Bone Broth

Make Bone Broth for a nourishing, mineral-rich base for soups, casseroles  and vegetable dishes. Include all the fat, gelatin and marrow for extra nutrition.


Get some bones. These can be soup bones bought from the butcher, or bones left over from meat or fish eaten off the bone. (If you want chicken bones, a whole free-range chicken that you cut into parts is less expensive than buying already-cut pieces of chicken)
Cook or roast the bones. (Make sure to use high heat if using pork bones.)  Save the fat and gelatin and store in freezer. Remove (eat or freeze) the meat from the bones.

To make the broth, put as much as will fit into an oven-safe glass (Pyrex), baked enamel or ceramic casserole or pan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam and then reduce heat to a simmer or transfer to a slow cooker. Simmer, keeping the pot covered, until the bones are soft enough that you can crush them with your fingers. (I use a slow cooker; I cook it till it begins to fizzle, then I turn the cooker off - usually overnight -- and put it back on when it has cooled off or the next morning. You want to keep it at an occasional small bubble breaking the surface, not a full rolling boil.)

If you cannot keep this at low heat all the time, bring it to a boil at least once a day to prevent the growth of bacteria.

Take broth from the bowl when you need stock for soup, or just drink a cup of bone broth every day (1/2 cup with lunch and dinner, for example). Refill with water and keep simmering over very low heat.

Gelatin: To make gelatin you need to keep the water temperature low and not add too much water. The first time you use bones to make broth, use a slow cooker or heat diffuser and barely cover with water. After it has slow cooked for at least a day, take the liquid out and put it in the fridge or someplace cold. The next day, there will be a layer of fat on the top, and gelatin underneath. Remove the fat and store for other uses. Add the gelatin to food for added nutrition.If you have some gelatin from the bottom of the pan when you roasted the chicken, be sure to add that to your bone broth if you are not using it to make something else to eat. The gelatin is one of the most nutritious parts of the chicken.

The bones of a chicken will keep producing bone broth for many days. Just refill with water and full-array salt as you take broth out.

 Congee: As above, but add a tablespoon of brown rice or other whole grain for every pint of liquid. Serve in a bowl with Chinese lettuce or other raw vegetables of your choice.

 Stock: Make as for bone broth, but add onions or the unusable parts of onions (skin and ends) or other vegetables such as celery leaves to the pot in a garnish bag or make your own bag with cheesecloth or muslin. Replace onions every gallon or week or so.

Long exposure to heat oxidizes fats, making them rancid. When starting bone broth, skim off the fat after a couple hours and store it in the freezer for further use.

Bone broth is an excellent source of minerals that will be easily used by your body, and it is very frugal to make.

Add kelp or other edible seaweed to your bone broth for added nutrition and taste.


In February, 2013, a PubMed article was released implying that bone broth could contain high levels of lead and suggesting that doctors treating people with attention deficit disorders may want to avoid recommending bone broth to their patients. The publisher of the article is a company called Elsevier. Elsevier has been sued in the past over allegations that psycho-drug manufacturer Merck paid Elsevier "to publish the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine, which had the appearance of being a peer-reviewed academic journal but in fact contained only articles favourable to Merck drugs". ( Merck manufactures ritalin, prozac and other psycho-active drugs which would be the beneficiary if more people with mental illnesses were treated with Merck drugs rather than things like bone broth. There is currently a boycott against Elsevier because of its support of efforts to restrict internet freedom and prevent open access to medical information (

To avoid getting bones that contain lead, get animals from known sources that were raised naturally on mineral-rich diets.To protect against accumulating lead in the body when a food source is unknown, take a lot of mixed, earth-sourced minerals such as powdered dolomite, clay, dirt or ashes regularly. Lead does not accumulate in the body in the presence of sufficient amounts of minerals.

See Minerals for more information.

                                        RECOMMENDED READING:
by Fergus Henderson. 

(author's note: A little bit too heavy with the sugar for my taste, but it helps explain the mysteries of some types of food preparation. I recommend eliminating the sugar or substitute honey or sucanat.)

by Jennifer McLagan 

by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann 

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