Honestly, the name “Bone Broth” doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? While the name adequately describes what the broth is made of, the taste is probably less noticeable than you’ll expect.
Your experience with bone broth might actually be unexpected – think about the times you’ve finished the meat and vegetables in a bowl of soup, then drank the rest of the liquid in the bowl. The liquid was some sort of broth – potentially bone broth.
Without modifications like spices, bone broth carries a fairly bland flavor compared to most regular soup stocks. Bone broth tends to be less salty and strong than broths made more for soups though. We’ll go into details about how bone broth is made and how to use it below.
What is bone broth made of?
Bone broth is in fact made of boiled animal bones and parts. The resulting taste is actually the product of calcium and connective tissue – like the joints, cartilage and other parts of an animal. Most often this is either chicken, beef, or pork.
The bones are put in pots of water and left to simmer for a long time in an attempt to break up potentially tough remaining connective tissues and the bones themselves. The process of simmering bones results in the release of their gelatins, minerals, and collagen, which goes into the broth itself.
Is there a difference between bone broth and chicken or beef broth?
When you walk through the grocery store aisle or shop online, you’ll see a variety of different kinds of stocks and broths. We can explain a bit of the taste and process difference.
A broth with a particular animal type on it was generally boiled and simmered with at least a cup of the animal meat in the same pot. The result gives a stronger flavor to it, and it’s often called beef broth or chicken broth. These flavors enhanced some dishes and recipes, like soups or stews.
In some cases, beef or chicken broth can also contain more salt.
The major process difference is moreso in the meat itself. Beef broth needs less time to boil while chicken needs longer to release. Bone broth tends to be a shorter boil because it’s just bones.
What is the texture of bone broth like?
Bone broth has boiled down animal parts in it. The result is that it can taste a little thicker with collagen and even taste a bit oily.
What does it smell like?
Bone broth smells like chicken or beef broth, with less of the meat smell. The broth of bone will more likely smell like a weak soup mix than anything else. With the fairly faint smell comes a taste that isn’t exactly over the top, which brings us to our next question.
How do you use bone broth?
So we’ve stated that bone broth tastes kind of bland because it’s basically a mixture of water and boiled animal parts – primarily bone. The texture is a bit oily, but it has a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Bone broth makes a great, healthier addition to lots of recipes. Your Thanksgiving stuffing welcomes anything to keep it moist, and if you and yours aren’t a big fan of the taste of chicken or broth in your bread creations, bone broth makes it taste cleaner.
Bone broth also works well with marinades. Given water as a base ingredient, the bone broth adds a little meat flavor while not adding the oil that goes into many marinades.
You could also make gravy and use bone broth as a bit of a thickener – especially if the gravy is too thin.
Using bone broth as a drink
Bone broth doesn’t need to be added to food. In fact, unlike chicken or beef broth, it doesn’t even need to be brought to a cool to be cooked.
It’s also worth noting at this point that since bone broth is kind of bland in itself, you can add salt, pepper and other spices to your bone broth. As the main feature, bone broth will taste better with a bit of your spice cabinet backing it up. Consider using spices like parsley, dill, cilantro, and others chopped up and put on top of a cup of bone broth.
As you might suspect, some people use bone broth as a nice warm drink when they are sick. You’ll get a nice flood of vitamins and minerals, which we talk about next.
Are there health benefits to bone broth?
Yes! Animal bones have plenty of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals that are essential to your bones.
The bone marrow released also has plenty of friendly add ons like omega-3 and omega-6 acids, along with Vitamin A and Vitamin K2.
Adding spices, or even vegetables during boiling also makes a more flavorful and more vitamin rich bone broth.
Bone broth can also be helpful for antioxidants and gut health – which is to say it can support your immune system in addition to helping digestion.
While it’s rather healthy for you, it’s not meant to be the center of staple of your diet. While you can drink an amount of bone broth every day, you should also eat what your body needs in terms of carbs, fats, and proteins, too.
There are slight health differences between bone broth and chicken or beef broth. Broth with meat boiled within tends to have more salt, simple because the purpose is more often to make a soup.
The one highlight we can mention that makes beef or chicken broth stand out over bone broth: both beef and chicken broth will have more good protein. If your diet needs more protein, you can certainly consider trying beef or chicken broth instead of bone – or trying both as needed.
Bone broth is a fairly simple drink made from boiling animal bones and connective tissue. It has great health benefits and can be very tasty when mixed with your preferred spices. Otherwise, bone both also has a fairly bland flavor that can be added to dishes as a moisturizer when no other particular flavor is wanted.
Take a look at those health benefits though! You might not expect boiled bones to be so good for you.