What kind of nutritional benefits does bone broth offer?
Bone broth is a source of minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium, in forms that your body can easily absorb. It’s also rich in glycine and proline, amino acids not found in significant amounts in muscle meat (the vast majority of the meat we consume). It also contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain. Finally, “soup bones” include collagen, a protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals, which is abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. (The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.)
What are the benefits of consuming a properly prepared bone broth?
Proline and glycine are important for a healthy gut and digestion, muscle repair and growth, a balanced nervous system, and strong immune system. In fact, a study of chicken broth conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. (There’s a reason your mom always made you chicken soup when you were sick.)
The gelatin in bone broth can help to heal a leaky gut, which may be of specific benefit those with inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. These compounds also reduce joint pain, reduce inflammation, prevent bone loss, and build healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Finally, the glycine in gelatin is excellent for sleep, so you can curl up with a nice warm mug of bone broth before bed.
Can I just buy broth from the grocery store?
Nope. Broth (often labelled “stock”) from the grocery store relies on high temperature, fast-cooking techniques, which result in a watered down, non-gelling liquid, so you’re missing out on some of the benefits of a gelatin-rich broth. In addition, unnatural additives (like MSG) and flavors are often added. If you just need a small amount for a recipe, store-bought stuff will do, but if you’re interested in the healing properties of bone broth, you either have to make it yourself, or buy it frozen from a supplier who follows the ‘old fashioned way’ of simmering broth. Arizona Grass Raised Beef Co., does exactly that.
If I decide to make it myself, do I have to get grass-fed or pastured bones, or organic bones?
You should. The animals have to be healthy to impart the maximum health benefit to you, and factory-farmed animals are the furthest thing from healthy. (And of course, we don’t want to encourage more purchasing of factory-farmed animals.) Do your best to seek out pastured chicken or 100% grassfed and grassfinished beef bones.
Should I mix in the fat?
This is a personal choice. Feel free to stir the fat into our broth, but if you prefer a broth with less fat, you can always use the included fat as a skin lotion! Of course, if you decide to make your own broth never eat the fat if you’re using bones from animals that are conventionally raised.
Why do you add vinegar to the broth?
Adding an acid (like lemon juice or vinegar) helps to extract minerals from the bones. We use a mild-flavored apple cider vinegar to maintain a neutral taste to our broth.
Why do we roast our bones first?
Roasting imparts a rich flavor and color to our broth.
Why is our broth so jiggly?
That’s the gelatin, it’s a great sign. When cool, it makes our broth look a little like meat Jell-O. No worries—just heat it gently on the stovetop and it will return to a liquid state.
How do I consume my broth?
We like to drink a mug of it, just like you would coffee or tea. In fact, a warm cup of broth is a great way to start your morning, try drinking 8 ounces a day, every day. Of course, you can use it in recipes wherever it calls for broth or stock, or turn it into a base for your favorite soup.
How long will broth keep in the refrigerator and freezer?
Keep broth in the fridge for no longer than 5-6 days. It will keep in the freezer for up to a year.
How should I store frozen bone broth?
For an easy addition of small amounts of broth to recipes, store some in an ice cube tray in the freezer. One cube is about an ounce, so recipes that call for 1/4 cup of broth would take 2 cubes, 1/2 a cup is 4 cubes, etc. You can store larger amounts in the container it arrives in or in glass mason jars, but be sure to let the broth cool down before transferring to glass. Finally, make sure you leave enough space in a glass container for the frozen broth to expand—otherwise, the glass could break.