immunity-boosting foods to eat as well, and while ginger makes a decent tea, it’s just weird to sip tea with garlic and cayenne.

They taste awesome in broth though…

5. Gelatin for Joint Health

One of the incredible benefits of real bone broth made with the vinegar soak, all the cartilage from the animal, and the actual bones is that your finished stock should have a good amount of gelatin (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!) (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!).

Gelatin is the cooked form of collagen (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!), which makes up about one-third of the protein in our bodies.

Gelatin provides glycine, an amino acid that promotes healthy cartilage and ultimately aids in avoiding joint pain.2

Could a cup a day keep the acetaminophen away? DIY broth is super inexpensive, and even buying it online (from the right sources that use bones and have a high gelatin content!) may cost less than doctor’s visits!

And, of course, you CAN buy gelatin or collagen in powdered form to add to your broth, cuppa joe, smoothie (collagen only), or make spoonable gelatin or gummies with 100% fruit juice. Use the code KS10 for 10% off!

6. Hair, Skin, and Nail Vibrancy

Collagen is great for your skin as it increases the elasticity of that organ – meaning fewer wrinkles and more supple skin. It also strengthens fingernails and can make your hair healthier.3

Mug of bone broth on a wooden surface with a wooden ladle.

7. Aids Digestion

Yet another benefit of gelatin, bone broth helps your system digest more efficiently, especially milk, meat, beans, and grains. It serves to basically “seal” the gut from problems and can help people heal from leaky gut issues.

That’s likely why it’s used in GAPS and other gut healing diets. Who doesn’t need a little help digesting everything in our day and age?

It’s also why I included broth as the “B” in my redone BRATY diet for kids for feeding victims of tummy bugs.

8. Battles Stress? Improves Sleep?

Our bodies can create glycine on their own, which is why it’s not an “essential” amino acid that we must get from eating. However, we don’t always produce in the right balance, especially if we don’t eat in the right balance.

When we eat only animal meat, the amino acids delivered mimic those that our bodies create under stress. When our bodies are under stress cortisol excess can trigger the breakdown of our muscles to provide energy and material for repair. 

Consuming gelatin is thought to counteract all that, can promote sleep, and may improve memory and learning behavior. The same function could even resist cancer and tumor growth.

This fun fact is a new one for me, but I can’t wait to try it the next time someone I know has insomnia. Warm milk, chamomile tea – move over, broth is coming through!

9. Frugal in More Ways than One

Bone broth is an incredibly frugal food, and every time I make a pot, I know I’m saving in the double digits compared to purchasing commercial stock or broth, plus the nutrition of the homemade is leaps and bounds ahead of anything in the store.

Besides that, yet another benefit of gelatin is that it acts as a “protein sparer,” meaning that any protein you eat in a meal with bone broth is used more efficiently in the body.

You can include less meat in your soup and thus less in your budget – I don’t know about you, but meat and other protein products are by far the most expensive line item on a real food budget. It’s nice to get a break sometimes.

RELATED: Is Lamb Healthy?

10. Delivery System for Nourishing Salt

Other than the salted caramel latte I’ve seen advertised recently, which I’m sure is fraught with its own sugary issues, salting your coffee or tea would just be a little weird.

When you drink bone broth, you can use Real Salt and replace electrolytes and over 60 trace minerals that your body needs.

Add all that to fact that you can still look cool like all the coffee drinkers with your mug, and you must ask yourself: Why not start the habit today?

I admit, I wasn’t so sure on my first cup. But it wasn’t long before I could honestly say I craved it.

It grows on you.

Give it a shot.

10 REASONS TO DRINK BONE BROTH

Kids Can Make Broth

It’s never too early to teach your kids about the amazing benefits of bone broth! Both for your health and your budget. Watch my kids make it on their own.

Need More Information?

Here are the how-to posts here at KS:

Other Natural Health Posts:

How about you – do you drink bone broth or save it for the soup??

Sources

  1. Rennard BO, Ertl RF, Gossman GL, Robbins RA, Rennard SI. Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro. Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.118.4.1150. PMID: 11035691.
  2. Clark KL, Sebastianelli W, Flechsenhar KR, Aukermann DF, Meza F, Millard RL, Deitch JR, Sherbondy PS, Albert A. 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 2008 May;24(5):1485-96. doi: 10.1185/030079908×291967. Epub 2008 Apr 15. PMID: 18416885.
  3. Proksch E, Schunck M, Zague V, Segger D, Degwert J, Oesser S. Oral intake of specific bioactive collagen peptides reduces skin wrinkles and increases dermal matrix synthesis. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2014;27(3):113-9. doi: 10.1159/000355523. Epub 2013 Dec 24. PMID: 24401291.

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97 thoughts on “10 Reasons I Drink Bone Broth”

  1. I am a fan of bone broth, but recently I found out that the high calcium and magnesium content is a myth. I realized this when I saw pre-made broth at the grocery store and looked at the nutrition label to see how much calcium it had in it. It had none. At first I figured that it was just made wrong, but after looking at another brand that was really expensive and appeared to be legit, I found the same thing.

    I can’t find the internet article I found back then, but it came to the same conclusions as this person’s http://www.alive.com/health/bone-broth-analysis-reader-research/ . Bone broth, even when cooked with the vinegar for long periods of time, isn’t rich in calcium and magnesium.

    The reason I was looking at this was that my daughter has Perthes, which involves death of the hip bone (and, because our bodies are amazing, eventual re-growth of the hip bone). We eventually concluded that while bone broth should definitely play a role in healing her bone, it’s role is for the gelatin/collagen, not minerals. We need to get her those from a different source.

    I usually have gelatin tea in the morning because it’s easier, and when I found out that I wasn’t missing out on the minerals I felt better about this little cheat. There are probably other things I’m missing this way–who knows what’s in that broth that we don’t even know about!

    1. Wow Cathy, this blew me away! I don’t think reading the side of a commercially available broth says too very much because who knows of their methods, BUT that guy’s data is pretty compelling.

      Was this just something people accepted on common sense assumptions? “If bones have calcium, it must therefore come out into the broth.” That’s a pretty big assumption.

      I browsed around to some authority sites like Mark’s Daily Apple, Balanced Bites, The Kitchn, and the Weston A Price Foundation. Not one of them cites any research or real data, although Mark’s Daily Apple does explain that getting nutritional info on such homemade, traditional foods is too difficult because of the variance in ingredients, food the animal ate, etc. He then states that because bonemeal is high in calcium, broth must be too. I think he’s got a gap in his logic. All the real food blogs who talk about broth link to each other or WAPF. It goes in circles…

      I do question the pressure cooking for 7 hours (!!!) that the guy doing the analysis did – although the fact that minerals went up when he doubled the time is interesting. I wish he would have long, slow simmered for 12-24 hours and/or pressure cooked for 1 hour. Maybe it would have been the same result, but I’m a questioner. I want it to be true! But I’m also now a skeptic. Darn.

      I guess there’s really only 9 reasons I drink broth now! 😉 Thanks for bringing this to my attn though, it’s totally fascinating!
      🙂 Katie

      1. I found the article I found the first time I searched. It was written by someone writing a broth book with Sally Fallon. They had the same thoughts you and I did about “well they just didn’t cook it right,” and then tested some that was cooked slow and long.

        http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/bone-broth-calcium/

        And this guy has found some scientific articles (one from way back). They have graphs that show how much calcium, phosphorous, and nitrogen get extracted each hour. The nitrogen is linear up to 7 hours, begging the question of when it starts to level off. The calcium does keep going up with further cooking, but is still really low.

        https://honey-guide.com/2014/01/21/bone-broth-mineral-content/

        1. It is true (at least from the research I’ve done) that broth is not high in calcium. Possibly not in minerals in general. Broth is mostly a healthy food because of the gelatin. So if you don’t want to deal with broth you can get mostly the same benefit from pure gelatin like Perfect Supplements and Vital Proteins. I still use broth a fair amount but only because I like to use it in recipes and for soup. My family very rarely drinks plain broth.

  2. I have a weird question. I have never liked bone broth because I can taste the minerals in it & find that yucky. My mom made turkey bb when I was a child & I never liked it, I don’t like mineral water either.

    I do occasionally make chicken or turkey stock, but even then I have a problem. I’m a good cook, but my soups range from barely acceptable to horrible.

    If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them.

  3. Great list. Glycine is not a fatty acid but an amino acid. If u corrected that, that section would make sense then 🙂

  4. I made beef bone broth from a feed lot steer. It muscle tested poorly, tasted “off” and gave me stomach ache.
    Then I made beef bone broth from a free range steer and is was rock solid on a muscle test, tasted terrific and made my tummy happy.
    We raise our own beef, chicken and turkey and I am so thankful we can!
    Also… I’m wondering if canning broth affects nutrients negatively…

    1. Ah, so true Jane – I can’t always get kids to do things that are good for them. 😉 Also this was my first time trying it too, and I tend to “guinea pig” myself first. Nowadays everyone gets stock when they’re getting a tickle (and I think of it), but it’s not a perfect habit that I have 100% of the time. 🙂 Katie

  5. A tip for not remembering to thaw, freeze it in silicone molds or ice cube trays…. thaws fast and you have no trouble getting it out of a container (if you’ve ever froze it in a narrow mouth jar you know what I mean!)

    1. Yes, that’s so true Juli! I do that sometimes but honestly, my freezer space gets crazy and it can be so much work to pour in cubes, wait, transfer, pour more in, etc. But it’s brilliant if you need just a little bit too, like for sick kids! 🙂 Katie

  6. Hi,

    What if I get sever joint pain AFTER drinking clean pure bone broth?? I am on such a limited diet due to food allergies and ileitis as it is…I drink it and right away I get stiffness, joint pain and bloat?????

    1. Jen,
      I have heard of that too! Some people have reactions to the glutamic acid in it! See here: https://www.seleneriverpress.com/the-dark-side-of-bone-broth/ That may explain it, and you can make meat broth instead, I guess? I’m new to the whole idea, but you’re not alone!

  7. I always cook chicken broth whenever someone comes down with a cold in the family and it works magic each time. And I also drink it straight…so does my husband and my older son… We love it… I use pink salt to flavour and lots of fresh lemon juice… Yummy! Also a note: I had read in the “Nourishing Broth” book that chicken broth should not be microwaved when begin warmed up to drink/used after it has been refrigerated…

  8. I think that you should TOTALLY NOT drink chicken soup when you get a cold as the Chinese says that if you drink chicken soup when you caught a cold will temporarily heal the cold, but it will strike back. Good news is that my father has a cure for healing a cold, that is Boiled COKE (gross, right?) with ginger. It sounds disgusting, but it is the best cure for me.

  9. At my home in Paris, we roast a chicken once a week. I always ask the butcher to include ‘la tête and les pattes’ (the head and the feet.) These go right in the pot.

    He also once held the feet over a gas stove flame, enough to just singe them, and peeled them, claiming you get more gelatine that way. I haven’t tried it at home as I haven’t got a gas stove, but I do get very gelatinous chicken stock anyway.

    I normally add to the pot a carrot, celery tops, a leek, an onion (with the skin on, it adds color), some bay leaves, thyme and sage. I bring it to boil in a Dutch oven, skim, then put it in the oven and turn oven to 90 degrees C and go to bed. Since we have an electronic oven that turns off after some hours, the oven is off and the stock is done in the morning.

  10. My family has been slowly changing our diets to fix our guts, especially for my 3 year old son who has autism. He has been on a gfcf diet for almost a year and we are slowly getting him use to grain free foods to transition. Its an EXTREMELY long process since he is a very picky eater (think peanut butter sandwiches daily). I have been trying to introduce bone broth to him for a while without success. I’ve tried putting it in a special cup, mixing it in apple sauce and many other ways but nothing is working. Any suggestions for a super picky eater?

    1. Tina,
      I’ve actually seen gummies made with bone broth and extra gelatin, but not sure how they taste – maybe with some fruit juice added? Have you ever tried a blended soup with a straw (straws are fun!) like this one? http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/07/12/recipe-connection-blended-green-soup-for-the-kids/ Some folks put broth in smoothies, and it can be used in place of water for just about any savory recipe. Gravy? Refried beans or chili? I don’t know how picky is picky…honestly, it would be possible to condense bone broth way down until it’s super thick, then dehydrate it and powder it and add it into the peanut butter on that sandwich, but that’s a couple extra steps for mom! 😉 Could it be condensed way down and mixed into homemade jam I wonder??? Hopefully some of those springboard some ideas for you! Good luck and keep up the great work with healthy eating for your son!!! You might ping Cara at http://healthhomehappy.com/ who did GAPS with her young autistic daughter; she might have even more ideas. 🙂 Katie

    2. I have a picky husband, drinking broth is out of the question, so I find ways to cook with it. It’s been a slow process but we now do homemade soup once a week ( chicken noodle, veggie beef, tomato,taco…it is frugal too!) My kids(1 and 4)love to drink the ” juice ” with straws! Fun for them and less messy! Any recipe that calls for “canned cream of ____ soup”, I just make homemade using chicken or beef broth as the base. (lots of dairy free recipes on line) My gravy loving husband has really enjoyed my quest to make the “perfect” gravy…. Who knew broth was the secret weapon!!!:) ( gravy in sheppards pie, on rice, potatoes, caseroles). My Life savor has been freezing ice cube trays of broth, it’s very easy to throw a few cubes into refried beans, Spighetti sauce, taco meat (instead of water). When applicable, and I am reheating leftovers on the stove, just throw in a few broth cubes instead of water. My family may not be getting a big dose of amazing broth in a cup, but I figure a little here and there goes a long way.:) Hope this helps, or give some ideas, for your cute little guy!

  11. Hi, I would like to know if you or anyone else here knows….I just started making bone broth, and have only drank 3 or 4 servings….on 2 separate occasions. The thing is after I drink it, I get suuuuper liquidy diarrhea. Do you know why this might be happening? Did I screw up the broth, or can I not digest fats properly? I really want to keep with the broth, but not if I am unable to stay away from the bathroom. 🙁

    1. Angela,
      I’m so sorry your comment got buried, and I’m also sorry I don’t have any information for you. 🙁 I’ve never heard of that one…there shouldn’t be an allergic reaction I can imagine if you don’t have a problem with chicken (right? I’m guessing here!). You might Google search a little on whether too much of certain components of stock (or too much too fast) could cause diarrhea – collagen/gelatin, magnesium, calcium…you can see what else might be “in there” right here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/03/26/food-for-thought-health-and-nutrition-of-traditional-homemade-chicken-brothstock/

      I hope you figure it out! (if you do, lmk so I can answer this question better for other people…)
      Katie

      1. I have experienced the same outcome from making chicken stock. I did a lot of research and the only thing I came up with is that it might be related to histamine levels in the stock. But I’m not sure if that’s the reason.

        I’m still experimenting and curious to what anyone else might have discovered.

        1. Penny Catterall

          Same problem here! I made 24 hour chicken bone broth. Only had organic chicken, salt and a bit of lemon juice, and have had terrible liquid diarrhea after only having half a cup yesterday and one cup for lunch today! Trying to figure out what I have done wrong – it tasted so good going down!

          1. Penny,

            Everything I read about bone broth talks of it helping to heal the lining of the gut…I’ve not heard about it causing harm, but I imagine that there could be some sort of reaction if your gut wasn’t ready for it? Or…a coincidence with a bug? I’d keep looking for answers and listening to your body…

            🙂 Katie

            1. I’m having the same problem. I started GAPS, so was drinking meat stock, not bone broth, and using gelatin with coconut oil and lemon. I had horrible gushing diarrhea that I had not had previously. I thought it was coconut oil, but taking that out didn’t help. Then I made a great broth that gelled over night in the fridge. Two cups of that for breakfast and the diarrhea came back. I had a cup for lunch and a cup for dinner and had the same problem. If anyone has an idea of why this would happen or what to do about it, please let me know.

              1. Same here. I thought it was something that would subside eventually but I took the cyrex array 10 and it and back positive for gelatin. Even gelatin capsules cause diarrhea for me.

                1. It may be the glycine in the broth as that is a detoxifier. Kind of interesting, but I got that info from the Creating Wealth ebook by Cathrine Crow, I believe, and the book is in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. Really good book. Totally worth buying the bundle just for that one book! I actually bought the ebook from her website a couple weeks ago for $22. Now I see it in the bundle where it comes with a ton of stuff for $30. Kind of a bummer for me. ????

                  1. Hi Emily,
                    Oh dear! That is a disappointment. 🙁 At least it’s a very good book – I wonder if Cathrine would offer a refund, especially since you’re within a 30-day window. If you buy the bundle through her link, she’d get that money back. Worth an ask! 🙂 Katie

  12. Hi Katie,
    I use the Instant Pot to make my broth everyday! It’s food grade stainless steel. Also, Debra Lynn Dadd at nontoxic living has a post on how to make your own lead free crock pot.

  13. Oh, and the fast I was looking at, could just be a 24 hour fast or something. Nothing too long, just something to maybe kick start some things. I don’t know! lol

  14. Thanks! I knew there was some sort of difference since I’ve made homemade broth before and it always gels unlike the canned broth I’ve bought from the store. Just never knew that was the reason! So I guess I will be going to buy some chicken to make my own 🙂 I have a canner I haven’t used yet anyway. Would be nice to give it a try! I’ve put homemade broth in the freezer before, and now I’m kicking myself for throwing it out because it got too old. I never thought about just drinking it instead of waiting for a recipe to use it in! lol

  15. Hi, I’ve been looking into chicken broth today, and had been reading about a chicken broth fast to help with your gut, when I stumbled on your post. I don’t have any homemade broth right now, I might go get a chicken tonight to make some, but what about canned broth? I know it’s not as good, but wouldn’t it still work some? (I’m not talking about taste, but just nutrition wise)

    1. Melissa,
      It really depends what kind of fast you’re talking about – eliminating all grains and dairy are going to help you gut no matter what you drink, but you won’t get healthy gelatin, which is great for digestion, from most canned broth. Costco has some organic broth (chicken, not beef, at least at my store) that actually uses bones…so that would be different. But homemade is always best! 🙂 Katie

  16. Hi.just have to get down to making bone broth now,just need to know if it’s okay to make it in a pressure pot

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  18. Does anyone have any tips for how to get MORE broth into your diet, besides in a soup (or just by drinking it straight — which is another good idea but I’m not sure I could get my kids and husband on board) I love making homemade broth, but I’m one of those weird people that just does not get into making soup that often or even enjoys eating it that much. I make soup in the winter because I know it is healthy, but that’s it. I would love some more varied recipes or methods of getting bone broth into the diet regularly, including in summer time. Thanks!

    1. Hilary,
      I do have some ideas for exactly that! http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/06/10/summer-foods-broth-and-beans/

      Since I’ve written that, people have added more – condense the broth into gelatin and add cubes to smoothies – it just disappears! Use it in any and all sauces you make.

      Good luck! 🙂 Katie

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  21. Thanks for this great info! I hope you don’t mind I shared it on my blog today along with my recipe for homemade broth. Have a great day!

    1. Rebecca,
      Any time you share someone else’s blog post, etiquette says to copy about a paragraph and link to the rest. Looks like you might have copied the whole thing, which hurts us both on Google page rank. Can you edit that down, please?
      Thanks, Katie

      1. My sincerest apologies! I’ve edited the post and made your link more clear for my readers. Thanks for helping me a better blogger!

  22. I discovered bone broth while researching holistic dental health. My favorite to make at home is with lamb bones in a slow cooker, but I use the Real Bone Broth brand from Wise Choice Market on a regular basis. It’s made exactly as I make mine at home, except they don’t offer lamb…

    The health benefits are truly amazing. I hadn’t thought of adding garlic so thanks for that tip!

    I put my mom on bone broth this week in the hope that it will help with her knee pain. Does anyone have any good testimonials with joint pain?

  23. I was put on a liquid diet for a week while in the hospital. The liquid, for the main part, was broth – either beef or chicken. I think it would have been so much easier to handle after a few days of broth for every meal if it had been REAL broth…

    I don’t make broth very often, but when I cook chicken breasts in the crock pot, I save the broth from them. It’s not necessarily a full-fledged broth, but I do believe it still has some benefits! And, yes – if it were seasoned well, I’d definitely drink a nice, warm mug of broth!

  24. Thanks for sharing Katie! I never thought about bone broth being a carrier for garlic. I will definitely start using it for that! (Raw garlic on an empty tummy makes me sick) I definitely need to get going on making more broth. I’ve been out for a while and keep getting sick! Vicious cycle…too tired to make it, then get sick, then too sick to make it. I wish there was a bone broth fairy to get me going again! 🙂 Nevermind, I will just make some today.

  25. I knew it!! Whenever my butcher asked me if I wanted our beef package with bones or no bones, I just had a feeling that there was something good about cooking the meat with the bones in it. I’d asked myself why would a dog go to so much trouble of chewing on a bone all day if it wasn’t good for it. I just knew it “in my bones” 🙂 that it was good for me…thanks for verifing that! Now I’ll just step it up a notch to make the broth with them.

  26. I took one quick look at this post, walked downstairs to heat up a little broth in a pan on the stove (not the microwave) and bring it up in a cup to fully enjoy and appreciate what I was going to read.

    Caution: this post causes cravings!

  27. I add ginger with the veggies, maybe two inches worth, peeled and sliced, for a whole pot of broth. A friend of mine also like to add juice of one lemon at the end (when the stove is off). I haven’t noticed much change in the taste of the broth with these additions.

    Sometimes I pressure cook the chicken by themselves for 30 minutes then debone the chicken. This makes sure the meat is nice and tender, not mushy. But roasting the chickens might be a lot less work.

    Also, would soaking the chickens in saltwater and vinegar the night before help “clean” them beforehand?

    And why not use the slow cooker? I might have missed that somewhere in the posts.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Anna,
      A lot of people use a salt water/vinegar “brine” before roasting or grilling a chicken, but other than adding flavor, I’m not sure what it does.

      And many use the slow cooker, sometimes I do too – Tiffany’s post on Monday lauded the crockpot! http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2013/02/18/back-to-basics-baby-step-monday-mission-no-7-make-bone-broth-regularly/
      🙂 Katie

  28. Hi Katie:

    Are you doing anything in addition to the bone broth, such as fermented foods/beverages at every meal and FCLO?

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Blair,
      I do some fermented foods and the whole family pretty much has a yogurt every day. The kids and I drink water kefir, but not with every meal. And yes, when we remember, FCLO. If I had to draw a correlation to overall health, though, it would be the broth – it’s the ONLY thing we did on your list the first year I was blogging, and I bragged b/c we were so healthy…
      🙂 Katie

      1. Broth is something we are trying to add to our diet on a consistent basis. I have been hit and miss as well. My biggest challenge is getting pastured chickens. Though we live near the country, there are not much available to us. For now I am getting “range free” chicken from the grocery store. Not the best, but better than conventional.

  29. That’s totally how I like to have my broth–out of a coffee mug! I hadn’t made broth in a couple of weeks, but I finally made some just yesterday. I made my kids chicken noodle soup with it at lunch and drank a big mug myself. My kids and I very rarely get sick (and not for long when we do), and I think the homemade bone broth is a big reason for it!
    Oh, and your sleep habits sound like mine. I always say that is the one area in which my healthy living mission really falls apart : )

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Gayle,
      I know…it’s ironic that I write about healthy living but have an on-again-off-again relationship with my bed…

      😉 Katie

      1. Cecilia Capehart

        You know, Katie, Lent is probably a good time to work on getting into the habit of getting more sleep…
        (and thanks for the broth info- a good reminder to buy whole chickens again)

  30. Michelle W. Flannery

    I love bone broth! I can hardly resist a hot cup of broth, especially in the wintertime. I have even used broth frequently for fasting. My problem with broth, however, is how it completely upsets my elimination (bathroom) process. It’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, to say the least. Still, I really love bone broth!

  31. i also love bone broth. i use mostly beef bones from grass fed cows. my daughter(6) tells people “the only reason i like to be sick is brooooooth” even though she gets it when she’s not sick too. 🙂

  32. I was feeling under the weather yesterday and asked my husband to pick up a chicken on his way home. He lovingly made a joke about how most people would request cough drops or cold medicine, but not his hippie wife. She wants a chicken. Ha!! 🙂 Had the bones simmering overnight and I’m making a batch of your garlic soup as we speak! Lord willing, I’ll be all fixed up by tomorrow. 🙂

  33. Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    I got started on bone broth a year ago via The Nourished Kitchen. We drink it all the time…at first I had a continuous pot, but really didn’t care for the taste as much as a 48 cook in the slow cooker. And I don’t like the vinegar flavor either so I do it without…guess I need some statistics on that to change. I believe the broth helps us stay healthy…and I know that when I don’t indulge my elbows hurt. Crazy, but true. I’m not sure that I’m buying the best chicken…I get the one that’s natural at the market…veg feed…but really can’t afford to pay $30 or more for a chicken at the farm and I don’t even know what grains the chicks eat though they are pastured for sure. Anyway…the broth tastes better and better each time you drink it. I just add a bit of Celtic Sea Salt and yummy in my tummy. We also drink it for fasts….which doesn’t hardly seem like a fast because it’s so delicious and satisfying. I could go on and on how much I love it. And soup…my husband has had homemade soup elsewhere and he says it doesn’t hold a candle to mine. I think homemade bone broth is the secret ingredient. Tonight we’re going to have french onion soup from beef broth I cooked up. Smells yummy. Can’t wait for supper tonight. 😀 Love your blog BTW!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Diane,
      Your elbows are proof enough – whatever you’re doing is working! It is VERY cool to hear a real-life testimony of the joint pain issue. Thank you!
      🙂 Katie

  34. Broth is amazing stuff! I need to make it more often that I do!

    My FIL recently shared a story about his grandfather, who lived into his 90s with absolutely no arthritis. He attributed it to his weekly batch of oxtail soup and the large amount of broth he regularly ate/drank.

  35. Do you recommend pressure canning bone broth? Our freezer space is limited but we have a large area to store canned foods.

    1. I don’t think Katie pressure cans, but I swear by it. It takes time, so I tend to hoard bones and then a few times a year make several huge batches, say 18 qts a batch and can the broth. I spend most of the day in the kitchen canning, but then I have broth whenever I need it for months on end.

      I actually use my canner as my biggest stock pot, it is 23 qts and can fit 2 turkey carcases at once!

    2. We have pressure-canned broth/stock. It works just like you’d expect. MUCH easier than freezing and waiting for bags or containers of it to defrost.

      Our main issue is getting enough meat/bones to MAKE stock. We don’t generally buy meat just for stock unless it is really cheap.

  36. Katie! You are undoing all of your healthy eating by neglecting sleep! I agree, you need a one month challenge. Great blog material. Minimum of 6 hours per night. 8+ and you would feel like a new woman. We love bone broth, chicken and venison, yum!

    1. We love broth too, chicken turkey, antelope, elk – do you make bone broth from deer? We haven’t been able to make that palatable – not sure if it is what the deer eats (ours are forest fed, no farmland around here). We have the most bones from the deer though, and I’d love to be able to figure out how to love it! I’ve tried it with wild ducks too, but that wasn’t so awesome either. The ducks had been smoked first, and the broth smelled a little bit like an ashtray. I couldn’t get past the smell.

      1. we do venison broth. roast the bones first. it tastes better with a little bit of meat on the bone. I use acv while cooking and only cook for about 12-24 hrs. same with rabbit back. its like chicken.

      2. Yes! We do it like Leah described. I make sure to throw in a foot with the lower knee joint for a good gel. Our deer generally come out of the cornfield, so I’m sure that helps with the taste a bit.

  37. Just finished my first batch of broth, put it in the fridge to cool before jarring it, sat down to relax in front of the computer while the baby naps, pulled up your website and voila! Reasons to drink bone broth. soooo…. i got up took my big bowl out and ladled myself a cup on broth while reading this article! Perfection! 🙂 This is so cool!! lol

  38. I’ve been a little negligent when it comes to broth, thanks for the reminder!
    And please try to figure out how to get yourself to bed earlier 🙂 I find it really does make a difference in health, productivity and how I deal with others.

    1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Jacqueline,
      “How I deal with others…” — I’m sure my children would appreciate a more well-rested mommy, too. Hmmmm….

  39. Jenn @ A Simple Haven

    I’ve never drank bone broth by itself, but your post is making me want to! It seems like everyone I know (slight exaggeration) is doing GAPS and I maybe hopping on that bandwagon soon. Here’s to a cup of yummy broth! 🙂

  40. Jen @ BigBinder

    I am loving the bone broth! It’s weird because before it all tasted the same, but now that I make my own when I have to rely on the ‘boxed’ stuff (Meijer Organic…) it tastes TOTALLY different. My kids can taste the difference between chicken and turkey too – I am loving this series; and am trying to get bone broth into mashed potatoes, rice, and every other place I can sneak it in!

    1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Jen,
      I always thought I couldn’t tell the difference either, but I used a carton from Costco- made with bones – last month and oof. Totally different soup. I”m not a fan. Definitely only in broth emergencies!
      😉 Katie

  41. I made the most bestest broth ever this week. OK, started with cooking chicken legs, onions, garlic and carrots in crock pot. Then took off the skins and fried them with the onions and alone until brown and crispy. What we,really I, didn’t eat of the broken crispyness went back in for broth. It is dark golden brown and super flavorful. Even a hit with my daughter who doesn’t like broth too much.
    Question: what about if I don’t totally trust the source of the chickens? Local but definitely raised in greenhouses. Mostly I worry about the fat.
    And lastly, Katie, you deserve more sleep! Take care of yourself. Do a one month challenge to get 8 or even 9 hours. You will be amazed. As important as the food piece!

    1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Christina,
      I know, I know…a one-month challenge is probably not a bad idea. Hopefully enough people will “mother” me into it like you are! 😉 Good positive peer pressure.

      MMmmmm on your broth!

      If I think the chicken is less than idea, I would skim the fat – some say not to bother making broth, but seriously – bones are better than no bones at all! So I always grab turkey bones from family get togethers even though they’re just CAFO turkeys. I just can’t avoid everything…

      🙂 Katie

      1. You should do a challenge on the blog! Wouldn’t that fit in terms of stewardship of your body? OK. Going to try to start a petition on FB!

      2. I second the skimming suggestion. The budget just can’t handle “best choice” chickens right now so I’m using really cheap and nasty bits and skimming the fat. Not so great for immunity or bone building (we need calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and K2 for that, the latter two being fat-soluble), but the upside is that the soup doesn’t burn the living daylights out of you when you sip it hot!
        Drinking “plain soup” seemed bizarre to me 2 years ago. I do it all the time now 🙂 (ps: the salt isn’t just for medicinal purposes – it makes the broth 10x better too!)

  42. That was a great article! Very helpful. Although I feel a bit sad for you that your husband doesn’t help with the kids during the night more….

    1. Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Nikki,
      Don’t feel sad – there are nights that the roles are totally reversed. 4yo had an ear infection last week and woke up 20-30 times in the night, and I only did the midnight – 1 a.m. shift; he took the rest and was powered by coffee all day. 😉 Katie

  43. Every time my husband is sick he drinks it. (I don’t really get sick, but have been taking plague tonic lately.) I gave my father in law some bone broth when he was down to visit and sick, and he loved it! I am a believer, but I need to make it more often!

  44. i have thought about doing this, but haven’t tried it. we use bone broth in so many of our meals, but drinking it during sick season is a great idea.

  45. Christy @ Modern Wellness

    This has to be the most succinct article on why to use bone broth that I’ve read so far. Thanks for sharing your wisdom (I’ll be sharing it with others).

    I love bone broth and I think it would be a great way to start the day…especially these cold grey ones. 🙂

  46. Kaitlin Jenkins

    I haven’t but I’m intrigued. I love broth, the slight saltiness and the warmth are very appealing to me. I have made both beef and chicken stocks in the last week so I might have to give this a go. I could even see adding some orzo to it and having that for lunch one day.

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