Making your own broth might be out of your culinary comfort zone, but GFF Magazine is here to tell you why the health benefits make the extra effort totally worth it.
Leading nutrition education organization Weston A. Price Foundation says the health benefits of bone broth range from helping fight off a cold to improving skin and athletic performance to healing the digestive tract after a round of antibiotics or a celiac diagnosis. With that reputation it's no wonder chicken soup is commonly called "Jewish penicillin."
There are two main benefits to making your own broth. The first is culinary; compared to even the highest-quality store-bought broth, a homemade one has more flavor. The second is price; buying it can be expensive, while making your own leverages leftovers you'd otherwise throw away.
You can make bone broth on the stovetop, in the oven, or in a slow cooker (the best way to go if you don't want the smell of broth wafting through your house; you can purchase one with a vapor seal, which holds in aromas, or plug it in in a closed room or garage). Most important is that you use bones from healthy, organically or pasture-raised animals, which tend to have more mineral- and nutrient-dense bones and will make for a very healthful bone broth. Don't be daunted by the long cooking time involved in making bone broth; you can make a big batch at one time and freeze much of it, making subsequent meals much easier and more delicious.
You will want to prepare your broth unsalted to allow for more control if you use it later in other dishes. Regardless, all bone broths are delicious to drink when simply seasoned with a little garlic, fresh herbs, and a pinch of salt. They also form the basis of wonderful sauces, stews, soups, and the liquid for braising meats and vegetables. Once prepared, bone broth can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to six months.
- 3 to 4 pounds fish, chicken, pork, or beef bones, preferably with some meaty parts
2 tablespoons vinegar
Optional additions: onion peels, carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, turmeric, or dried mushrooms
- In a large pot, combine the bones and vinegar with 6 quarts of water and slowly bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.
- Skim off any foam that rises to the top, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cooking time varies based on the meat you are using (fish: 2-4 hours; chicken: 12-24 hours; pork or beef: 48 hours).
- When the cooking time is complete, strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve.
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