How to make bone broth (and why)

If there is one thing I would love to convince you to do, its to start making your own chicken and meat bone broths.  If we were face to face I would be able to do it and I only hope I can encourage you with my words below.

Making bone broths also known as stocks is so simple – a process of boiling bones with vegetables, herbs and spices and that’s it. I always thought it was such a chefy thing to do. However I got sold pretty quickly to the idea as it’s packed with incredible nutrients our every day diets don’t provide, they taste phenomenal and there are no chemical nasties hiding. It’s for this reason in the health and wellness world that bone broths are often referred to as ‘liquid gold’ and why advocates will ensure they have a cup of it daily to stay and look in tiptop shape!

This powerful health tonic has been around for thousands of years, used by every culture worldwide in some form or another.  If you don’t have this regularly in your family’s diet it’s about time – its cheap and nutrient dense food your body is craving for.

I’ve listed a few good reasons to start making broths and stocks at home and I’m also going to show you how its possible to make this without spending an extra penny on food bills and how you don’t have to do a single bit of effort in the kitchen.

First however there are two rules you need to abide by:

1)   Use only organic vegetables and bones from organic pasture fed meat.

2)   Use clean filtered water – a simple water filter jug for $30 will do the trick.

So why make bone broth?

  • Our immune systems love it. A stack of minerals get leached from the bones, and these minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals, are easily absorbed, thereby boosting the immune system.  Its no coincidence chicken soup is used to heal the sick, or it used to be before people succumbed to off the counter cold and flu tablets.
  • It’s wonderful for digestion and rebuilding a healthy gut.  Broths facilitate digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut, assisting in the breakdown of the food you eat.  Lets face it, with digestive disorders drastically rising, we need all the help we can get! It’s highly recommended to have daily for anyone suffering with any gastro-intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowl Syndrome and leaky gut to colitis, Crohn’s disease, and infant diarrhea. Furthermore the gelatin in bone broth helps in repairing the integrity of the gut, by effectively restoring the mucosal lining in the stomach. It can also help reduce and possibly eliminate food intolerances over time.
  • Effective help for thyroid issues.  The thyroid gland in the neck makes hormones to help regulate the body’s metabolism and a person’s growth.  With today’s average diet, the body is experiencing internal inflammation that needs to be settled down.  Bone broths can help greatly.  By digesting muscle meat with a rich source of gelatin, it counters the negative effects of methionine, cysteine and tryptophan, which leads to a more efficient metabolism and ultimately a healthy thyroid.
  • Improves arthritis and joint pain.  As we get older this one becomes more and more of a priority. Homemade broths contain glucosamine and chondroiton, both of which help mitigate the deteriorating effects of arthritis and joint pain.
  • It’s great for healthy bones and teeth. This is thanks to its high content in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.  Particularly beneficial for children between the ages of 2 – 5 years where the foundation of bone growth is at it’s highest.
  • Reduces anti-aging.  Yes its true!  Rich in gelatin and collagen, homemade broths support the smooth connective tissue in the body creating improved skin, stronger hair and nail growth as well as potentially reduce cellulite.

Chicken Bone Broth

While this recipe is for chicken bone broth, broths can be made from the bones of any healthy animal including beef, lamb, poultry, or fish.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 hours – 24 hours
Serves: 3 litres


Leftovers of 2 chickens, including necks, backs, breastbones and wings.
3-4 litres of water (whatever is needed to just cover the bones)
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, chopped in quarters
2 carrots, large chunks
2 celeries, stalks and leaves, chopped roughly
1 garlic bulb, halved across the cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
teaspoon of sea salt
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Handful of flat leaf parsley, stalks included


  • Place the bones in a large stock pot and pour the water over the bones until just covered.
  • Add the vinegar and allow the pot to stand for 60 minutes (this helps pull more minerals from the bones).
  • Roughly chop the vegetables and seasoning and add to the pot. Don’t add the herbs yet.

  • Now turn on the heat to high and bring the broth to a boil, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface of the liquid.
  • Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least 8 hours.  However the longer, the better quality and flavour the stock will be.  24 hours is maximum for a chicken broth.
  • About 10 minutes before the broth is ready add the fresh herbs.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly and strain through a sieve.

  • Pour into glass jars and bottles before storing.  Will keep in the fridge for 4 days and freezes well.

Money saving tip (and short cut):

Save all your leftover organic vegetable scraps in the freezer until you have a nice full bag and use the bones from your leftover roasts. Not only will your broth cost next to nothing to make, it saves on the chopping up!  In fact there’s no washing up as everything goes straight into the pot.

How to use up your broth:

  • Cup-a-soup anyone?  Pour in a mug with tumeric and herbs and sip away.
  • Use as an absorption liquid for quinoa, brown rice and millet.
  • Use to replace standard stock for any recipe, such as stews and casseroles.
  • Makes the best gravy ever!
  • Use a couple of tablespoons to braise vegetables instead of oil.

Recipe of the week

Healing Chicken Soup

There are so many ways to use up your wonderful broth, as explained above, but this chicken soup is a hug in a mug, so I couldn’t resist.  I came up with this recipe when I caught the flu when I was 10 weeks pregnant, and needed something natural, powerful and potent. It did the trick.

Recipe >>

Do you make homemade broths?  How do you use it?  Please share your creations in the comments below.

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  1. Tracy on July 31, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    If you freeze bones and scraps do you have to defrost before you cook them?

    • Sharon Selby on May 25, 2021 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Tracey. No not at all. I use mine straight from the freezer. Sharon xx

  2. Sharon Selby on August 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Hi Tracy…no you don’t. You can pop them in frozen and they’ll defrost pretty quickly in the simmering water.

  3. angela Charles on June 12, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I can’t have onion and garlic as I’m low FODMaP due to IBS. Should I substitute with something else?

    • Sharon Selby on June 24, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      Hi Angela, these are purely optional to add flavour to the broth and some nutrient value. The only two key ingredients you need to make broth are leftover bones and filtered water. Everything else is to add gorgeous depth of flavour. In any case I would replace the onion and garlic with leaks or spring onion if you can tolerate those. Sharon xx

  4. Samantha Uren on April 25, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    Can I add kale to my broth? If so what bit would you use?

    • Sharon Selby on May 25, 2021 at 3:31 pm

      You sure can Samantha! I’d recommend using the discarded bits in an effort to go zero waste. Id save the leaves for your cooked meals or smoothie. Sharon xx

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