Bone Broth – What’s the difference?

There are many products on our supermarket shelves labelled as stock and broth and it seems the terminologies are interchangeable. A lot of commercial stocks and broths have added colours, flavours and stabilisers and preservatives to enhance shelf life.

The main difference in naturally prepared broths, stocks and bone broths is in the cooking time. Broth is cooked for the least amount of time, stock for a moderate time and bone broths for a long time. They are all made using varying amounts of bones, meat, vegetables, herbs and spices.

Broth – is made mostly with meat and a few small bones and is only simmered for a short time of about 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Stock – is mostly made with bones and a small amount of meat and are generally cooked between 3-6 hours. This cooking time allows the gelatin to dissolve into the stock along with amino acids like proline, glycine and gelatinous protein from the meat and connective tissue. These nutrients are very healing for a damaged gut and can reduce digestive tract inflammation.

Bone Broth – is made with mostly bones and may contain a small amount of meat that adheres to the bones. The bones are often roasted first to enhance the flavour and are slowly simmered for about 12-24 hours for chicken bone broth and up to 48 hours for beef bone broth. This long cooking time creates a broth that has all the wonderful nutrients of the stock mentioned above and also the minerals from the bones. When bone broth has finished cooking the bones should crumble when you press them between your fingers, this is because all the minerals from the bones are now in the broth. Also the addition of apple cider vinegar in the bone broth helps to draw as many nutrients out of the bones as possible.

It really is a nutritional powerhouse and can be enjoyed as it is, warmed with a little salt & pepper to taste. What a great way to start the day!