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You can’t open a magazine, turn on a cooking show or grab lunch at that new café without hearing someone talk about bone broth and how healthy it is for you. But what’s the difference between this slow-cooked stock and regular soup? Read and learn.

RELATED: Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

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What the Heck is Bone Broth?

It’s a stock made from the bones of animals—usually chicken, beef, lamb or all three (but there is a vegan option, so read on)—that is slow-cooked for up to 24 hours to absorb the vitamins, minerals and collagen in the bones and cartilage. It’s not the same as the boxed or canned soup stock you buy at the grocery store, which is usually cooked quickly and contains preservatives like yeast extract or MSG.

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Why Is It So Good For You?

Broth that’s been cooked with organic bones is an abundant source of magnesium, calcium, potassium and amino acids that are not typically found in the meat we eat. Additionally, soup bones are a great source of natural collagen. While bone broth has gotten lots of buzz as a cure-all for everything from the common cold to leaky gut to joint pain, critics aren’t so sure. It’s definitely nutritious, but very few studies have been published about bone broth’s medicinal qualities.

How to Make Chicken Bone Broth

If you have 20 minutes to prep and 15 hours to sleep/work/watch Netflix, this broth will be a cinch.

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How to Make Beef Bone Broth

For extra flavor, roast the bones in a pan at 350°F for an hour ahead of time.

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How to Make Lamb Bone Broth

Just like turkey, lamb is packed with tryptophan, which will help you feel calm and sleepy after dinner.

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Vegan “Bone” Broth

Yep, there’s a nutritious version for veggies, too, filled with spinach, wakame seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, turmeric, coconut oil and olive oil. 

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Optional Toppings

When adding vegetables to your bone broth, you really can’t go wrong—but we’re fans of onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, turmeric, celery, red pepper flakes, sage, kale and ginger.

Nom Nom Paleo

How to Store It

Bone broth can be kept in the fridge for up to four days, but it can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. Our friends at Nom Nom Paleo suggest straining the room-temperature stock and then pouring it into silicone cupcake or ice-cube molds. After freezing overnight, pop them out and store in the freezer in an airtight container. Bam, you’ve got bone broth for the whole year.

RELATED: 50 Delicious Slow-Cooker Soup Recipes

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