Ok, so maybe it isn’t really magical, but if you read or listen to any health experts these days, paleo or otherwise, you will know that bone broth is pretty darn good for you. It’s a staple that should be in every freezer. I use it in tons of my recipes so I wanted to let you know how I make it. Besides simply needing it on hand for my recipes, here are a few other really good reasons to make your own broth:
- if you make your own, you know exactly what’s in it – and what isn’t
- you are spending good money on quality meat, so use every bit of it, including the bones, skin, even the gristle!
- it’s super easy
- when you get sick or someone in your family gets sick, you will be ready with some nutritious soup to nurse them back to health
- it really, truly is a super food, containing loads of minerals and amino acids which are known to improve joint health, soft tissues like hair and skin, and boost your immune system, just to name a few
- some folks say that because it has a positive effect on collagen production, it can even help reduce cellulite
Is that enough to convince you of the virtues of bone broth?
I almost always make chicken broth, simply because we eat a lot more chicken with bones than any other meat. Whole Foods sells grass-fed beef bones for about $6 per pound and I think that’s a little high for something they were just going to throw away. There are farmers that are giving them away, I just haven’t had time to reach out to one yet. We used to belong to a meat CSA and with each order they threw in a bag of bones. Most people don’t want them because they don’t know what to do with them.
You have a couple of options for procuring the bones you will use to make your broth: save them from the meat you cook, buy from your grocery or butcher, or find a local farmer and see what they have to offer.
I typically keep a bag of bones in my freezer. Sounds yucky, I know. It’s not really worth making a batch of broth with four chicken leg bones, so I save up every time we eat chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken. All the leftover bones and skin go into a zip top bag in the freezer until I have enough to make a batch of broth – usually about three pounds.
*Just a little side note: if you typically buy boneless and skinless chicken, try buying it with the bones and skin. It is $2-4 cheaper per pound and even more importantly, adds more flavor to your dishes, and you get those valuable bones!
It’s sort of a joke in my house that it always smells like chicken soup. Invariably, whenever I have people over, I have a pot of stock simmering on the stove. I think it’s a very comforting smell. It might smell a little bit like a grandma’s house. I happened to love my grandmas, so that’s a-okay with me.
I hope you’ll make some broth soon, especially if you’ve never done it before. You’ll be surprised how different it is from what you can buy in those cans or boxes. And how many delicious recipes you can make with it!
One more thing: if you’re still blessed with living grandmas, go see them or call them up and tell them you love them! Maybe take over a pot of soup.