Keto Bone Broth

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Bone broth is one of the essential keto-friendly foods everyone should know how to make. It's my favourite cooking ingredient that boosts any meals with flavour, healthy gelatine and minerals, and it's also great on it's own, especially during cold winter months. Drinking bone broth is one of the best ways to replenish electrolytes (sodium, magnesium and potassium) and eliminate the symptoms of "keto-flu".

Here is why bone broth is good for you:

  • rich in electrolytes (magnesium, sodium and potassium) - helps with "keto-flu"
  • rich in other minerals (calcium, phosphorus)
  • rich in gelatine and collagen (keeps your joints, ligaments, tendons and bones healthy and reduces joint pain, no need to buy expensive supplements for bone and joint health)
  • helps with muscle repair (great for physically active individuals)
  • strengthens nails and hair and makes them look gorgeous
  • helps heal leaky gut
  • fights infections (flu, cold)
  • great for thyroid health and adrenal fatigue issues
  • reduces inflammation (the main cause of heart disease)

If you don't have time to make bone broth or find it difficult to source grass-fed bones, there are a number of pre-made options available. I recommend Kettle & Fire because it's delicious, non-frozen and shelf stable. They also use grass-fed bones and organic ingredients. You can buy their bone broth online (disclosure: affiliate link).

Hands-onOverall

  • (Time to prepare depends on cooking method)

Nutritional values (per cup)

0.7 grams 0.3 grams 3.6 grams 6 grams 3 grams 72 calories
Total Carbs1grams
Fiber0.3grams
Net Carbs0.7grams
Protein3.6grams
Fat6grams
of which Saturated3grams
Calories72kcal
Sodium1104mg (48% RDA)
Magnesium120mg (30% RDA)
Potassium528mg (26% EMR)

Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (4%), protein (20.2%), fat (75.8%). The RDAs and EMR for sodium, magnesium and potassium are based on the standard guidelines. You requirements during the first few weeks of the ketogenic diet will be even higher. You should eat 3,000 - 5,000 mg of additional sodium, 3,000 mg of potassium and 400 mg of magnesium. You can read more about electrolytes and keto-flu in my post here.

Ingredients (makes 6-8 cups)

  • 3.3 lb oxtail (1.5 kg) or mixed with assorted bones (chicken feet, marrow bones, etc.)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium parsnip or parsley root
  • 2 medium celery stalks
  • 1 medium white onion, skin on
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp salt (I like pink Himalayan)
  • 8-10 cups water, enough to cover the bones, no more than 2/3 capacity of your pressure cooker or 3/4 capacity of your Dutch oven or 3/4 capacity of your slow cooker

The nutrition facts of this recipe are estimated based on comparison of similar products. Protein content varies and depends on several factors such as type of bones used and cooking time. Carbs from root vegetables, which are discarded, are only partially included. The same rule applies to oxtail - the meaty parts are not included in the nutrition facts - and to fat, most of which is scraped off the broth when chilled.

Instructions

  1. Peel the root vegetables and cut them into thirds. Halve the onion and peel and halve the garlic cloves. Keeping the onion skin on will help the broth get a nice golden colour. Cut the celery into thirds. Place everything into the pressure cooker (or slow cooker) and add the bay leaves. Keto Bone Broth
  2. Add the oxtail and bones. You can use any bones you like: chicken, pork or beef, with or without meat. Because I used chicken and turkey bones with some skin on, the fat ended up being quite runny. You can still use it for cooking but I binned it.
    Oxtail is rich in gelatin and contains more fat. Although traditional bone broth is made just from bones, especially beef marrowbones, I found oxtail to give the best flavor to my broth. The advantage of using oxtail is that it will yield 3 superfoods: bone broth, tender oxtail meat and tallow. Tallow is great when used for cooking the same way as ghee or lard. Keto Bone Broth
  3. Add 8-10 cups of water or up to 2/3 of your pressure cooker, slow cooker or Dutch oven, vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice and bay leaves. Make sure you use the vinegar or lemon juice – this will help release more minerals into the broth. Keto Bone Broth
  4. Add pink Himalayan salt (whole or powdered). While adding vinegar to bone broth helps release the gelatin and minerals from the bones, pink Himalayan rock salt adds extra minerals, including potassium!
    Pressure Cooker: Lock the lid of your pressure cooker and turn to high pressure / high heat. Once it reaches high pressure (either you have an indicator or in case of old pressure cookers, see a small amount of vapor escaping through the valve), turn to the lowest heat and set the timer for 90 minutes.
    Dutch oven or Slow cooker: Cover with a lid and cook for at least 6 hours (high setting) or up to 10 hours (low setting). To release even more gelatine and minerals, you can cook it up to 48 hours. To do that, you'll have to remove the oxtail using tongs and shred the meat off using a fork. Then, you can place the bones back to the pot and cook up to 48 hours.
    Keto Bone Broth
  5. Pressure cooker: When done, take off heat and let the pressure release naturally for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the lid. Keto Bone Broth
  6. Remove the large bits and pour the broth through a strainer into a large dish. Discard the vegetables and set the meaty bones aside to cool down. Keto Bone Broth
  7. When the meaty bones are chilled, shred the meat off the bone with a fork. If there is any gelatine left on the bones, you can reuse the bones again for another batch of bone broth. Just keep in the freezer and add some new pieces when making bone broth again. Use the juicy oxtail meat in other recipes (on top of lettuce leaves, with cauli-rice or as omelet filling) or eat with some warm bone broth. Keto Bone Broth
  8. Use the broth immediately or place in the fridge overnight, where the broth will become jelly. Oxtail is high in fat and the greasy layer on top (tallow) will solidify. Simply scrape most of the tallow off (as much as you wish). Keto Bone Broth
  9. Keep the broth in the fridge if you are planning to use it over the next 5 days. For future uses, place in small containers and freeze. Keto Bone Broth

Tips for Instant Pot/ Pressure Cooker

I love my new Instant Pot! Apart from slow cooking, there are 6 other functions. It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer and can also be used for sautéing & browning.

My favourite way to prepare tasty chicken stock and shredded chicken in less than an hour is in my Instant Pot. Simply place whole chicken into the Instant Pot and add water (no more than two thirds of the capacity of your Instant Pot). Press the "poultry" button and let the magic happen :-)

Keto Bone Broth

When it's done and the lid can be released, pour the chicken stock through a sieve and set aside to cool down. Shred the meat off the bones and keep them for quick keto meals such as BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup, Cajun Chicken Stuffed Avocado, or Curried Chicken Hand Rolls. I keep the meat in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days - or freeze for up to 3 months.

You can store the cooled chicken stock in the fridge and use just like bone broth - or you place it back in the Instant Pot, add the bones, skin and cartilages, and run through another 1-2 cycles. This way you will extract more flavour and healthy gelatine!

Keto Bone Broth

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By Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (162)

is the 3gm of fat calculated on scraping the fat off? or leaving it i normally scrape all fat off bone broth (dont like it)

Reply

That is correct, it is calculated after you scrape the fat off. There will still be some fat left and that is why I listed fat in nutrition facts. It is an estimate (average) and will vary in different batches. Both protein and fat content will vary in every batch and also depends on the cooking time (different amount of fat and extracted collagen). I hope this helps!

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Hi, I'm picking up some beef bone from a local farm later today but I suspect they may be too bog for my slow cooker.  I have a large metal pot which I've used before to make large quantities of soup on the hob, do you think this will be OK?
Thanks!

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Absolutely! Just make sure to use plenty of water and once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to minimum. Don't forget to check every now and then to see if you still have enough water. I hope this helps!

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Hi I was wondering if you could tell me of the servings are when the broth is chilled and do you add warm water to it to melt it?

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Hi Leslie, the total number of servings depends on the level of evaporation - in my experience every single batch is different (6 to 8 cups). I just heat it up on the stove or microwave it for a few seconds (no water added). Or you can add it directly to the dish you are making (no melting needed). I hope this helps!

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Hello,
I am a new Ketoer.  I have an instant pot and I purchased some ox tail.  Can I ask what you do with the tallow on top of the finished broth?  Do I remove it from the broth?  Is this the tallow that is good to use in a frying pan?  Thank you.

Reply

Yes, I remove that. The fat layer on top can be used for cooking just like ghee or lard. The fat on the photos here is a combination of schmalz (chicken fat) and tallow (beef fat) so it is slightly different (more runny and yellow). I pour the stock in a container, let it chill in the fridge and then scrape off the fat as it solidifies (the next day). It's better to do that otherwise the bone broth will be too oily.

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Thanks!
I just made oxtail bone broth. I chilled it, then skimmed off the fat. You say to use it like ghee. I'm not sure that would taste good...I'll try it I guess.
After making the broth and straining and skimming of the fat, I added some red wine and lots of sliced onions. Delicious!

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I think that nothing tastes as good as ghee! This is closer to tallow. Give it a go and see if you like it 😊

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What are the exact settings to use for the Bone Broth recipe for an Instant pot?

Reply

Hi Shannon, I use the "Stew/Meat" setting, lid sealed, or "Manual", high-pressure and 45 minutes.

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Can you please explain the brown sediment that settles at the bottom. Do i need to get rid of it?

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Hi Penny, the scum on the bottom and also top (foam) when cooking meat is just denatured protein, it's nothing to worry about. It may make your broth cloudy but that's about it. You can remove it but it's just aesthetic.

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I'm wondering why you peel the veggies? I always only wash mine, break instead of cut whenever I can and leave the skins or peels on,especially onions, garlic and carrots.
My dad is a chef and I was raised to keep the skins in my diet as much as possible.
Am I missing something??
Thank you for the info. It sounds like I may have been mis.informed.

Reply

Hi Amy, I do it to avoid any bitter aftertaste that unpeeled veggies like carrots may have although it wouldn't make much of a difference with this amount in the stock. You can leave it and it won't make a difference.

Reply

Just curious about calories with just plain beef bone broth, I'm not adding all the veggies and having hard time finding info, just wonder if your nutrition information is based off everything or bone broth only?

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Hi Rodney, nutrition facts are estimated as not all ingredients (veggies, spices, meat and bones) are fully used/consumed. They are not 100% accurate and also depend on the cooking time and type of bones (collagen).

Reply

What is the nutrition information for the juicy oxtail meat? I can't find it anywhere.

Reply

Hi Renee, we use verified food databases, such as the USDA, to calculate nutrition facts in all recipes. Nutrition facts of all of these foods are in the KetoDiet App.

Reply

Thanks so much for these great tips! I have been making chicken stock for years but had no idea that adding vinegar/lemon juice could really boost the benefits!

Reply

How do you drink this if it’s gelatin?

Reply

It will turn back into stock once heated 😊

Reply

Do you know of a Canadian supplier for Bone Broth?

Reply

I'm sorry, I don't know any Canadian suppliers - maybe someone else can answer?

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Since this provides magnesium, potassium and sodium could I use this as electrolyte drink for working out?

Reply

Absolutely! However, I would still recommend including foods high in magnesium and potassium:
The Importance of Magnesium in Low-Carb Diets
The Importance of Potassium in Low-Carb Diets

Reply

I just made the bone broth following the directions exactly, using all oxtail bones with meat. I used a crock pot and added 8 cups of water. I set it on low and let it go for about 26 hours. I lost a bunch of liquid! I only ended up with just under 2 cups of broth. What did I do wrong? Or maybe the lowest setting on my crockpot is too high. I did notice it was boiling pretty good so maybe that's the problem. Any suggestions on what I should do next time to get more of a yield?

Reply

I think your slow cooker temperature settings are higher and/or the slow cooker lid does not seal well. I did notice this with some slow cookers. I've tried 3 so far and I keep using the original "Crockpot" and the Instant pot (although this one is better for pressure cooking). The temperature settings on the other slow cooker (Morphy Richards) are off and I burned a cake even on the lowest setting, cooking it for just 3 hours. And the lid does not seal well either. If it's bubbling too much even on the lowest setting, then the temperature is likely too high. The best thing to do is to add liquids after the cooking is over - or start with more liquids if you can fit it.

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You are correct, a poorly sealed lid or higher than normal heat causes what was described.  In cooking, it is called a reduction or reducing, that is the loss of liquid due to evaporation, causing the food to become more concentrated in flavor and taste.  Not a great way to go if you want broth.
A simple solution, watch the levels, as the levels drop, add water.  The minerals and gelatin will still be in the mixture, so just add water as the recipe dilutes.
Personally, I use my pressure cooker, minimal water loss, maximum flavor and minimal time.

Reply

Hi when will ketodiet app for android be available for macro tracking?

Reply

We will release it at the end of this month - or in August 2017 😊

Reply

Hi There --
Your one broth looks so good!  We have a local farm that we get bones from.  His cattle are grass fed and he does not treat them with any antibiotics or hormones.  I made bone broth recently in a large electric roaster.  I browned the bones first, added a few veggies, herbs and tumeric.  I put in a gallon of water though and also the Organic apple cider vinegar.  The bones didn't really have any meat on them but I had some knuckle bones and others that were full of marrow.  After they will boiling I set it on low for 48 hours.  I didn't have to really scrape any scum - I think that is because the bones came from clean source.  The broth turned out nice and had a great amount of fat but it never turned to jelly.  I'm not sure what I've done wrong?  I want to try again.  Maybe I put too much water or maybe I need to use more bones.  Not sure where I would get the oxtail from.  I might be able to score some chicken feet from our farmer friend though.  It's important to me to eat clean.  
Any ideas what I've done wrong?
Thanks!
Cheryl

Reply

Hi Cheryl, the reason is that there wasn't enough gelatin on the bones, or there was too much water. Try adding chicken feet (or oxtail if you can find it) - they will help it gel once it's chilled. I also add chicken bones that I keep in the freezer (leftovers from roasts or when deboning chicken thighs). I hope this helps!

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That broth looks delicious! I personally go with Au Bon Broth. Their organic broth is amazing and greatly improved my health.

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Hi
when I import this recipe into my fitness pal, it says there are 17g of fat?  can this be correct given that all carbs are taken out before we eat the bone broth?

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Hi Heather, I'm afraid you won't be able to "import" this recipe and get accurate nutrition facts. That's because a large part of the ingredients are only used partially (e.g. the meat is not included and the fat is skimmed off the broth). I hope this helps.

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Heather,
Like Martina and others, I need the bone broth to import into apps/MFP, so if someone can provide/add importable broth info, then that would serve us all good, and give us the details for this article.
Thanks

Reply

Hi Steve, all recipes posted on my blog are also included in the KetoDiet App - with nutrition facts. I hope this helps.

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Hello Martina,
I'm curious about the protein content you listed. I’m finding numbers all over the place on the internet. The USDA database has figures ranging from 6 to 13 g/cup. Myfitnesspal has 0 to 24 g/cup. I’m always suspicious of the macros on MFP, but I do think the 3.6 g/cup you have listed is low. I found an article (linked below) where someone has sent samples to a lab for nutritional analysis. Both broths were made from about 3 lbs of bone; one was cooked for 12 hr, and the other was cooked for 24 hr. The lab came back with about 14 g/cup for the 12 hr broth and about 28 g/cup for the 24 hr broth.
Anyway, I drink a lot of this stuff, and I religiously track my macros, so it’s frustrating to have to rely on a wild guess. It seems to me there are only three variables. Someone should be able to say authoritatively that if I simmer X pounds of bone from animal Y for Z hours, I’ll yield a broth with _ g of protein per cup. What gives?
http://www.alive.com/health/bone-broth-analysis-reader-research/

Reply

Hello Jorge, thank you for the link - I'll review it as soon as I can. I never rely on MFP or other apps that use crowdsourced data but I did use the USDA and several products for a comparison. I suppose that the protein content can be twice or even four times more than I listed it here but I find it hard to believe that it would be as high as 28 g of protein per cup. Cooking time and types of bones play is what will determine the protein content but I think it's nearly impossible to calculate this precisely.

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Hi Martina,
I received a couple bags of bones with my order of grass fed beef. I would like to try bone broth but since they are just regular bones and not oxtail, I should probably add some chicken feet. How many would you recommend I add to the above recipe?
Thank You!

Reply

Hi Alanna, yes, you can use beef bones (or any bones - last time I used a combination of lamb and pork). Chicken feet will help it gel so it's good to add some if you don't have any oxtail (although oxtail adds a wonderful flavour too). I'd say up to 10, it depends how many bones you have and how many feet you can fit. Here's a great guide on how to prepare chicken feet before adding them to the broth: http://theelliotthomestead.com/2015/01/chicken-feet/

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Do I have to remove the oxtail using thongs, or can I keep my Speedos on and use tongs?😀

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That made my day!! :-D Thank you for spotting this typo 😊))

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Hi Martina, you suggest using a pressure cooker or slow cooker. Can a normal pot be used and will it yield the same results?

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Hi Jakob, I think that a heavy-based pot like Dutch oven is a great option. The only drawback is that compared to a pressure cooker or a slow cooker, you will lose more liquids and will have to keep an eye on it (see step 4 for more info).

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Hi!  When I do my bone broth I freeze the gelatin in ice cube trays - would adding one of these (or 2) to a cup of hot water be ideal for bone broth?  I use beef soup bones, chicken carcasses and chicken feet, so it's pretty much just gelatin after I skim off the fat once it is cooled.
Thanks!

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Hi Tanya, it depends how strong you like your bone broth to be. You can use just a few ice cubes of frozen broth to add flavour to soups and stews - or mix it with some water.

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Hi, I just have a small question about the calories. If I used 8 cups of water and ended in less than 5 cups of liquid(there is something wrong of my slow cooker, the amount of water reduced significantly m), is the nutritional fact still ok to use? Or should I just divide my broth into 6 equal portions and use the calorie content though each of them is less than one cup?

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I personally wouldn't worry. I think that the difference is negligible. If you really want to be precise, then you can do that but I don't think it's necessary.

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What does this mean? Is it a Queen's English thingy?
<2. ....You can still use it for cooking but I binned it.>

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Compared to tallow that is solid, this batch mostly included chicken fat that is too soft and I personally don't like using it as cooking fat 😊

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What is "binned?"

Reply

To bin = to put something in a bin (past tense is "binned"), to throw away - is that what you meant?

Reply

Yes...good to know what you meant!

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