Bone broth isn’t just any broth – it’s slow-simmered for as long as 24 hours, which means that more nutrients – including collagen-rich protein – are pulled into the savory broth. In today’s FUELED Wellness, Molly shares the health benefits of bone broth, what to look for on labels, and how to get more in our diets.
Bone broth is becoming more and more readily available, with affordable, ready-made options in stores. Sip it hot by the cupful or use it as a base for your favorite soup.
Collagen-rich broth provides our body with essential amino acid building blocks, which, along with other health benefits, helps to support our body’s ability to repair connective tissue like tendons, ligaments and cartilage.
Bone broth (typically beef, chicken, or turkey) is made by simmering the meat and bones, usually with vegetables, herbs, and spices. It’s cooked for hours – as long as 24 hours – so that more nutrients – including protein-rich collagen – are pulled into the broth.
Use bone broth in place of regular stock or broth in
- Soups, stews, gumbo, pho
- Stuffings and dressings
- Savory sauces and gravies
- Grain-based dishes (e.g. brown rice, wild rice, quinoa)
- Bloody Mary mix for a Bloody Bull Cocktail
- One cup of bone broth typically has 35-50 calories and 30-50 grams of protein.
- Sodium varies by brand from 95 mg to nearly 600 mg sodium per cup; higher-sodium, electrolyte-rich bone broth can be an excellent option for athletes who need the extra sodium
Top Picks Store-bought Bone Broths & Soups (note: most varieties are moderate-to-high in sodium):
Pacific Organic Bone Broth (chicken or turkey) – available in quarts & grab-&-go single serving cartons
- Per cup: 35 calories, 400 mg sodium, 0 fat, 0 carbs, 9 grams protein
- Single-serving cartons available with herbs like lemongrass, ginger, rosemary & sage
Kettle & Fire Bone Broth and Bone Broth Soup – $6.50-$8.99 per 16.9oz
- Per cup: 140-190 calories, 520-630 mg sodium, 10-15 grams fat, 3-7 grams carbs, 8-12 grams protein
- Flavors include Thai Curry, Miso, Tomato, Butter Curry
Power Provisions Bone Broth Soup – $2.99 per heat-and-sip container
- 210 calories, 13 grams fat, 660 mg sodium, 5 grams carbs, 17 grams protein
- Flavors include Coconut Thai, Creamy Tomato, Broccoli Cheddar
How to make Bone Broth (from www.thekitchn.com)
- 2 pounds mixed beef bones, short ribs, oxtails, knuckles, and neck bones (see Recipe Note)
- 3 quarts water, plus more as needed to cover
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large yellow onion
Preheat oven to 400°F and rinse the bones. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Place the bones in a colander, rinse under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels.
Roast the bones for 30 minutes. Arrange the bones in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden-brown, about 30 minutes.
Cover the bones with water and the vinegar and rest for 30 minutes. Transfer the hot bones to a large stockpot. Add the water and vinegar and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Bring the pot to a simmer over high heat. Bring the water to a rapid simmer over high heat.
Skim the broth for the first hour. Immediately turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Check the pot occasionally, skimming off any foam that collects on the surface and adding additional water as needed to keep the ingredients covered. Cover and keep the broth at a low simmer for 24 hours.
Add the onions and carrots and cook for another 12 to 24 hours. Add the carrots and onions and continue to simmer for 12 to 24 hours more, adding more filtered water as needed to keep the bones covered. The broth is done when it is a rich golden-brown and the bones are falling apart at the joints.
Strain the bone broth. When the broth is finished, strain and cool the bone broth as quickly as possible. Set a strainer over a large pot or even a stand mixer bowl and line it with cheesecloth if desired. Carefully strain the bone broth into it. Discard the spent bits of bone and vegetables.
Cool the bone broth and store. Prepare an ice bath by either filling a sink or basin with cold water and ice and set the pot of broth inside the ice bath. Stir regularly until the broth is cooled to about 50°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer the broth to airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate for up to five days or freeze up to 3 months.
Molly Kimball, RD, CSSD is a registered dietitian + nutrition journalist in New Orleans, and founder of Ochsner Eat Fit nonprofit restaurant initiative. Tune in to her podcast, FUELED | Wellness + Nutrition and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @MollyKimballRD. See more of Molly’s articles + TV segments at www.mollykimball.com, and sign up for Eat Fit Wellness Bites weekly newsletter, here.