Ask the Expert: Is There a Vegetarian "Bone" Broth?

Learn vegans and vegetarians can reap similar nutritional benefits for bones, teeth, tissues, and organs as fans of bone broth enjoy.
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Learn vegans and vegetarians can reap similar nutritional benefits for bones, teeth, tissues, and organs as fans of bone broth enjoy.
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I’ve heard about the benefits of bone broth. Is there a vegetarian option with similar properties?

Yes. Bone broth is getting attention for its gelatin, an amino-acid-rich animal byproduct that is believed to help build bone and joint-supporting collagen. And while there is no vegan substitute for gelatin, you can make a similarly mineral-rich plant-based broth. Why broth? The body easily absorbs it, allowing ready assimilation of nutrients that protect bones, teeth, tissues, and organs.

READ MOREWhy You Should Try a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet

How to Make Vegan "Bone" Broth

To make your vegan version, freeze your vegetable scraps—for example, mushroom stems for the antioxidant mineral selenium, parsley stems for blood-producing iron and bone-supporting vitamin K, potato skins for the mineral potassium, carrot shavings for vitamin A—in a resealable bag or jar. When you accumulate a quart of leftovers, place them in a slow cooker and cover with two quarts of water; add ½ tablespoon sea salt and a 2-inch piece of kombu (edible seaweed) for potassium, calcium, and essential folate and iodine. Heat on high until liquid boils, then reduce to low until vegetables are very soft, 2–3 hours. Stir and strain through a colander, reserving and refrigerating the liquid, and discarding the rest. Heat and sip one cup of broth daily like you would hot tea, or enjoy it after a strenuous yoga class or other exercise.

--Christian Taylor, RYT
Owner of Balance Yoga and Nutrition, Denver

READ MOREExplore Yoga’s Vegetarian Roots