Discover the Gut-Healing Powers of Bone Broth. A recipe for nutrient-dense, collagen-rich, delicious bone broth!
As the winter months give way to early spring, nature comes back to life before our eyes. The lengthening days provide hope that warm weather is on its way, though wintry weather may still linger. It is a time of renewal and preparation.
Across cultures, early February brings holidays and rituals rooted in observing changes in the natural world - signs that new growth will soon emerge. Bone broth ties into this seasonal shift between winter and spring - its rich and nourishing food provides sustenance, preparing our bodies for the renewal ahead after winter’s quietude.
Walk down the streets of major cities, and you’ll find storefronts dedicated to this traditional food making a comeback. More than a passing health trend, bone broth reveals our collective longing to return to foods that provide true nourishment. Like budding plants in spring, bone broth offers internal renewal through gut healing - its amino acids and collagen repair leaky gut, boosting immune health after winter’s toll.
The grey days of early February bring people together over steamy cups of broth, finding community, and building connections through shared meals. In each bowl, we’re taking agency over our well-being. In each broth bar and café, people congregate to redefine health on their own terms.
This bone broth movement demonstrates that we’re entering an era defined by consciousness, where people are reclaiming their power to thrive. As we reflect on the shifting of the seasons, may we carry this spirit of renewal, nourishment, and community through the coming spring.
My Go-To Gut Health Bone Broth Recipe
Now, let’s get to the heart of it – my easy bone broth recipe. In our home, making broth is a beloved weekly ritual. After a cozy Sunday roast chicken dinner, we’ll save the bones to simmer into our next batch of broth. My talented husband Geof has truly honed this craft, often letting the broth simmer for 12-24 hours on the wood stove for an extra rich, mineral-dense infusion. While he carefully oversees the simmering pot, I eagerly await to transform his nourishing labor of love into my next soups, gravies, or just a warm mug on busy nights. Keeping broth on hand makes it so simple to incorporate into our cooking and enjoy this healing tonic whenever we need it most.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into how to make a nourishing batch of gut-soothing, immune-boosting bone broth.
Before we get to the recipe, let's look at why bone broth deserves a spot in your weekly meal prep. This savory soup is made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue in water for an extended period--typically 12-24 hours. This long cooking time allows the bones to release their nutrients and collagen into the water, creating a nutrient-dense broth.
Some of the top benefits of bone broth include:
Anti-inflammatory compounds to soothe the gut
Collagen to repair the gut lining
Electrolytes to hydrate the body
Amino acids like proline and glycine to support immune function
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus for bone health
With all these gut-friendly nutrients, it's easy to see why bone broth is a staple in the IBS diet. Sipping this broth can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and get your gut back on track.
1 whole Chicken Carcass (about 2 lbs of bones)
Optional: 3-6 Chicken Feet 😲 (An economical way to increase collagen, gelatin, minerals, amino acids, and flavor...and a fun way to engage kids! Chicken feet provide a concentrated boost of gut-healing nutrients thanks to their high collagen and cartilage content. Just a few feet contribute more collagen, gelatin, amino acids, and minerals into the broth. Plus kids get a kick out of the unusual ingredient - a bonus perk!)
1 Carrot (peeled and chopped)
1 Yellow Onion (diced)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
3 Garlic (cloves, halved)...or more 😁
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp sea salt- (can add at the end)
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 cup parsley (chopped) (add last 10 min of cooking)
6 cups water
Step 1: Bring Water & ACV to a Boil
In a large pot, bring 12 cups of water and apple cider vinegar to a boil.
Step 2: Add Bones & Simmer.
Add the chicken carcass and optional chicken feet. Boil for 30 minutes, skimming off any impurities that rise to the top.
*One note - if you tend to be sensitive to histamines or MSG, bone broth may not agree with you. The long cooking time increases histamine levels, while the broth naturally contains glutamates that can mimic MSG. In that case, a shorter simmer time may work better. Some people who are very sensitive need to stick to meat broths for a while.
Step3: Add Chicken Feet & Simmer
After 30 minutes of boiling, reduce heat, add the feet (if you are lucky enough to have them available), and simmer the bones for 8-24 hours to extract nutrients.
Step 4: Add Vegetables
During the last 30 minutes of simmering, add chopped vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and parsley.
For an extra immune boost, I love to add fresh herbs and spices like turmeric, garlic, and ginger. These compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties to supercharge your broth.
If you are sensitive to FODMAPS omit onions and garlic.
*For convenience, save vegetable scraps in the freezer to use for stock...they don't have to be pretty or even completely edible as they will be strained out. Ex: Onion skins are fair game...as are carrot and celery butts.
Step 5: Strain
Remove from heat and strain the broth through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, discarding the solids.
Step 6: Cool and Skim
Allow the broth to cool completely. A layer of fat will rise to the top. Skim this off and discard or save it for cooking.
Step 7: Store or Consume
Transfer the cooled broth to airtight containers and freeze for later use.
For the best quality and nutritional content, aim to use your homemade bone broth within 3-6 months in the freezer. But properly frozen and sealed broth can often last up to a year before going bad. Refrigerate for no more than 5-7 days for optimal freshness.
These Souper Cubes are nice containers for this:
Glass is an option: Ex: Mason jars BUT.... take it from a veteran..
If storing in glass consider these things: Leave headspace - Leave at least 1-inch headspace in the jar, more for larger volumes. This allows room for expansion as the broth freezes.
Avoid shoulder - Don’t fill above the shoulder or narrow portion on narrow mouth jars. The wider base needs room to expand.
Avoid extreme temps - Prevent jars from going straight from hot broth to freezer. Allow to cool first to reduce the risk of cracking from temp shock.
Freeze flat - Lay jars on their sides instead of upright to keep pressure off the lid seal.
Tips for Integrating Bone Broth into Your Routine
Now that your nourishing broth is ready, here are some quick tips for enjoying it:
Drink a cup as a morning beverage instead of coffee
Use it as the base for a soothing soup with veggies and rice
Add a splash to sauces, grains, and gravies for extra nutrition
Freeze broth into ice cubes for quick access all week long
With its stellar nutrient profile and gut-soothing powers, bone broth can be a total game changer if you struggle with IBS symptoms. I hope this quick immune-boosting recipe helps you feel supported and nourished as you manage your health. You've got this!
How do you plan to use bone broth to nourish your body? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Kelly Greenway is a functional nutritionist based in Sandpoint, Idaho, who specializes in gut health, food sensitivities, and holistic approaches to chronic conditions. With a passion for empowering individuals in their health journey, Kelly combines her expertise in nutrition with a deep understanding of the body's intricate systems.