Bone and Vegetable Broths for Bone Health

Folks in the old days really knew how to take care of their bodies whether they realized the science behind it or not. Somehow today in our fast paced world we don’t have the patience or the know-how to throw some bones in a pot of water and let it simmer for up to 48 hours like our great grandmothers did.

Why in the world would you want to do that anyway?

Simmering those bones releases the minerals into the water. When you drink it in soups or stews or simply as a delicious broth, your body gets fed those precious minerals that help build and remodel bones. In addition the nutrients released from the cartilage, ligaments and other connective tissues of the bone help keep joints supple and well cushioned.

Even the digestive tract benefits from these soothing nutrients that help restore it. Drinking a broth before a meal helps digestion as well.

Some of these minerals act as electrolytes which help alkalinize the tissues, restore energy and improve tissue hydration.

But there’s a trick to releasing the minerals and other nutrients from the bones and connective tissue. Add an acidic substance to the bone-water combination. Generally you can use 1 teaspoon of acidic substance per 2 cups of water. Commonly used acidic enhancers include:

  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar such as
    •       Apple cider vinegar
    •      Red or white wine vinegar
    •      Balsamic vinegar
    •      Rice vinegar
    •      (Never use distilled vinegar – it’s more of a chemical)
  • Tomato juice or add tomatoes to the bones and vegetables


Steps to making healthy, mineral rich broths:

1. Place bones in a large pot. Suggestions for bones to use:

Save the bones from a roasted chicken, leaving the cartilage and meat left on the bone

I love to save the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving and Christmas to make turkey broth

Whole fish carcass after cooking and eating the fillets

Raw bones and scraps

2. Add enough cold filtered water to cover the bones with about 1 inch of water

If you’re adding vegetables you will need more water of course

3. Add the acidic substance according to the choices above

4. During the last 2 hours of cooking throw in vegetable peels, tops, ends or whole cut up vegetables

Commonly used vegetables include garlic, onion, carrot, celery and parsley

But you can use any vegetable that you like in a broth

Zucchini squash and green beans add good electrolytes to the broth

5. Bring the water to a boil, then right away reduce heat and simmer for a minimum of 4-6 hours and as long as 48 hours for chicken and 72 hours for beef.

Save some cooking time by having bones cut or crushed into smaller pieces

A crock pot works well too – just turn it on low and simmer away.

6. When simmering time is up, cool the broth so it’s easier to handle, but not long enough for it to congeal.

7. Strain it through a colander or strainer. For clearer broth line the colander with cheesecloth

Using your broth:

Make a soup or stew right away using the broth as your liquid

Add it to a roast and vegetables in a crock pot for a nice and easy dinner full of great minerals

Use the broth for making gravy by adding organic corn starch or arrowroot to thicken it

Make richer gravy by skimming the fat from the top of the broth into a skillet

Add any type of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring quickly and constantly until it browns

Whisk the broth into the flour and fat mixture and stir until thickened

Add sea salt and pepper as desired

Drink your broth as a delicious beverage. Also, it’s especially comforting to a sick tummy

Freeze the broth for future use. It’s handy to freeze it in ice cubes, then simply pull out the number of cubes you need for the recipe you’re making that night.

Broth keeps 5 days in the refrigerator

Enjoy this video of a young mom making bone broth:


I recently cooked organic chicken drumsticks in a chicken cacciatore recipe in my crock pot and it turned out very delicious – must have been full of great minerals and other nutrients released from the bones of the drumsticks. The tomatoes in this recipe act as the acidifying agent to help release the minerals from the bones.

See if you like it as much as we did.

Chicken Cacciatore

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

10 small to medium chicken drumsticks

1 8-oz can of tomato sauce ¼ cup dry white wine (optional)

1 16-oz can of chopped tomatoes (I simmered my tomatoes down to a thicker sauce on the stove top before putting all these ingredients into the crock-pot. It makes a thicker more delicious sauce.)

Place sliced onions in the bottom of the crock-pot

Add chicken pieces.

Stir the white wine into the sauce.

Pour the sauce over the chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 2 ½ to 4 hours.

Towards the end of the cooking time, remove the chicken and allow it to cook enough to handle. Then remove and discard the skins, bones and cartilage. Shred the meat and add back to the crock-pot.

Serve over hot buttered spaghetti or vermicelli noodles. (I use gluten free noodles.)

About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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1 Comment On “Bone and Vegetable Broths for Bone Health”



2 January 2012

Whoa?* that is quite extensive, with thanks.

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