Health Benefits

How to Make Nutritious Fish Bone Broth And Its Benefits

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Written by Osas Omere

Fish bone broth is really awesome with a lot of nutrients that provide numerous health benefits. It is the best option for people who don’t have the time to make chicken or beef bone broths.

Chicken and beef bone broths are the most popular kinds of bone broth. For most people, it is very easy to get chicken or beef bones or they have it already.

However, making chicken or beef bone broth takes a long time. You will find yourself cooking and refilling the pot with water for about 24 hours. For those who like to cook their beef bone broth for more than 24 hours, it would be quite tedious.

This is where fish bone broth becomes the best option. With fish bones, you don’t have to simmer for 24 hours or more.

You can start and end with a perfectly cooked fish bone broth in just 8 hours. This saves time and best of all, you’d still get all the health benefits you would get if you had used chicken or beef.

What is Bone Broth?

By now you should know what bone broth is all about if you don’t, no problem.

Bone broth is made by mixing bones, spices, herbs, vegetables in a large pot and simmering the mixture for a long period of time. The period of time that you have to simmer the bone will depend on the kind of bones you use.

When you’re done simmering, you will need to strain the liquid (broth) and discard the solids (bones, vegetables, spices, and herbs). The liquid is what you need.

It is very important that you simmer the mixture for a long period to time. The longer you simmer, the more likely it is for the nutrients in the ingredients (bones, vegetables, spices, and herbs) to be liberated.

This is what makes bone broth very nutrient-dense compared to ordinary broth or stock.

Difference Between Bone Broth, Stock and Broth

Although these three terms can be used interchangeably, they don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

Broth: You can make broth by simmering meat, vegetables, spices and herbs for a short period of time. This is usually between 30 minutes – 2 hours.

Stock: Stock is made differently. All you have to do is to add bones, spices, vegetables, and herbs in a pot. Fill the pot with water and simmer the mixture for about 2 – 6 hours.

Bone Broth: Bone Broth follows the same process with stock. However, the cooking time is usually between 24 – 48 hours. Fish bone broth has a shorter cooking time of 8 hours due to the bones.

Bone broth and stock look almost the same since they make use of the same kinds of ingredients. However, there are lots of differences between the two. Unlike, Bone broth, stock doesn’t gel when cooled. This is due to the absence of gelatin – an important nutrient found in bone broth.

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The absence of this nutrient is due to the fact that stock isn’t simmered for a long period of time. In the end, you’ll lose some nutrients which offer a lot of health benefits.

Homemade Fish Bone Broth Recipe

Making Fish bone broth is really easy and most recipes you’ll find are actually straight forward.

For this recipe, we didn’t add too many ingredients. We went with the popular vegetables, spices and herbs, however, you can add as many more ingredients as you want.

When going for fish bones, it is best to use fish bones from non-oily fish. This is important because fish oils from fatty fish can ruin your broth for you. You can go for fish heads or the entire carcass. You can also mix bones of different fishes.

Bones from fishes like rockfish, turbot, cod, tilapia, sole, halibut, etc are some of the best options to consider.

An important ingredient in this recipe is apple cider vinegar. Adding apple cider vinegar before cooking makes it easier for the nutrients to be liberated from the ingredients.

It is very important for all the nutrients to be liberated so that you get all the numerous healing benefits that a well-cooked bone broth provides.

Ingredients

  • Fish bones (heads or the entire carcass)
  • Chopped carrots
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped onions
  • Bay leaf
  • Peppercorns
  • Apple cider vinegar

You can blanch and roast the bones before cooking. Blanching removes some bits of the bone that can ruin your broth. These bits usually affect the flavor of the broth, so it’s best to get rid of them before cooking.

How to Blanch Bones

  1. Place the fish bones in a large pot and fill the pot with water.
  2. Turn the heat to high and bring the water to a boil. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and drain the pot.
  4. Rinse the bones with water.

Roasting, on the other hand, improves the flavor of the broth. Roasted bones usually taste better than raw bones.

How to Roast Bones

  1. Heat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the fish bones in a pan and place the pan in the oven.
  3. Roast the bones for 10 minutes and then flip them to the other side and roast for another 10 minutes.

You should always blanch the bones before roasting them. Blanching and roasting add more time to the whole cooking process. If you don’t have enough time on your hands, you can totally skip the blanching and roasting process and still end up with a great fish bone broth.

This recipe gives the best results if you’re using a stockpot.

Instructions

  1. Place the fish bones in a large pot and fill the pot with water till the bones are completely submerged. Add the apple cider vinegar and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the other ingredients into the pot (you can add more spices, herbs, and vegetables to this recipe)
  3. Bring the heat to medium and bring the water to a boil. Then reduce the heat till the water comes to a gentle simmer.
  4. Watch out for any foam or impurities that rise to the top of the pot. Scoop it off with a large spoon.
  5. Let it simmer for about an hour before closing the lid of the pot. Leave it at a gentle simmer for about 8 hours.
  6. Always check the water level in the pot. Make sure the water level is above the ingredients when cooking. This means you’ll have to add more water from time to time.
  7. When done, turn off the heat and allow the pot to cool for a few minutes.
  8. Strain the pot through a strainer till you’re left with the liquid (broth).
  9. Pour the broth into mason jars and allow it to cool to room temperature. Place the jars in the refrigerator and allow it to cool for about 1 hour.
  10. When ready to serve, take out the broth and reheat it to the desired temperature. Add any seasoning, spices or herbs you believe will improve the taste and nutritional value of the broth. Once you have achieved the temperature you want, you can turn it into a cup and drink it or mix it with something else.
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With this recipe, you might be making a large amount of fish bone broth. After pouring the broth in jars, you can easily store them in the refrigerator. However, fish bone broth doesn’t last very long in the refrigerator.

You should only store them in the refrigerator if you’re going to use them between1– 5 days. If you want to keep them for a longer period of time, then you should store them in the freezer. Fish bone broth can last up to 3 months in the freezer.

Benefits of Fish Bone Broth

There are lots of fish bone broth benefits due to the nutrient density of the broth. Adding lots of vegetables, spices, and herbs to the bones makes it a nutrient power pack which is why many people love taking bone broth.

Fish bone broth has some added benefits that you won’t find in bone broths made from other kinds of bones. Below, we’re going to list the benefits of fish bone broth including some benefits you can get in other kinds of bone broth.

1. Iodine

Fish bone broth is a great source of iodine. Iodine is a very important nutrient in the body, it has provides a lot of health benefits. Iodine boosts the immune system, regulates metabolic rate, prevents hypothyroidism, promotes apoptosis, and removes toxic chemicals from the body.

Deficiencies in Iodine can lead to fatigue, constipation, hypothyroidism, decreased fertility and abnormal weight gain.

Drinking fish bone broth adds iodine to your diet which means you will be consuming just enough of the nutrient to get the right benefits. 

2. Brain Food

Fish is known to be powerful brain food. People who eat fish regularly have been found to have more gray matter in parts of the brain that regulate emotion and memory. They also have slower rates of mental decline.

You can still get all these benefits from drinking fish bone broth. You can actually get more nutrients if you cook the broth for a longer period of time. More beneficial nutrients are liberated from the bones of the fish this way.

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3. Bones and Joints

Collagen is an important nutrient found in all bone broth regardless of the kind of bone you use to make the broth. Collagen, glycosaminoglycans and many other beneficial nutrients like calcium build healthy bones.

Glycosaminoglycans makes up the synovial fluid – a fluid that lubricates the joints and allows for bones to slide over another without pain or obstruction.

Collagen can help to restore cartilage, it also maintains healthy bones. The gelatin found in collagen helps protects the joints from unnecessary stress.

4. Mood and Sleep

Fish bone broth can help improve your mood and sleep. Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that may prevent and treat depression. These acids significantly increase the effectiveness of antidepressant medications and improve the mood of the affected person.

Fish also contains Vitamin D which can help improve sleep quality. Another nutrient that helps to improve your sleep quality and mood is glycine. Several studies have also shown taking enough glycine before sleep improves sleep quality and leaves you feeling energized.

All you have to do is take a cup of bone broth before going bed and you’ll find yourself waking up on your good side in the morning.

5. Cardiovascular Health

Eating fish has been shown to reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. These are the two most common causes of premature death not only in the U.S but all over the world.

Fishes contain a good amount of nutrients that promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart diseases, heart attack and stroke. 

6. Skin Health

Nutrients like glycosaminoglycans and collagen play a significant role in skin health. Collagen has been effectively used to health wounds, it is also used in promoting tissue generation. Gelatin is an important nutrient that can protect the skin from UV-induced skin damage.

Glycosaminoglycans increase the presence of retinoic acid in the skin which keeps the skin hydrated. It also promotes cell turnover, skin cell proliferation, and wound repair.

7. Faster to Prepare

One of the benefits of fish bone broth is that it is faster to prepare. Chicken and beef bone broth are great, but you’d have to cook them for a really long period of time.

For some people, there isn’t enough time and they might decide to shorten the cooking time. This can make you lose on a lot of nutrients and health benefits.

It is best to go for fish bone broth which offers a lot of benefits and can be prepared in a few hours.

Conclusion

When making your fish bone broth, you can leave out some ingredients or add as many as you want. However, ingredients like apple cider vinegar should remain. The importance of apple cider vinegar has already been explained.

The more ingredients you add, the more nutrients and health benefits you get. You can go ahead and make your fish bone broth.

If you have a fish bone broth recipe, you can share it with us in the comment section.

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Osas Omere

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