Yesterday I spoke to CBS about bone broth (segment airs Christmas week); Carolyn is going to “break” things down for us today.
Bone broth is the new “hot” beverage (literally) of the season. Truth be told it’s not really new but newly popular thank in part to paleo peeps and GAPS diet. It’s gaining a cult following similar to kombucha. But let’s get to the “bare bones” if you will… bone broth, yay or stay away?
What is bone broth?
As the name implies bone broth is made from chicken, beef or fish bones slowly cooked for 12 or more hours. While the thought of slurping on bone leftovers might make you lose your appetite, it’s not that different from regular old chicken stock. The main difference is that store-bought stock is cooked at high temperature for a short amount of time. Stock is about flavor and not about extracting goodness from the bones.
So, why bones?
Bones are nutritional powerhouses. During cooking, collagen from the bone breaks down into gelatin and this is where the goodness comes from. It’s a super rich source of minerals including calcium and amino acids. Also present are glucosamine and chondroitin names you may recognize from commonly used joint supplements. Whether you are arthritic or just achy from exercise, bone broth can help. Gelatin also benefits our skin, digestive tract and immune system.
How do you make bone broth?
You can heat broth and put in thermos, nuking not suggested
Confession, we don’t (or haven’t yet). You can use leftover bones from roasting a chicken etc. but we’d suggesting asking your butcher for marrow or soup bones (we hear chicken feet are great), you need a couple pounds of bones.  You place bones in a pot or slow cooker, cover with water, add apple cider vinegar which helps extract nutrients from bone and onions, garlic and any flavorings. Be careful to simmer and not boil the broth and then wait and wait. This is at least a 12-hour process (and we thought highlights were time consuming). When you’re done cooking you’ll strain and chill the broth (you can freeze some in jars). They key to this is that the result should resemble brown J-e-l-l-o (vom). Bone broth is not a looker.
Or, you can buy bone broth
Perfect on a cold day
If you’re like us, you can buy bone broth at Brodo (Lauren suggests chili oil and fresh turmeric “toppings”) on the LES or Bone Deep and Harmony. Rumor has it Hudson & Charles in the west village is brothing too as are our friends at Food Matters. There are also online retailers. Sally Fallon has a new broth cookbook that was sold out on Amazon the last I checked (but available at B &N). Pacific foods have also joined the bone broth brigade but we’re not sure how we feel about this yet.
Children of nutritionists must try bone broth (he loved it, stole his mother’s)
Any downside or concerns?
The haters will say there’s not a lot of research on bone broth, which is a legit point, but there’s a long history of use that means a lot to us.
You also want to watch the pot or vessel you cook in. Ceramic has some lead concerns so stainless steel is the way to go.  And finally you must use quality bones from organic chickens or grass fed beef. Animals store pesticides and hormones in their fat and you don’t want to drink that.
So, Yay or Step Away?
Lauren was asked if bone broth is a miracle and if bone broth will replace coffee? We don’t believe in food miracles nor do we have plans to “replace coffee”. However, bone broth made from grass-fed beef bones is full of omega-3’s and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which reduces inflammation and may decrease body fat. So, sip your way slim?
We say “yay” bone broth is a delicious and warming ritual for winter. With any healthy food, to feel the max benefits, it needs to be a regular part of your diet. Try a cup of broth a day or use it when making other soups or stews. If it’ll prevent us from getting sick, make us less achy with better skin and digestion? We’re in.
Have you tried bone broth? Do you make it? Are we silly for being squeamish about making it? Or are you phobic too? 


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