As a passionate food lover and entrepreneur dedicated to providing nourishing options, I'm always on the lookout for ways to make my products even more flavorful and nutritious. Bone broth has stood the test of time as a comforting and wholesome drink that warms you from the inside out.
It's no wonder it has become a staple in many households. While I respect the traditional methods of preparing bone broth, I've discovered some exciting ways to elevate its taste and health benefits by adding herbs, spices, and other ingredients.
In this post, I want to share with you some of my absolute favorite add-ins that will take your bone broth to a whole new level of deliciousness and promote your well-being. One crucial thing to remember is that using high-quality ingredients is key to creating a nourishing bone broth. I recommend using bones from animals raised on grass or pasture.
By blanching or roasting the bones before simmering them in water for an extended time, you'll extract all the collagen, minerals, and other nutrients, resulting in a broth that's bursting with flavor and goodness.
Now, let's dive into the fun part: the add-ins!
Miso Paste for Bone Broth Flavor and Heart Health
If you're a fan of miso soup, you'll love adding miso paste to your bone broth. Miso brings depth and body to the broth and may offer cholesterol-lowering and blood pressure-regulating benefits . For maximum flavor and nutrition, whisk in the miso paste right at the end of the cooking process.
Enhance Your Bone Broth Flavor with Edible Acids
To strike the perfect balance between richness and brightness, consider finishing your broth with a squeeze of fresh citrus juice and some zest, such as lime, lemon, or orange. The natural acidity in citrus helps spruce up the savory flavors of the bone broth. Don't forget that adding an acid like apple cider vinegar when you start the broth helps extract valuable nutrients from the bones. However, citrus juices may not work as effectively for this as apple cider vinegar.
Herb-Infused Bone Broth: How to Add Flavor and Boost Wellness
Medicinal herbs not only enhance the flavor of your bone broth but also provide a boost to its health benefits. By adding herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano to the simmering pot, their flavors and health-promoting compounds infuse into the liquid. You can also add more delicate herbs like parsley and dill towards the end of the cooking process or use them as a garnish. When reheating the broth, you can experiment with different herb combinations to discover your personal favorites. Remember to strain out the herbs before serving to fully enjoy their fragrant aroma.
Let's explore some of the individual herbs and spices along with their unique flavors and benefits:
- Rosemary: This herb is not only packed with antioxidants but also contains compounds that fight inflammation . It adds a savory and piney flavor to your broth, reminiscent of evergreen trees.
- Thyme: Thyme possesses antimicrobial oils and may even support gut health . Its flavor profile is earthy and mildly minty with subtle notes of lemon. If you're a fan of rosemary, sage, or mint, thyme will surely win you over with its fresh herbal taste.
- Oregano: Known for its significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity , oregano brings robustness and a hint of bitterness to your broth. It adds an aromatic and Mediterranean-inspired touch to create a hearty and full-flavored experience.
- Bay Leaves: These are another fantastic addition to bone broth. They contain antioxidants and compounds that can potentially improve digestion and reduce inflammation . With a delicate sweet and spicy aroma and a slight hint of cloves, bay leaves not only enhance the overall flavor but also complement the other herbs and spices in your bone broth.
- Parsley: Rich in vitamins A and C, folate, and antioxidants , parsley brings a fresh and peppery flavor that's simply irresistible. Its vibrant taste adds a delightful twist to your bone broth.
- Dulse: For a unique sea-inspired flavor, consider adding dulse, a type of seaweed, to your bone broth. Dulse provides an array of minerals and B vitamins , infusing your broth with a savory and subtly briny taste that reminds you of the ocean.
- Dill: If you're a fan of pickles or seafood boils, dill is the perfect herb to enhance your bone broth. High in antioxidants and boasting antimicrobial effects , dill adds a tangy and herbaceous flavor that brightens up your broth.
- Cilantro: With its fresh and herbaceous flavor coupled with zesty citrus notes, cilantro is a fantastic addition to bone broth. It contains antioxidants and compounds that may help reduce inflammation . If you enjoy dishes like salsa or Thai curries, the bright and tangy kick of cilantro will elevate your broth.
Kick It Up a Notch: Fresh Chilies for a Spicy Bone Broth Flavor
To kick up the flavor a notch, you can also add some fresh chilies like serrano or jalapeño peppers to your bone broth. Chilies contain capsaicin, which adds heat and may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties . Additionally, chilies provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants . Simply add the chilies towards the end of the cooking process and strain them out before serving to balance the flavor and enjoy the health benefits.
Spice Up Your Bone Broth Flavor and Enjoy Health Benefits
If you're a fan of spices, you can experiment with whole spices to add complexity and health benefits to your bone broth. Toasting the spices briefly in a dry pan before adding them to the broth enhances their essential oils. Ground spices and spice blends also work well, but they have stronger flavors, so start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
- Cloves and star anise contain compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects [11,12]. They add a sweet, licorice-like flavor.
- Coriander and cumin seeds may improve digestion and reduce inflammation [13,15]. Their flavor reminds me of warm, spicy curries. They provide an earthy yet tangy flavor with a subtle spice.
- Mustard seeds, and black peppercorns have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits [16,17]. For those who like a little kick of heat, mustard seeds and black peppercorns enhance bone broth with a spicy, robust flavor.
- Fennel seeds may aid digestion and possess anti-inflammatory activity . They have a licorice-like, slightly sweet flavor. If you enjoy the anise-like taste of absinthe or sambuca, you'll likely appreciate the flavor of fennel in bone broth.
- Chives contain vitamins A and C and antioxidants. . Chives impart a mild yet savory onion flavor.
- Lemongrass is high in antioxidants and compounds that may reduce inflammation and kill harmful microbes . If you like the fresh, tart flavor of lemon or lime, lemongrass will provide a vibrant, tropical twist to your bone broth.
Delicious Bone Broth Flavor Combinations
There are so many delicious add-in possibilities, so if you’re looking for some more inspiration, these flavorful formulas are a good place to start:
Beef bone broth + cloves + star Anise + citrus (Lemon or Orange):
This combination of cloves and star anise provides a sweet and licorice-like flavor profile to the broth. When paired with citrus, such as lemon or orange zest or juice, it adds a refreshing taste to the broth. The citrus complements the sweet and aromatic notes of cloves and star anise, creating a nice balance of flavors.
Chicken bone broth + lemon + dill + parsley:
The fresh, bright flavors of lemon, dill, and parsley complement the flavors of chicken bone broth. The acidity from the lemon helps to balance the richness and creates a vibrant flavor profile.
Beef or chicken bone broth + miso + ginger + garlic:
Miso, ginger, and garlic add a savory umami flavor, warmth, and aroma to bone broth. They blend seamlessly and create a broth that is satisfying and soothing. The miso also provides body and richness.
My Favorite Bone Broth Flavor Blend
If you're looking for an all-in-one solution that combines some of these incredible flavors, I highly recommend trying my Bone Broth Spice Kit. It includes dehydrated vegetables like carrots, onions, celery and flavorful additions such as turmeric, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic. These not only add tremendous flavor but also offer unique nutritional profiles to enhance your bone broth.
- Garlic has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds . When simmered in bone broth, garlic mellows and contributes a full, savory flavor without harshness.
- Turmeric (and its compound curcumin) has been studied for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects . Turmeric adds a vibrant yellow color and slight bitterness.
- Shiitake mushrooms may boost immunity and lower cholesterol . What's not to love about shiitake mushrooms? With their meaty, earthy taste and hearty texture, their robust, savory flavor is utterly crave-worthy.
I also have a SIBO-friendly, low FODMAP version for folks currently restricting garlic and onions from their diet due to health concerns.
Leftover Bone Broth? No Problem
Remember, bone broth is versatile, and you can always repurpose any leftovers. Use it as a substitute for stock or broth in soups, stews, and braises. It also serves as an excellent base for gravies, pan sauces, and cooking grains. Its natural gelatin and collagen content contribute thickness and body to sauces. If you have excess broth, you can freeze it for longer storage or reduce its volume by simmering it further to intensify the flavors.
Continue Your Nourishing Journey
My hope is that the information and ingredients shared in this post inspire you to warm up your kitchen and get back to whole foods basics. Real nutrition can be as simple as filling your home with light and peace, and your kitchen with whole foods like bone broth, citrus juices, and herbs from your yard or local farmers market. Homemade bone broth may be one of the oldest-new medicines. But preparing it yourself, with love and intention, can be a sacred act and opportunity for nourishment on all levels.
Cheers to your health!