As far as superfoods go, bone broth is one that I can’t get enough of! Not only are there many proven benefits of bone broth, but it doesn’t even cost a fortune to make. However, bone broth isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a bone broth alternative – whether because you don’t have time to make it, you hate the taste or are serving vegetarians – here are some options.
Bone Broth Alternatives if You Don’t Have Time to Make It
When you boil bones, it releases nutrients into the liquid and creates an incredibly nutrient-dense broth. Unfortunately, there is no bone broth alternative which gives all of these same nutrients and benefits. However, there are some options which come close.
Bone broth contains many nutrients but its main benefit comes from the gelatin it contains. Gelatin is just collagen which has been boiled down. When it is cool, it forms a gel. When heated, it liquefies.
I love making desserts out of gelatin like gummies and puddings. You can also use gelatin powder in recipes like soups, sauces, and even for DIY mayo. My eBook, The Gelatin Secret, contains lots of easy-to-make paleo-friendly gelatin recipes.
Just remember that the quality of your gelatin matters! The gelatin you find in supermarkets usually contains additives and is so highly processed that the nutrients have been destroyed.
When you go to buy a quality brand of gelatin, you’ll find two main options: gelatin powder and hydrolyzed collagen powder.
The two are basically the same thing. The only difference is that gelatin gels and hydrolyzed collagen won’t. Read about the difference between gelatin and collagen.
Store-Bought Bone Broth
Because bone broth is so trendy, there are now a few brands that sell it. Just be warned that these may contain harmful additives or tons of salt. I personally would rather make my own bone broth. If you make bone broth in a pressure cooker, the process is really simple. You can just make a huge batch and freeze it in small portions for later use.
Bone Broth Alternatives If You Hate the Taste
When people try bone broth for the first time, they are usually expecting it to taste like soup stock. Surprise, surprise – the two taste nothing alike!
Where stock has a salty, flavorful taste; bone broth is bland and has an oily texture.
Please don’t give up on bone broth right away! I’ve got some tips to make your bone broth taste great:
- Remove the Protein Scum from the Broth: As your bone broth boils, some scum will float to the top. This is perfectly safe to eat but imparts a weird taste and oily texture. Remove it and the final broth will taste better.
- Use a Different Kind of Bones: Chicken bones are the easiest to come by and what many people use for making bone broth. However, a lot of people prefer the taste of marrow bones instead. On the flip side if you don’t like marrow bones, try making bone broth with poultry bones or gelatin-rich bones like pig knuckles instead.
- Roast the Bones First: Yes, this takes extra work but it’s worth it! The roasting produces a much richer flavor.
- Don’t Overdo the ACV: Bone broth recipes usually call for apple cider vinegar. The ACV helps draw the nutrients out of the bones, but it imparts a strong taste. If you hate the taste of bone broth, then reduce the amount of ACV. Or skip the ACV completely and just boil the bones for longer.
- Mix Your Bone Broth with Store Bought Stock: By doing this, you will get a taste that’s more familiar. Gradually increase the ratio of broth to stock until you are drinking mostly broth. There are some really great brands you can buy these days!
- Add Enough Salt: Too much salt is a bad thing, but salt is also crucial for drawing out flavors. I personally like sea salt in my bone broth. Start by adding a little, testing the broth, and then adding more until the flavor is right.
- Add Lemon Juice: A lot of people like to add a splash of lemon juice to their bone broth. It creates a fresh flavor and makes it more palatable for drinking!
- Add Flavors: There are hundreds of recipes for bone broth. If you don’t like one, try another. One of my favorite combinations involves simmering some ginger, salt, dried chili, and lime juice in the bone broth for about 20 minutes. Add a splash of coconut milk right before serving and it will taste like chai!
Bone Broth Alternatives for Vegetarians
I’m not going to go on a tirade about the health risks of being vegetarian (not here at least!). Rather, I want to focus on the fact that there is no vegetarian food which is a complete substitute for bones when making broth.
Bones contain high concentrations of nutrients which you won’t find in vegetable foods. The closest you can get is with recipes like this one which contains seaweed. Seaweeds contain high amounts of glycine and proline; which are the two main amino acids in collagen.
Instead of drinking bone broth in this case, then you might be better off just eating foods rich in collagen or collagen-boosting foods.
- Egg whites
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
- Sulfur foods
Want to learn more about how to get the health benefits of bone broth? Read The Gelatin Secret. You’ll learn how gelatin heals all parts of the body and also get lots of great gelatin recipes.