When it comes to food, the best kind is always going to be the food that you make yourself. But, let's be real here, not everyone has the time or inclination to make everything they eat from scratch - especially bone broth.
While we LOVE bone broth (obviously), it can be a pain in the ar*se to make. You've got to source the bones, get yourself a gigantic stockpot, and take three days off work to make sure you don't burn your house down. (Read more: How to Make Your Own Bone Broth)
If you don't have unlimited PTO for bone broth brewing, then you'll likely be headed to the store to buy some bone broth. But all bone broths are not created equal.
There is currently no regulated definition for the term "bone broth," which means that almost any product can be labeled bone broth - even if it is just chicken stock, chicken flavor and water.
When shopping for store-bought bone broth, you should always check your ingredients and know the company that you are buying from, to make sure you're getting the real thing (so you can actually reap the benefits instead of waste your time and money drinking some fake broth water).
Here are 5 questions to ask before you buy bone broth:
1. Is the bone broth FROZEN?
Freezing bone broth locks in flavor and preserves nutrients at their peak and it is the way bone broth is traditionally stored. It’s also the only way that you can store bone broth without preservatives, shelf-stabilizers or processing.
2. Is the bone broth Certified Organic?
CERTIFIED Organic is very different from "made with organic ingredients". Organic certification means that EVERYTHING about the bone broth - from the ingredients right down to the cleaning products used in our facilities - must adhere to rigorous organic guidelines. To make sure your bone broth is certified organic, look for the USDA Certified Organic symbol.
3. Do the ingredients include ONLY grass-fed bones - NO filler broth?
This ensures that your bone broth is made with high-quality bones from animals raised on pasture and therefore free of environmental toxins. Also, some companies add pre-made broth to their bone broth to make more broth cheaper and faster. This creates a watered-down broth that is less effective than true bone broth. (Shocked? It's true. Read more: Have you been buying fake bone broth?)
4. Does the bone broth turn to gel when refrigerated:
When collagen is cooked it turns into gelatin. The sign that a bone broth has been made properly and is full of collagen is that it solidifies and turns to gelatin when it is refrigerated. While not all bone broths will be completely solid when refrigerated, there should always be some gelatinous texture to the liquid.
We're happy to help! Just ask in the comments below!
Got a friend who's riding the bone broth bandwagon? Make sure they know how to tell TRUE bone broth from the impostors and share this with them!