Nourishing Bone Broth Recipe and BenefitsSkip to Recipe
Every fall all the way through winter, I make my own homemade nourishing bone broth. This bone broth is very mineral-dense, full of beneficial herbs, and absolutely delicious. During these cooler months, I want to make sure to give my body extra nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. What better way to do that than through a soul-warming bone broth!
This nourishing bone broth recipe contains the most beneficial roots, bones, vegetables, mushrooms, and seaweeds to strengthen the immune system. Whenever I make this broth recipe I turn to my inner kitchen witch. I love just mixing all of the ingredients into one huge pot on the stove and watching it bubble with energy. The smell fills the air and I get transported back to the kitchen where I used to cook with my Grandma. She would always have the most delicious food and amazing scents coming out of her kitchen.
Bone Broth Benefits
When it comes to building your immune system it takes time to build your “inner fire”. This inner fire helps to keep our immune system active in times of cold and flu season. Therefore, when prepping for the chilly weather, cold, and flu season, it’s best to start building your foundation of health months before.
When it comes to building up our immune system, our foundation of health all starts in the gut. The ingredients in this recipe are filled to the brim with trace minerals and immune-boosting properties. All of these ingredients are gut-friendly, aiding our immune system’s core in facing the challenging seasons ahead. The bones that make up the bone broth are filled with vital collagen, essential nutrients, and a variety of beneficial minerals.
When to Start Making Bone Broth
With this recipe, I start to prep huge jars of it starting at the end of August and into early September. As I mentioned, it takes a little time to build your immunity for cooler months so I like to get a head start. Also, most of the vegetables are also in season during this time. That means the veggies I use are at their freshest, most nutrient-dense time.
However, if you’ve gotten off to a later start, it’s never too early or late to make this recipe. If you tend to get sick in the summer or have allergies, the bone broth is always a good way to boost your immunity. There’s never a wrong time to turn to the medicine of the Earth!
Once I’ve made the recipe and have some back stock, I start to incorporate a cup of bone broth each morning. This gives my immune system some time to build. Not only does it wake me up in the morning, but it’s also very warming. It’s a nice way to wake up and warm the soul on those chilly autumn mornings.
How to Make Herbal, Gut-Healing, Nourishing Bone Broth
Even though there’s a ton of ingredients, making this homemade broth recipe is so easy, and simple. It’s just a matter of having or gathering the ingredients that you want to use with a little preparation. If you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Check out my list of suggested ingredients below. You definitely don’t have to use all of them or have them all on hand. I believe all food and health should be accessible therefore use what you have on hand and leave the rest. Just a few of your favorites can make a broth that’s both delicious, healing, medicinal, and have a ton of immunity benefits. What matters is that you enjoy the process!
First, Gather Ingredients
The first (and really only step) is to gather and chop/prepare the fresh ingredients you want. For a base to any broth, besides the bones you wish to use, I’d recommend the following:
These ingredients will give you an incredibly nutrient-dense, nourishing bone broth, with a variety of immune system benefits.
Below are a few of my favorite nourishing bone broth ingredients. By no means is this exhaustive, nor should you include everything. I do like to mix it up and let your creativity flow!
- Ginger Root (fresh or dried will work) – Spicy, helps to ease digestion and warming.
- Turmeric Root (fresh or dried will work) – Warming, very anti-inflammatory (if you follow Ayurvedic cooking methods, turmeric is everywhere for it’s anti-inflammatory properties)
- Garlic – Really adds to the flavor of the broth, aromatic, hot, drying and immune system boosting.
- Calendula Flowers – An edible flower that offers a cheerful vibe that’s useful for healthy skin.
- Sage – Adds a peppery flavor to the broth, giving it a slight kick.
- Thyme – Packed with Vitamin C which is great for the immune system. Also, used for a delicious spice.
- Marshmallow Root – Helps to treat the common cold. Always a good addition to the broth.
- Rosemary – Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Adds a nice warming spice to the broth.
- Burdock Root – A great digestive aid.
- Oatstraw – Improves relaxation and adds a nice, subtle, mineral dense herb to the broth.
- Nettles – Very nutrient dense, another great addition.
- Oregano – Not only a nice spice, oregano has anti-bacterial properties.
- Bay Leaf – Rich in vitamins. Add one or two to the pot to enhance the flavor and vitamin content.
- Astragalus Root – Another immune system boosting root that adds a sweet, moistening taste.
- Milk Thistle Seed – Known help aid in protecting the liver.
- Eleuthero Root – A natural source of energy and immune system boosting.
- Holy Basil – An aromatic herb that contributes to the delicious flavor of the broth while helping to prevent infections.
- Reishi Mushroom – Amazing immune system booster! Also, enhances sleep which is good for the immune system as well. However, would only use a little bit or your broth may turn bitter.
- Chaga Mushroom – Nutrient dense and packed with vitamins and minerals. Make sure to get a well sourced, sustainable chaga mushroom, so you don’t over-harvest. Start small with chaga as it can also turn your broth bitter.
- Shiitake Mushroom – Protect against cell damage and rich in vitamins.
- Maitake Mushroom – adds an earthy flavor and known for it’s immune boosting qualities.
Seaweed & Vegetables
- Wakame Seaweed – Extremely nutrient dense plant with a ton of vitamins and minerals. A great addition to the broth.
- Dulse Flakes– Packed with Omega-3 and heart-healthy compounds.
- Kombu Seaweed – Adds a savory, umami taste but also packed with vitamins and minerals
- Nori Seaweed – High in important minerals and nutrients, including iodine. Giving you benefits of electrolytes.
- Onion – Anti-oxident and anti-inflammitory. Also, very delicious to add to broth!
- Leeks – Adds a great flavor to the broth.
- Spring onions – A subtle onion flavor that enhances the flavor of the broth.
- Lemon – Packed with Vitamin C which is great for the immune system. Also adds a little acidity to the broth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – The ultimate in gut health! Adds a delicious flavor as well, but great for setting up the gut’s flora and aiding in digestion.
- Carrots – Filled with Vitamin A and adds a great flavor to the broth.
- Celery – Another nutrient/vitamin dense ingredient that will help to enhance the immune system benefits of your broth.
Any other vegetable trimmings you may have! Might as well make use of the ingredients that would be wasteful. They are actually filled with essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can help to fortify your broth.
- Chicken (used in this recipe) – I find that chicken makes a nice, light nourishing bone broth. It’s very mellow and warming to the soul. You can use the left over bones or the entire remnants of a chicken.
- Beef – Beef bones are packed with iron and make for a more hearty bone broth. Very delicious and if you are lacking in Iron, I’d recommend exploring how to make a beef bone broth.
Add ingredients to your caldron or any cooking pot!
Once you have your ingredients chosen and prepped, it’s time to start making broth! In a large stainless steel pot, add water and your chicken (or beef) bones. Then add your chopped carrots, celery, garlic, onion, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. This is your base. After adding those ingredients, it’s time to select a few herbs, medicinal mushrooms, or other vegetables.
Turn on the stove
Bring the ingredients to boil and let simmer for at least 4 hours and as long as 12-24 hours. If you are using chicken or beef bones, to get the most nourishment from the bones, it’s recommended to let the broth simmer for as long as possible. This allows the nutrients to extract from the bones and into the broth.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE! If you are using a whole chicken take it out after 2-3 hours and remove the meat. Otherwise, the meat will go to waste. Around the two-hour mark, the meat will be fully cooked and have absorbed the flavors from the vegetables and other spices. I like to make a chicken salad with the leftover cooked meat. Once you’ve taken out the meat, make sure to place the bones & carcass back into the pot for the amount of time you wish to cook the broth.
This is the hard part. Nourishing bone broth takes time. The longer you can let your broth simmer, the more nutrients will be extracted and you will end up with a far more nourishing bone broth. However, the difficulty comes as the aromatic vegetables and herbs fill the kitchen and surrounding air. It smells delicious and you will want to dive right in.
Every couple of hours or so, check the water. If too much evaporates, that’s alright, add just a little more filtered water to the broth and you will be good to go.
Time for the goodness (after straining of course)!
You’ve smelled the delicious broth all day (and possibly overnight), it’s now time to enjoy! First, you have to strain out all of the bones, herbs, and vegetables that provided the nutrients and vitamins to our broth.
To strain, I use a large strainer and a large bowl. I set up the strainer on top of the bowl and slowly dump the broth into the strainer. Be careful! The broth is probably still very hot and the pot will be extremely heavy. If you have someone that can help (maybe let them try the broth), it can be super helpful.
The goal is to separate all of the solids. Once you have a full bowl, grab a simple Now it’s time to strain, using a large strainer pour the broth into a large bowl or large pot to separate the solids from the liquid. I recommend letting the broth cool in the bowl just a little bit before pouring it into cleaned mason jars. Once in the jars, make sure that the broth is near room temperature before storing it in the fridge. If you add warm broth to a cold environment too soon, such as a fridge or a freezer, the glass jars can crack. Trust me. I’ve had it happen and it’s super heartbreaking! or For more broth storage tips, see the section at the end of the blog post.
How to use homemade broth
There are SO many uses for your new broth. It can be used as a base for soups or stews. Some sauces you can use the broth with. You can also make rice using your homemade bone broth instead of water. However, one of my favorite ways to enjoy the broth is on its own. I’ll usually make a small bone broth latte. I add a little brine from sauerkraut, some ghee, and a bit of fermented hot sauce. Trust me, it’s absolutely delicious! It’s warming, full of good spices, and packed with flavor.
How to make a plant-based broth
To make a vegan broth (obviously not bone), start with the basics of celery, carrots, onions/spring onions, and garlic. Then add in some seaweed and herbs for nourishment. To get more of the umami flavor the chicken or beef bones would provide, add in some shitake or maitake mushrooms. I would also increase the amount of garlic and onions for a well-rounded palate. One last ingredient that will make all the difference is to add miso, for extra nourishment and flavor! You will still receive a ton of nutritional benefits and the broth will taste amazing!
Broth Storage tips
My preferred method of storing the broth is in 32 oz mason jars. They are super convenient and allow you to easily portion your broth. In reality, any size mason jar will work. If you plan on storing your broth in the fridge or freezer, leave at least 1-2 inches from the top of the jar, below the lid. Remember folks! Water expands when frozen and the broth has a base of water! You have to give it a little room to breathe and expand at will! It’s a sad day when you open your freezer and see a frozen and shattered glass jar. Also, make sure to let your broth cool before placing it in the fridge or freezer.
I’d avoid using any plastic to store the broth. You will be putting hot liquid into the plastic container which can cause some of the plastic to enter the broth. Any plastic in your broth is detrimental to the broth and adds unnecessary toxins!
I really enjoy sharing my broth recipe with everyone! It’s one of my go-to recipes before the fall and winter months. I feel the immune system benefits and tend to get less sick when everyone else is. It’s also very enjoyable and warming to have a cup of broth in the morning. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to reach out in the comment section below. I’m also on Instagram (@mytinylagunakitchen) so head over there and I’ll help answer all of your nourishing bone broth questions!
In the spirit of transparency, some of the links above link to Mountain Rose Herbs. You aren’t charged any extra buying through those links. They actually help to support my blog and my ability to share my recipes. I buy all of my herbal ingredients from them because I know I’m getting the highest quality, organic ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get the beef or chicken bones?
I personally have found beef or chicken bones from my local butcher. I found my local butcher at our farmer’s market. The bonus since most folks don’t order bones often they are more affordable.
If this is not accessible or available to you go to a local health food store and pick up a whole chicken. You can find this at a Local Co-Op, Whole Foods, or even Trader Joe’s. Organic is always recommended.
What kind of bones should I order for my bone broth?
Here is my simple go-to order, I order a whole chicken 95% of the time, if I do have access to a farmers market, I’ll order chicken feet to add in as they have an abundance of minerals and nutrients.
If I am making a beef bone broth I use organic grass-fed marrow and knucklebones. Always ask your local butcher what beef bones they recommend and have on hand.
Is it better to roast my bone before making bone broth?
This is a personal preference, I always find that the bone broth is more flavorful when I have roasted the bones before, yet in this recipe, I used a raw whole chicken. If using a whole raw chicken take the meat out 2-3 hours, remove the meat and add the chicken bones, and carcass back into the pot.
- 1 raw or roasted whole chicken
- 3-6 celery stalks
- 3-6 whole carrots
- 1 whole onion (can include the skins)
- 1 whole leek
- 5-10 garlic cloves
- 2-3 inches of turmeric root
- 2-3 inches of ginger root
- 1/4 cup of wakame seaweed
- 1-2 sliced lemons
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 springs of rosemary
- 3 slices of reishi mushroom
- 2 tablespoons of chaga mushroom
- 1-2 springs of oregano
- 1-2 tablespoon of thyme
- 1-2 tablespoons of stinging nettle
- 1-2 tablespoons of burdock root
- 1-2 tablespoons of astragalus root
- 1-2 tablespoons of sage
- 1-3 bay leaf
- 1-3 tablespoons of miso (to serve)
- Add all the ingredients into the pot, pour over water to cover the ingredients. Leave 1-2 inches from the top of the pot.
- Place a tight-fitting lid on top. Turn on the stove, and bring it to a boil. Once you reach a boil, reduce heat to simmer.
- If you used a whole chicken, remove the chicken to take off the cooked meat from the bones, and add all of the bones, juices, and carcass parts back into the pot.
- Return the lid and simmer for at least a remaining 4 hours, when using bones I prefer to simmer for 12-24 hours to get the full benefits from bones, roots, and herbs. The longer you simmer the more nutritious and delicious the broth will be.
- If you notice the water evaporating and getting low pour in a few more cups of water.
- Once 4-24 hours has passed, turn off the heat, let cool, and strain out the solids from the liquids with a large strainer.
- Enjoy immediately with a spoonful of miso or pour the cooled-off broth into mason jars to store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or the freezer for up to a year! If freezing makes sure to leave 1-2 inches of room from the top of the jar to prevent the liquid from expanding and the glass jar from cracking.
- If you are vegan discard the bones and add in shitake mushrooms for extra flavor.
- If you are in a rush you can make this homemade broth recipe in an instant pot or pressure cooker. It will be a very concentrated version so add more water if needed. Cook for 4 hours if using this method.
- If you are very sensitive to bitter flavor notes, go easy on the Reishi and Chaga mushrooms. You can also add them to your broth for the last 3 hours of your broth to cut down on the bitterness. Either I would still start with a low dose.