Bone broth is nutrient packed and so simple to make. Learn why bone broth heals and how to make a delicious simple homemade bone broth in your crock pot!
True story: The very first time I made bone broth at home I lost sleep over it.
I prepped all the ingredients into my crock pot and I thought to myself, I’ll start it before going to bed and let it begin to simmer overnight. Sounds like a great plan, right? WRONG.
Jacob and I both woke at some point throughout the night concerned and confused. We didn’t know what that intense smell was, and both slept horribly that night. The next morning we realized it was the bone broth and I began making it first thing in the morning instead of right before bed.
I found that even though the bone broth is simmering for 24 hours (so as we sleep), if I begin it first thing in the morning, the brothy aroma becomes a norm and we can sleep just fine since our noses become accustom to it. That my friends, is my biggest tip if you want to make homemade bone broth!
What is bone broth?
If you aren’t familiar with bone broth, I’m pretty sure I can guess your first question. What the heck is bone broth, and it’s it just that stuff I buy on the shelf at the store?
The short answer: nope.
The longer answer: Bone broth is basically stock. It differs from broth you buy in the store because of the longer traditional cooking method that draws out the minerals and amino acids (building blocks of protein). Bone broth will typically be thicker and more gelatinous than, for example, store bought swansons broth. Bone broth is also way lower in sodium, but doesn’t skimp on flavor. In fact, I find the flavor so much more appealing because it’s not just lots of salty sodium, but real flavor from the ingredients.
10+ reasons bone broth heals
Bone broth is filled with tons of amazing minerals and amino acids. As the bones simmer for 24 hours, good for you nutrients like collagen, gelatin, glycosaminoglycans, glycine, proline, glutamine, bone marrow, and minerals, including calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc are drawn out.
Bone broth helps with skin health because of the collagen content. Collagen helps with skin elasticity and improves skim moisture content. Bone broth also helps with cardiovascular health, muscular health and performance, bones and joints, digestion, eye health, detoxification, brain health, mood and sleep, immune function and my favorite, gut health.
Gut health is so incredibly important. Bone broth can help the body maintain good gut health by way of the gelatin that absorbs water, which then gives the gut a layer of mucus to keep gut microbes away from the intestinal barrier.
If you love reading the more detailed research behind the benefits, I highly suggest you check out Chris Kresser’s guide to bone broth.
Ways to use bone broth
You may only think of using bone broth in recipes that would typically call for broth – which is a fantastic place to start! Here are other ways to include bone broth into your diet, to get the nutrients from it daily.
- Drink a warm mug of it with a touch of sea salt (my fav!)
- Use bone broth instead of water when cooking grains
- Braise meats and vegetables with it
- Blend bone broth with steamed vegetables for a quick and easy soup (and of course use in soup recipes that call for broth)
- A base for gravy and sauces
I have made a variety of bone broth flavors, but the 2 flavors I most often make are chicken and beef. That is simply because for me, those bones are the easiest to buy/save. I save all the bones we get from meat in a freezer bag, and when I have enough for a batch, I pull it out and get some bone broth going! The best tasting broth I’ve made came from a combination of chicken and lamb bones. Experiment and allow yourself to use whatever bones you have on hand. It’s a fantastic way to waste less, and you may come up with your favorite combination!
Simple Homemade Bone Broth (in a crock pot)
- 2 lb bones (beef, chicken, lamb, pork, etc)
- 3 celery, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion roughly chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves (smash with your hand to open the smell)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- In a 6-quart crock pot (I use this one) add all the ingredients. Cover with water to the top and place the lid on.
- Simmer on low for 24 hours.
- When done remove the lid and allow the cooling process to start. Strain the liquid out, discarding the bones/vegetables and finish cooling the broth in the fridge uncovered. When the broth has cooled, remove the layer of fat that hardens at the top.
- Store covered in the fridge for use within 1 week, or freezer until you need it!
NOTE: You can also make bone broth on the stove top and in a pressure cooker. I have not used those methods because I like the low simmer of the crock pot and the fact that I don’t have to babysit the broth as it cooks. However if you don’t have a crock pot, those methods will work as well!
Of course, you can also find quality bone broth in the store as well now! I typically find it in the frozen section (Bonafide Provisions is the brand I’ve tried and love). It’s quite a bit more expensive than making it at home, but worth it if you don’t have the time or desire to make your own bone broth at home.
Have you ever made bone broth at home? Would you ever make bone broth at home? What’s your favorite flavor to make?