Bone Broth Recipe
Chinese Medicine Properties: warming, hot in nature, Kidney and adrenal yang, blood and qi building
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6-12 hours
Bone broth is used as a nourishing food in many traditional cultures. It can be dressed up with many different flavors and seasonings to suit your taste or it can be kept simple. Bone broth can be used as a stand-alone tonic, consumed hot to start a meal, as a snack, or it can be used as a base for soups and other dishes to increase their nutritional value. Bone broth nourishes our blood, Kidney and adrenal qi, and as such is a great way to boost the energy we have to use throughout the day. It is extremely warming to our bodies and helps to keep blood circulating from our core (Kidney Qi) all the way to our fingers and toes. If you are feeling run down or chilled and can’t seem to keep yourself warm this winter, bone broth is the way to go. It is very high in easily absorbable calcium as well as many other minerals and micronutrients that our bodies need to function optimally. Bone broth is also a great way to keep our immune systems strong in the colder months. It’s high protein and low carb too!
When cold, the natural gelatin and collagen (yes, it’s really good for your skin!) will become thick and gelatinous. The thicker it is, the more of the good stuff you extracted from the ingredients! When you heat it up it will become a smooth liquid again.
Feel free to play around with amounts and proportions of ingredients. It is an art, not a science.
- Organic or otherwise high quality beef bone cut to expose marrow. (2-4 lbs per about 8-12 cups of water, you experiment with amounts here). Poultry bones can be used as well, and while still very nutritious will have less blood building properties and will be slightly less medicinal. You can ask for them at your local butcher shop or meat counter.
- Ginger root (recommended)
- Garlic and/or onion
- Apple cider vinegar (at least 2 tbs, this will break down the minerals in the bone and release into the broth)
- Dried Seaweed (optional, but recommended- this will enhance the Kidney and adrenal supportive properties of the broth, helping to increase energy and vitality)
- Unrefined salt (good quality sea salt or Himalayan rock salt is recommended)
- Veggies or veggie scraps (peels, ends, unused pieces etc) are optional and add to nutritional content and flavor
- Spices, hot peppers, seasonings, vinegars to taste (optional)
- Blood and Qi Tonic Chinese Herb Blend (optional, but recommended!)
Throw it all in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 12 hours (can also be cooked in a stove-top pot for 3-6 hours on a higher heat, but watch carefully). If the liquid seems to be getting too low you can add more water as needed. Folks often ask about making it in an InstantPot or pressure cooker. I have experimented with this and unfortunately I find that the results are a much weaker broth. This is due to the fact that in a pressure cooker the bones aren’t being agitated by the boil (the contents of a pressure cooker are very still), and the pressure cooker isn’t able to extract the same amount of nutrition from the bones. My recommendation is to use a crock pot or stove top.
Strain out liquid, discard solids. Let cool in refrigerator until fat accumulates on top and solidifies, scoop off fat and discard. Store in airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 5 days. Use as stock for soup, in cooking, or drink as a broth daily to strengthen kidney yang, regulate body temperature, get an extra energy boost, build blood, and support immune system. If you want to save time and keep yourself stocked we recommend making a big batch and freezing whatever amount you know you won’t finish in 5 days. You can freeze it in individual servings and just take one out and defrost it as needed, or in batches of up to 5 days-worth all together. Pro-tip: try freezing it in a silicone cupcake pan and pop the individual blocks into a freezer bag once solid. Take out one big bone broth ice cube at a time and defrost in a pot on the stove as needed, it only takes a minute and you’ll never accidentally let it spoil in the fridge!
For optimal health we always recommend making food from scratch whenever possible, including bone broth, but sometimes we just can’t make it happen with our schedules or other limitations. When that’s the case, a solid next best option for bone broth is a good dehydrated bone broth powder.