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Supporting Health & Healing with Bone Broth
By Kate Safin

For centuries, traditional cultures have produced stock and broth from bones as an economical and sustainable practice that provides a very inexpensive nutrient-rich food.

Bone broth is made by simmering bones for an extended period, typically 12 hours. The long and slow simmering releases nutrients from the bones, forming an incredible healing food rich in protein, amino acids, minerals, and gelatin. Bone broth aids in detoxification, supports gut health, promotes healthy skin and bones, and has been reported to boost metabolism and immune system function.

The healing benefits come from the key components of the broth: gelatin and minerals.
Gelatin is a byproduct of collagen and is what makes the broth jelly-like when cooled. Gelatin soothes the digestive tract and restores the gut lining. Those with leaky gut, autoimmune disorders, IBS, or acid reflux can benefit from the restorative power of gelatin found in bone broth. Collagen is also a basic building block of skin, so it naturally strengthens the skin from the inside out. Vital minerals, such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium are readily available in bone broth and easily absorbed by the body. These compounds form and maintain strong bones, and can help relieve tendonitis, arthritis, and muscle cramps.

Try consuming at least 8 ounces of bone broth every day for optimal benefits. Many people simply sip cups of warm broth, but it also makes a wonderful base for soup, sauce, or gravy. You can also cook grains, such as rice or quinoa, in bone broth.

To make the most delicious and nutritious broth possible, begin with high-quality bones from organically-raised animals. You can use bones from just about any kind of meat; a variety of rib, marrow, and joint bones is best. You may start out by saving bones from roasts in a freezer bag until you have the quantity and variety you desire, or stop into a butcher shop. You can select the flavor profile of your broth by adding herbs and spices as the broth simmers. If you’d like to skip the process of making your own broth entirely, the East End Food Co-op has a variety of ready-made bone broths for you to choose from.

Basic Bone Broth Recipe

Yields approximately 3 quarts.

5 pounds of bones (a mix of meaty and joint bones)
4 quarts cold water
½ cup raw apple cider vinegar
3 of each: onions, carrots, celery stalks, all roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh parsley

Place the joint bones and vinegar into a large pot or crockpot, cover with water and let stand for one hour. The vinegar helps release minerals from the bones.

  • Meanwhile, roast the meaty bones at 350 degrees for 30-60 minutes.
  • Once well browned, add the meaty bones (along with the juices) and vegetables to the pot. If necessary, add enough water to cover the bones.
  • Bring to a boil and use a spoon to skim off the foam that rises to the top.
  • Add fresh rosemary, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for 12 hours.
  • Add the parsley and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bones and strain the broth into a large bowl.
  • Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 1 year.

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