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Bone Broth Ingredients | Everything You Need to Make The Perfect Bone Broth

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Getting a nutrient-dense bone broth is all about using the right bone broth ingredients. It’s more than just placing bones, herbs, and spices in a pot and simmering for as long as you want.

While there is no limit to the number of ingredients you can use, there are some ingredients that offer more nutrients than others. There are also some boosters which do not really offer any nutrients but draw the nutrients out of other ingredients.

There is a lot you should know about bone broth ingredients. You can find yourself getting a lot more benefits even if you use only a few ingredients when making your bone broth.

In this article, we are going to talk about the perfect bone broth ingredients that will give you a nutrient-dense bone broth.

What is Bone Broth?

Bone broth is a liquid made from simmering the bones of animals with spices, vegetables, and herbs. The end result is a nutrient-dense liquid. Bone broth offers a lot of health benefits due to the presence of a lot of beneficial nutrients in the broth.

These beneficial nutrients come from the ingredients used. This is why it is important to use the right ingredients when making bone broth.

Bone Broth Ingredients. Everything You Need to Make The Perfect Bone Broth

Bones

Collagen, glycosaminoglycans, glycine, etc are some of the nutrients you can get from the bones of a well-cooked bone broth. These nutrients offer a lot of benefits to the body but you can only get them if you use the right bone parts.

If you’re using chicken bones, then you have to go for chicken wings, feet, neck and backbones. These parts have the highest concentrations of these nutrients

For beef bones, you will have to go for the marrow bones, short rib, knuckles, and oxtail

For fish bones, you can go for the fish head or the entire carcass.

If you’re using the slow cooker or stockpot, you will have to simmer these bones for about 24 hours to get the nutrients out of them.

Pressure cookers like Instant Pot make things a little easier. You’ll only have to cook the bones at high pressure for about 3 hours. You’ll still end up with a nutritious broth with an even better flavor.

Herbs, Spices, and Vegetables

Carrots

Carrots are very important ingredients. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These nutrients offer a lot of health benefits.

Carrots contain vitamin A which boosts eye health and prevent eye problems and diseases. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to problems with vision and xerophthalmia – an eye disease that results in night blindness. Carrots also contain other nutrients like potassium and fiber which help to reduce blood pressure.

When adding carrots to your bone broth, make sure you chop them into smaller pieces first.

Celery

The benefits you’ll get from adding celery to bone broth are numerous. The vegetable contains a lot of nutrients which offer a lot of health benefits. It is rich in vitamins like vitamin A, K, and C.

Celery contains apigenin which could reduce inflammation and prevent cancer. It is also helpful in the prevention and treatment of ulcers.

Onions

Onions are high in vitamins and minerals that offer a lot of benefits to the body. They make for a perfect bone broth ingredient due to the presence of these nutrients. Onions contain vitamins B and C which play very important roles in the body.

Red onions contain anthocyanins which have been showed to reduce the risk of heart disease.

When adding onions to your bone broth, ensure that they are properly chopped.

Bay leaves

Bay leaves are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins. They also contain minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Bay leaves can improve the flavor of the broth. It will be a great addition for those who do not like to blanch or roast the bones used in making the bone broth.

Peppercorns

Peppercorns are not really added for the benefit they offer but used to spice up the broth. However, they do offer some health benefits. Peppercorns contain capsaicin – a pain-relieving property that can help relieve joint pain.

It can also prevent allergies and fungal infections due to the presence of the capsaicin.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular ingredients in all bone broth recipes. It offers a lot of benefits, however, it is mostly used for its acidic properties.

Apple cider vinegar is used to draw out the nutrients in the bone. In some recipes, you’ll have to add the apple cider vinegar to the bones before adding the other ingredients.

In other recipes, you can go ahead and add everything at once. Whichever one you use, you’ll still get the same result if you simmer for at least 24 hours.

There are many other ingredients like parsley, ginger, garlic, parsnips, and seaweed that can be added to bone broth. These other ingredients do offer a lot of health benefits and you can add them if you want something more from your bone broth.

The ingredients we’ve talked about are the most popular. They offer most of the benefits you can get from a well-cooked bone broth.

How to Make Bone Broth Using Stockpot / Slow Cooker

The stockpot and slow cooker are two different types of cooking equipment. But when it comes to making bone broth with both of them, there is not much difference. You will have to simmer for about 24 hours when using both cookers to make bone broth.

Ingredients

  • Bones (chicken bones or beef bones or a mixture of both bones)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • bay leaves
  • black peppercorns
  • Apple cider vinegar

Instructions

Before you start, you can choose to blanch and roast the bones. Blanching is simply cooking the bones in water for about 20 minutes.

Roasting your bones is optional, but we recommend it. Roasting the bones improves the flavor of the broth. We don’t usually add salt to our recipes because the roasting takes care of the flavor.

To roast the bones, you’ll have to place them in a frying pan and place the pan in the oven. Your oven should be heated to 400F before placing the pan inside. Heat for 5 – 10 minutes, and then flip the bones to the side and heat for another 5 – 10 minutes.

  1. Place the roasted bones in the pot (stovetop or slow cooker). Add the other ingredients and fill the pot with water.
  2. Turn on the heat to a high and cook for an hour. While cooking for the first hour, leave the lid open and scoop off the foam that rises to the top. (stovetop only)
  3. Close the lid after the first hour and turn the heat to a medium-low. Cook for 24 hours if you’re using chicken and/or beef bones. If you’re using fish bones then you only need to simmer for 8 hours.
  4. When done, turn off the heat and allow the broth to cool for a while.
  5. Strain the broth through a strainer. Discard the solids until you’re left with the liquid (broth).
  6. Pour the broth into mason jars and place them in the refrigerator to cool. You can leave them in the refrigerator for at most 5 days. The freezer can preserve the broth for about 3 months.
  7. When ready to serve, skim off the layer of fat on the broth and reheat it to your desired temperature. You can add spices or herbs to boost the flavor.

How to Make Bone Broth Using Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot

The ingredients remain the same, however, there are some changes to the cooking process.

Instant Pot is one of the most popular and reliable pressure cookers on the market. Nevertheless, this recipe will work regardless of the type of pressure cooker you’re using.

The advantage of using a pressure cooker over a slow cooker is that you wouldn’t have to simmer for 24 hours anymore. Within 3 hours, you can get a well-cooked bone broth with just the right flavor.

Ingredients

  • Bones (chicken bones or beef bones or a mixture of both bones)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • bay leaves
  • black peppercorns
  • Apple cider vinegar

You can follow the blanching and roasting guide already stated above or go ahead to cooking with raw bones.

Instructions

  1. Add all your ingredients (bones, spices, herbs, and vegetables) including the apple cider vinegar into the pressure cooker. Fill the pot with enough water but make sure the water level is below the max line
  2. Set the pressure cooker to high pressure for 3 hours. 3 hours is good enough if you’re using chicken or beef bones. If you’re using fish bones, then you should cook for about 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. When done, allow the pressure cooker to depressurize naturally. This should take about 10 minutes.  
  4. Strain the liquid through a strainer and discard the solids.
  5. Pour the liquid into jars and allow it to cool in the refrigerator for an hour.
  6. When ready to serve, you simply reheat the broth to your desired temperature. You can add as many spices and herbs as you want.
  7. You can store the broth for about 5 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer.

How To Drink Bone Broth

Wondering when you should drink bone broth? There is no official answer to this. You can drink bone broth in the morning or just before 7pm.

Another popular question on drinking bone broth is about the recommended amount to consume one a daily basis. If you’re buying bone broth from stores, then you’ll notice that it is measured in ounces.

The recommended amount to consume is usually between 6 – 12 ounces or 2 – 4 a day. While bone broth offers a lot of health benefits, drinking too much of it wouldn’t do any good.

If you’re taking broth for weight loss, then its best you stick to the diet plan. If you’re not using a diet plan, then you can follow the recommendation above.

There are a lot of ways to make bone broth and we’ve listed some of them below.

Sip it

Take it out of the refrigerator, reheat it, pour into a cup and take a sip. This is usually how most people consume their bone broth. Remember, you can add some spices and herbs to improve the flavor while reheating.

If you roasted the bones before cooking, you’ll notice that your bone broth has a richer flavor compared to when you use raw bones.

Mix It

You can do more with bone broth than just drinking it. You can take mix it in your stew, homemade tomato sauce, and marinade. Bone broth powders make for an excellent seasoning ingredient.

There are more options like adding it to your milkshake or yoghurt. With bone broth, you can never really go wrong. However, you might not always end with a great flavor if you mix your bone broth with just anything.  

Storing Bone Broth

When storing bone broth, you should only store in jars. You should always go for plastic jars and not those made of glass. Glass jars will pose a problem if the broth freezes.

Remember, you can store bone broth for less than 5 days in the refrigerator and less than 3 months in the freezer.

During storage, a fat layer will form at the top of the broth. You should skim off the layer before reheating the broth.

Conclusion

The perfect bone broth ingredients make a nutrient-packed bone broth. It is not all about how many ingredients you’re using, but about how many nutrients the ingredients you use contain.

By following our recipes, you will always end up with a great broth. As for the ingredients, you can add more if you feel like they will make a great addition to the broth.

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