Basic Bone Broth for Beginners

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About a year and half ago I ended up with an injury that spiralled into an autoimmune disease (but that’s a post all on its own!). The end result was one epic inflammatory response that was slowly beginning to effect every joint and organ in my system. After declining the vast array of medications that were presented to me, I was determined to turn my health around in a sustainable way. I felt that the drugs, though more likely to help quickly, were not going to hold up to keep back the tide waters of my disease long term (at least without unwanted side effects). I quickly found myself perusing Google late at night (not sleeping was one of my symptoms so I had a lot of time of my hands), and discovering varying different diets. I knew that grains undoubtably made my body feel worse, which caused me to land somewhere between a Keto and Paleo diet. Lots of fats, lots of veggies, and low on the fruit and meat (without being ketosis was my goal). Bottom line, I needed a squeaky clean eating regime that would heal my gut.

As I looked back on the events that led up to the explosion of ill health on my body, I was keenly aware of the fact that when my son was born, just three years prior, I had done three, yes three, rounds of heavy duty antibiotics in one year. Plus, because he had stomach problems (he likely had a rotten gut from nursing while I was on said antibiotics), he was unable to tolerate any real food, forcing me to exclusively breastfeed until he was almost two. Both he and I were deplete in our systems, my body even more so as it was the nutrients I needed to recover that were going directly to him. I’m happy to report he is doing well, and now, after a whole lot of TLC to my own body, I too am on the mend. 

After plenty of research on the topic of gut health, I learned that bone broth was going to be my new best friend. It is rich in collagen, a building block for cellular repair, which is exactly what a wounded gut needs. With a little added vinegar in your pot, you can also draw out even more healing properties found hidden in the bones like calcium, magnesium, and boron to name a few. 

Here are a 5 tips to get you started on a good broth:

1. Only use enough water to just barely cover your bones. Too much water and your broth will not be gelatinous once it is cooled. It will still be good for you, but I am kind of obsessed with a rich and gelled blob of broth. That jelly-like texture can be a sign that you’ve extracted the collagen to its fullest. 

2. Add 1-3 tablespoons of vinegar to the pot while you are cooking the broth. The vinegar helps to draw out the minerals hidden away in the bones.

3. Roasted bones taste better, but can deplete the minerals. Whether it’s cooking with veggies (some, not all) or meat, heat can destroy some of the properties we need to heal our bodies. While the flavour of roasted bones certainly makes the soup taste better, it will be lacking in those joint healing minerals. 

4. For the reason mentioned above, it is also a good idea to use a lower heat to create your broth. A slow simmer is better than a rolling boil. Always.

5. Plan on your "broth day" taking a full day to complete. I like to take about ten hours (minimum) on my broth. Dr. Terry Wahls, author of “Minding My Mitochondria 2nd Edition: How I overcame secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and got out of my wheelchair” suggests 24 hours for bone broth to be able to extract as much as possible from the bones.

Now that you’ve got some tips in order, here is a quick and simple recipe for you to make your own broth:


- animal bones (beef, chicken, fish, etc. If you are using chicken or fish, use all the bones from the carcass. If you are using beef bones, head to your local butcher and ask them to cut down the bones to fit in your pot.)

- leftover veggies (Even if they are wilted and soft they still work great for soup. I love using the greens from my leeks, I just keep them frozen until I need them)

- a few cloves of garlic (more for a big pot, less for a small pot. I usually use about 3-5 cloves depending on how much I'm making.)

- a thumb sized amount of chopped ginger

- 1-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or regular white vinegar

- fresh cracked pepper (about a teaspoon, but eyeball it for your pot size)

- a large sprig each of fresh thyme and oregano (or a half tablespoon of each if dried). For a slight variation with beef stock, add in a few bay leaves, and some rosemary instead of the thyme and oregano.

- 1/2 tsp salt

** I don’t tend to add a whole ton of salt to my broth, and often opt out of any at all. I would rather add in the salt once I’m using the broth to cook with so that I have better control of the saltiness in my dish (or bowl).


1. Place all the ingredients into a pot, or slow cooker.

2. Fill with just enough cold water to cover the bones.

3. If you’re using a pot, bring your water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer, put the lid on, and leave it for at least 10 hours. If you’re using a slow cooker, set it to the longest, lowest setting you have and walk away.

4. Once your stock is done, strain it into another pot (side note: don’t forget to put a pot underneath or you will have just dumped your precious broth down the drain…*ah-hem* voice of experience.)

5. Allow your broth to cool for the day in the fridge. 

6. Once your broth is cool you can bag it and store it in the freezer. I use sandwich sized zip-up bags, filling some with one cup and others with two cup measurements. 

All my love,

Like Grandma Did

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