What is Bone Broth?

If you have read any articles on food trends this year, you may have noticed bone broth is often mentioned. Its virtues are extolled on many websites, it’s sold in Farmers’ Markets and the claims range from boosting your immune system to preventing disease. Now that many of us will have a turkey carcass or ham bone left after the holidays, it seemed timely to write a post on this.

In reality, broth, bone broth, and stock are essentially the same thing. They are made by boiling bones with vegetables and seasonings. A variety of bones can be used: in Asia, fish bones are traditional while in Europe and North America, beef, pork (ham) and chicken or turkey are more common.

There is common misconception that homemade soups cure colds and flus. Although this has not been proven, there is no doubt there is nothing more soothing than a hot homemade bowl of soup when you are congested and achy.

The great thing about recipes for homemade soups and stocks is that they are forgiving. You can change them  and add other spices to suit your tastes. It’s currently popular to add garlic, ginger and turmeric as these spices may, in fact, boost your immune system.

This is my favourite recipe for homemade broth. There is something satisfying about making your own stock from scratch and knowing that while you have created a delicious dish you have also reduced food waste. It may seem like a lot of work, but really all you are doing is boiling the bones, straining the broth, and cooling or freezing it. All that’s left to do is to decide what kind of soup you want to make.

Tip: Some recipes suggest roasting the bones for better flavour. This works if you are using large bones such as beef, however, it is unnecessary with smaller bones like fish and poultry.  Roasted bones are then good to go for use in your favourite recipes.

Here is a my favourite turkey soup recipe.

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Written by a Registered Dietitian.

Bone Broth
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
8-12 hours
15-20 servings


1 turkey carcass or 4 pounds chicken necks/feet/wings
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium onions, peel on, quartered
4 cloves garlic, peel on and smashed
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) whole peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
5-6 sprigs parley or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano
18-20 cups (5 L) cold water


  1. Place all ingredients in a 10 quart capacity crock-pot. This might require breaking up the carcass to fit in the specific pot.
  2. Add water.
  3. Simmer for 8-12 hours, skimming fat and foam occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Discard solids and strain remainder in a bowl through a colander. Let stock cool to room temperature, cover and chill.
  5. Use within 1 week or freeze for up to three months.


Read more by: Lee
Lee is a registered dietitian and nutrition educator at Dairy Farmers of Canada, who lives in St Albert with her teen-aged son; gregarious lovebirds; two dogs, Remi and Farley; and a gecko name Tookey. She is a fitness buff who can be seen running or walking on the neighborhood trails. Lee loves good food and is a fan of quick, easy recipes that make her look like a gourmet cook.

Alberta Milk, as a member of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), supports, collaborates and relies on the four Alberta-based DFC registered dietitians to deliver and develop nutrition resources, programs and communications to promote health and wellness. As registered dietitians we are credible, balanced and science-based. We belong to the College of Dietitians of Alberta and follow their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Our job is to translate the complex science of nutrition into practical advice for the general population. It is our view that milk and milk products are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet based on the four food groups, which is supported by health organizations such as Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada.

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