Better Broths & Healing Tonics

75 Bone Broth and Vegetarian Broth-Based Recipes for Everyone


By Kara N. Fitzgerald, ND

By Jill Sheppard Davenport, CNS, LDN

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Guided by the healing and longevity formula of the Younger You program, Better Broths and Healing Tonics shares easy recipes that may help heal chronic conditions, increase longevity, and support overall health.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald's groundbreaking Younger You program shows readers how to stave off the diseases of aging and shave three years off their bio age through nutrition and lifestyle. Now she's partnered with Certified Nutrition Specialist Jill Sheppard Davenport to share recipes that are not only compliant with YY, but adaptable to any eating program, from keto to vegan, and are allergy‑free friendly.
Building on the bone broth trend, Fitzgerald and Sheppard Davenport offer a new spin. Their broths—both bone and vegetarian/vegan–are infused with nutrients that are health‑supportive. Not only do they provide recipes for easy, flavorful broths, but also add‑ins to “boost” the broths for maximum nutrition and healing benefits. Better Broths also includes recipes for breakfasts, mains, sides, and even desserts that use the broths as a base. Special diet-friendly, half the recipes are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. By adding broths to recipes, you can amp their nutritional content—and increase their healing properties. Along with recipes for nutrient‑laden beverages (infusions and tonics), Better Broths shows you how to use methylation adaptogens and other health‑supportive ingredients in all your favorite recipes. Ultimately, these recipes help you to stave off inflammation and chronic disease—and live longer, better.



DR. KARA FITZGERALD: I grew up surrounded by the smells of simmering broths wafting through the kitchen: chicken soup, borscht, hearty bean, and stock… these comforting backdrops to my childhood brought warmth, contentment, and a feeling of well-being. Decades later, when I was studying naturopathic medicine, I learned how the use of therapeutic broths in traditional diets and medicine extends around the globe and back many centuries. No wonder broths—be they bone or vegetable based—were often the first prescribed step on a healing journey.

When I started my functional medicine clinic in Newtown, Connecticut, I brought the healing broths tradition with me. Versatile, delicious, medicinal, and nourishing for body and soul, broths have been a foundational part of the nutrition prescription at our clinic ever since.

But a few things I want to share with you really made us up our broth game, so to speak, to create what is arguably the smartest and most comprehensive (not to mention doable and very delicious) collection of broths, tonics, and elixirs.

To those on a healing journey—we bring you not a mere suite of recipes but a comprehensive and sophisticated system to building broths, tonics, and meals, which you can readily individualize for your specific health needs and goals. This system delivers the same power of “food as medicine” that we leverage for patients in our clinic’s world-class, highly competitive nutrition training program, where we prepare the brightest minds in functional nutrition to design cutting-edge nutrition interventions.

To the professional healers and nurturers out there—doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, dietitians, pharmacists, and more—this book equips you to build therapeutic foods into your practice. In our “Better, Healing Ingredients” section, you’ll find the scientific mechanisms for how nutrients heal and address the root causes of disease. Our infusions, tonics, and boosts fold together ingredients known to promote longevity, support immune health, reduce pain and inflammation, and more. I encourage you to peruse, recommend recipes that align best with your patients’ healing goals, and witness the difference, just like I do.

A key part of our own broth education came to us after Jill and I attended a nutrition conference a number of years ago. Bone broths in particular had grown wildly in popularity: everyone was prescribing them, companies were making them, folks were drinking them in abundance. But at that conference, a crucial question was posed: Given that bones can assimilate toxic metals like lead, could our newfound obsession actually be detrimental? This idea stopped me in my tracks. And it especially stopped me because there was virtually NO science out there on the topic—that is, we could not answer the question with a quick scientific search. When I returned to our clinic, I put a challenge to my colleagues: Why don’t we conduct our own, much-needed study, testing beef broths of all kinds for toxins? Jill jumped at the chance to spearhead the project. The main finding was thrilling: the lead content of beef bones we sourced (be they commercial or local, grass-fed and finished, organic or conventional) was nonexistent in some samples, or barely detectable and far below the concern threshold in others. And further, the nutrient mineral content of the broths was rich, including potassium, chromium, selenium, and molybdenum. (While I am thrilled that even conventional bone broths were low lead, for reasons beyond lead content, we still recommend you use the cleanest bones you can source, as we’ll chat about in the pages to come.)

Now confident that broth is indeed as brilliant a base for healing recipes as we had believed, Jill dove headlong into expanding our clinic broths and developing the Better Broths system and led the team to design a range of options for common and complex conditions. But there was one final element we needed to layer in. In practice, all our patients receive guidance in the Younger You program; it’s my eating and lifestyle plan that has shown how it is possible to reduce your biological age without dangerous medications or expensive hacks. The Younger You program—the first of its kind—is specifically designed to optimize gene expression: we were able to verify that indeed, in only eight weeks’ time, our study participants’ biological age was a whopping three-plus years younger than the control group, who received no intervention. You’ll learn more about this in a few pages (and you can read about it in depth in Younger You). But no matter what your condition, age, or reason for wanting to incorporate broths and tonics into your lifestyle, you’ll reap the benefits of the Younger You program here. Its principles are carefully layered into every recipe.

At our clinic, we hold the principles of functional medicine close and always seek to provide our patients with the best care and healing plans. This book represents a system that you can use in your daily life—and it’s compatible with a range of therapeutic diets. When I prescribe these broths and tonics, I almost get a waft of those simmering pots from when I was a kid. That feeling of comfort and wellness that’s embedded in my DNA has driven me to share all this with you.

I am thrilled to be a part of this beautiful offering, which brings the use of broths fully into the modern era with our recognition of the many ways they favorably influence health, their nutrient constituents and interactions, and—my passion—how these nutrients, when taken together, favorably influence how our genes are expressed.

JILL SHEPPARD DAVENPORT: Our hope with Better Broths & Healing Tonics is to help reposition food as a central, necessary, and key component in the healing process. We provide the scientific basis to back this up, along with recipes that make it possible.

I remember the first time I made homemade bone broth. I could not imagine how placing a few average-looking vegetables and some bones into a large pot with water would result in something I would want to drink and cook with. Where would the flavor come from? Would it be worth it? I decided to turn on the flame, let it simmer for a day, and TRUST.

In my mini-kitchen, at the time with its mini-sink, straining the finished broth was a challenge. The simmering ended late at night. So I refrigerated the strained broth, and the next morning attempted to pour it into a saucepan for reheating. It wouldn’t budge. I ended up scooping out the rich gelatin, spoon by spoon. My husband and I used it instead of bouillon cubes in a cauliflower soup recipe. The result? We gave ourselves five stars (not so humble, us two). That recipe is now part of Better Broths & Healing Tonics—the Cauliflower Bisque.

This first attempt at bone-broth making came after a difficult life experience that hugely affected my health, particularly my gut. I decided to give nutrition a try. It made sense to me that nutrients restore health. Bone broth became just one part of a series of nutrition-related twists and turns in my diet that led me to revamp what I ate, with tremendous results, including what is now rock-solid gut health. After that first broth-making experience, making bone broth became a part of our weekly routine, and it wound up as an ingredient in many of our meals, far beyond soup.

Once my gut was back on track, my immune system back in balance, my mood and mental health on point, and my skin back to healthy (goodbye, eczema), I sprinted toward eating the most diverse, abundant, and healthy diet possible. I had been so focused on what to exclude during the initial stages of my healing journey that I wasn’t gravitating toward many tasty options that could have picked up my healing pace.

I was so struck by the power of food as medicine that I decided to expand my public policy and public health career, by studying clinical nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, and their impact on both mind and body. Fast-forward through earning a master’s degree, national board certification and licensure in nutrition, and advanced training in functional medicine, nutritional biochemistry for mental health, and nutritional genomics, plus a not-so-mini kitchen, I joined Dr. Fitzgerald’s clinic and put these precision nutrition approaches to work. I was astonished to witness the impact on my clients’ pain levels, gut health, mind and mood, blood pressure, cardiovascular health and more, and, most importantly, their increased joy, ease, and vitality. I began helping train a dream team of nutrition residents who appreciate the healing properties of food as much as I do. In creating this book, we thought about what would make for fun and delicious healing recipes, and about the health needs of our clinic patients—such as arthritis, anxiety, depression and insomnia, seasonal allergies, or desire for improved fertility, better energy, or healthy aging.

We also took into account those who use dietary strategies such as the ketogenic diet, low-FODMAP diet, or autoimmune protocol, or who exclude dairy, gluten, or other foods, either briefly or over longer periods when working with us to meet their health goals. I designed this cookbook to work for everyone. After all, it wasn’t too many years ago that I was in their shoes. I remember my experience with these diets—I’ve utilized them all at one point or another to achieve a certain purpose for my health. It was challenging to gather new cookbooks and recipes each time I made a switch. I also ate a vegetarian diet from my twenties to my thirties, and wanted our recipes to work with plant-centered diets. As you’ll read, garden-grown nutrients are the foundation of food’s ability to deliver health results.

For those who’ve read Dr. Fitzgerald’s Younger You, which teaches how to apply her pioneering research to different nutrient combinations to turn back the biological clock on aging (how’s that for a motivator to eat well?), this book is a companion to her program. You’ll find it chock-full of recipes that work with the Younger You Intensive or Younger You Everyday programs. If you haven’t read Younger You, you’ll still reap the rewards: the pages combine its benefits, with additional “food as medicine” concepts tucked inside broths, broth-based meals, infusions, treats, and more.

The result is more than a cookbook: you’ll find key information on health-promoting foods and nutrients, understand how they support common conditions from pain and gut health to seasonal allergies, immune health, and more, and learn doable ways to reap the benefits. Hundreds of pots of broth later, we’re thrilled to bring you Better Broths & Healing Tonics.


Consider this our case for food. Read on to learn how these better ingredients work to change your health. Atop each, you’ll see a quick summary of health benefits. Then, strewn here and throughout our recipes, you’ll notice a spotlight on Methyl donors and DNA methylation adaptogens—these are epi-nutrients that are key to optimal gene expression, which ensures we live and age well, and which forms the heart of Younger You.


Health benefits: blood pressure, cardiovascular health, cognition, detoxification, digestion, longevity

Younger You spotlight:

Methyl donor: betaine

The Science: The mighty beet has a unique ability to improve exercise endurance and cardiovascular health while also lowering blood pressure. Pretty good for a root vegetable! One study found athletes who ate cooked beets ran faster during their last mile of a race and concluded that eating beets “acutely improves” their performance.29 Another study of older adults with hypertension found that daily consumption of beets improved their blood pressure in as little as two weeks.30 We also root for beets (pun intended) because they are high in the nutrient betaine, pronounced “beet-ane” after its namesake. Betaine is a big-deal Younger You methyl donor that helps turn back the aging clock. It’s protective against disease, including cognitive decline and cancer.31,32 Fun fact: the betaine in beets is sold in supplemental form as “trimethylglycine,” which healthcare providers utilize to lower levels of homocysteine, an important blood marker for cardiovascular health. Our bodies also use betaine to break down and use healthy fats and for detoxification.

The Recipe: Beet & Shiitake Borscht (here)


Health benefits: anti-cancer, cardiovascular health, exercise recovery, longevity, pain-relieving

Younger You spotlight:

DNA methylation adaptogens: anthocyanin, ellagic acid, fisetin

The Science: Polyphenols are the tiny compounds responsible for berries’ attractive color. Red anthocyanin in raspberries and strawberries, blue anthocyanin in blueberries and blackberries, and red ellagic acid in goji berries, raspberries, and strawberries form a spectrum of protection. We’re for berries because they’re anti a lot of things: antiaging, anti-cancer, anti-pain, anti-arthritis, and more. They also improve cholesterol and blood pressure and lower levels of what is in essence a highly inflammatory biochemical bullet, called nuclear factor-κB.33 Like to exercise? Try eating blueberries several hours after to mend muscles and inhibit inflammation.34 A good portion is one-half to one cup.

The Recipes: Berry Chocolate Mousse (here), Fruitful Gummies (here), Strawberries ’n’ Cream Ice Pops (here), Blueberry Gingerade Ice Pops (here)


Health benefits: bones and joints, longevity, mood, skin repair, sleep

Younger You spotlight:

Methyl donor: B12

The Science: If chicken feet are new to you, let us make an introduction. They’re common fare on almost every continent, from China, Thailand, and Malaysia, to parts of eastern Europe, Latin America, Jamaica, and South Africa, and in traditional Jewish cooking. Their nutritional charm comes from being rich in collagen. Their skin, tendons, cartilage, and bones contain healing amino acids and other nutrients, which in turn support those parts of us.35 All the goodness boils in and makes broth extra-gelatinous. This jiggly texture means every sip supports more youthful, healthy skin and more resilient bones and joints. They also provide a nice dose of glycine, which boosts mood, alleviates insomnia, and supports detoxification. Find these pitter-patter providers at your farmers’ market, local farm share, butcher, grocery store meat counter, or online retailers that sell other bones (see the Bones & Organ Meats section here of the Resource Guide). Optional in our Base Broth recipes, we encourage you to give them a try!

The Recipes: Savory Meat Base Broth (here), Sweet Meat Base Broth (here), Pet-Friendly Bone Broth (here)


Health benefits: anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular health, digestion, heat promoting, longevity, pain-relieving

Younger You spotlight:

DNA methylation adaptogens: luteolin, quercetin

The Science: Chili peppers contain a variety of anti-inflammatory yellow, red, and orange antioxidants called carotenoids. Their distinctive spicy flavor comes from the cardioprotective, pain-relieving, and heat-promoting compound capsaicin. So turn up the flame to turn down the pain! When used topically, capsaicin has been shown to alleviate pain in arthritis, nerve injury following surgery, and diabetic neuropathy. It also stimulates digestion.36

The Recipes: Chicken Tortilla Soup (here), Hearty Beef & Bean Chili (here), Chicken Tikka Masala (here), Mole Negro Wisdom Sauce (here)


Health benefits: anti-inflammatory, blood sugar, gut health (antifungal, antimicrobial), longevity

Younger You spotlight:

DNA methylation adaptogen: kaempferol

The Science: Cinnamon adds sugar-free sweetness to the Better Broths smorgasbord. It combines well with savory spices too, by adding a balanced zest. Thanks to the fragrant polyphenols found in cinnamon bark, this spice fends off fungal and microbial imbalances in our gastrointestinal tract, just like it fends off threats throughout its original home on the cinnamon tree.37 Plus, it lowers inflammation in three ways: first, by replacing inflammatory sugar and sweeteners in cooking, second by providing those powerful polyphenols, and third by lowering insulin resistance—which means it scoots excess sugar from the bloodstream (not good) into cells where it can be used (good). Consider it a triple threat to inflammation not only in our gut but anywhere in the body that inflammation can take hold, which by the way is everywhere. All this, housed in the bark of a plant!

The Recipes: Sweet Meat Base Broth (here), Sweet Vegetable Base Broth (here), Indian Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas (here), Chicken Tikka Masala (here), Mole Negro Wisdom Sauce (here), Stewed Apples (here), Oatmeal with Apples & Cinnamon (here), Apple Spiced Pancakes (here)


Health benefits: anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, gut health (antifungal, antimicrobial, antiparasitic), longevity

Younger You spotlight:

DNA methylation adaptogen: kaempferol

The Science: Critters don’t like cloves. You could see this for yourself if you were to sprinkle a pile of this aromatic spice around your counters, if ants were to invade your kitchen (been there!). The little guys would quickly scatter, and it’s not just because they don’t like the smell. Just as we can detect gasoline’s aroma due to the chemicals it contains, we recognize cloves due to their chemicals that, for humans, are all fortunately healthy. Studies tell us that cloves are antimicrobial and antifungal (think: anti-bug), making them great for the gut. For example, the spice is great for helping keep Candida albicans at bay—meaningful because overgrowth of this yeast is a root cause for the gut hyperpermeability (a.k.a. “leaky gut”) that prompts food allergy and sensitivity in many of our patients.38 Cloves are so potent that, in the right concentration, scientists find they are capable of combating the food poisoning from Salmonella enterica (but don’t treat it this way at home.)39 Clove oil also contains eugenol, which has anti-cancer properties and can counter ulcer damage brought on by H. pylori.40,41 We combine cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg in our Sweet Meat and Sweet Vegetable Base Broths for the ultimate in gut-health tonics. Of course, amounts in little sips here and there won’t accomplish much. But do they pack a punch when infused throughout meals, beverages, and sweets? Our answer is a hearty “yes!”

The Recipes: Sweet Meat Base Broth (here), Sweet Vegetable Base Broth (here), Turmeric, Ginger & Spice Boost (here), Warm “Latte” Blend (here), Mole Negro Wisdom Sauce (here), Apple Spiced Pancakes (here)


Health benefits: anti-cancer, antioxidant, detoxification, energy, longevity, mood

Younger You spotlight:

Methyl donor: sulfur

DNA methylation adaptogens: DIM, sulforaphane

The Science: From broccoli and cauliflower, kale and cabbage, to the trusty collard green, cruciferous vegetables contain the sulfur-based “glucosinolate” that gives them a distinctive odor when cooked. When we chew and digest this tongue-twister of a compound, a certain enzyme inside the plant kicks into overdrive to protect itself from injury, as a sort of self-defense. This happens even after your broccoli florets are sitting, seemingly lifeless, on your dinner plate! The result is a rich mouthful of bioactive anti-cancer, antioxidant, and detoxification compounds. One example is sulforaphane, which kick-starts the liver to remove toxins. Crucifers are also high in folate, the B vitamin that our cells use to grow and divide and is especially needed during pregnancy. Folate is also a key Younger You nutrient, critical for longevity, mood health, brain function, immunity, and cardiovascular health.

The Recipes: Energizing Green Blend (here), Cauliflower Cilantro Soup (here), Cauliflower Bisque (here), Soup of Many Greens (here), Sweet Onion & Greens Soup (here), White Bean & Kale Soup (here), Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry (here), Blissful Broccoli Sprouts (here)


Health benefits: anti-cancer, antiviral, blood sugar, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, gut health (antifungal, antimicrobial, antiparasitic), immune function, longevity

Younger You spotlight:

Methyl donor: sulfur

The Science: Many cultures admirably use garlic in cooking. Its buttery-yellow smooth bulb packs a hefty punch, in more ways than you may think! Garlic’s wide-ranging powers deserve a billboard. Research finds it inhibits tumor growth, reduces high blood sugar and cholesterol, and discourages blood clotting in cardiovascular disease.42,43,44,45 That’s not all. This 99-cent seasoning decreases levels of C-reactive protein (a helpful blood marker of inflammation), supports the gut microbiome, protects against viruses, and staves off parasites.46,47 All thanks to its epi-nutrient flavonoids, polyphenols, and pungent sulfur compounds, like allicin. It also contains a unique array of epigenetically important types of selenium. Extra-geeky note: One way garlic provides protection is by stimulating production of immune cells with neat names like “macrophages” and “natural killer cells” and by modulating levels of inflammatory “cytokines,” which are helpful infection fighters but can become dangerous when levels increase too high.

The Recipes: Savory Vegetable Base Broth (here), Mushroom, Rosemary & Garlic Boost (here), Cauliflower Cilantro Soup (here), Cream of Mushroom Soup (here), Chicken & Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (here), Mole Negro Wisdom Sauce (here), Ginger, Garlic & Sesame Sauce (here)

The above recipes contain a bit more garlic, but most of our recipes contain garlic—happy cooking!


Health benefits: anti-inflammatory, arthritis, blood sugar, cholesterol, gut health (anti-bacterial, gas, indigestion, nausea), longevity, pain-relieving

Younger You spotlight:

DNA Methylation adaptogen: catechins

The Science: Ginger has a spicy attitude. It stands up to germs, like gram-negative bacteria (which is as “negative” as it sounds), yields antioxidants that protect DNA from toxins (such as its namesake gingerol), and swings a sword at nuclear factor-κB and TNF-α, key immune system–related inflamers.48,49,50 It’s also been shown to topple elevated blood sugar, steady insulin,51


On Sale
Nov 8, 2022
Page Count
256 pages
Hachette Go

Kara N. Fitzgerald, ND

About the Author

Kara Fitzgerald, ND, IFMCP, is the first-ever recipient of the Emerging Leadership Award from the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute in recognition of her work on DNA methylation. Receiving her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine, she lectures globally on functional medicine, is on the faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and is an IFM Certified Practitioner with a clinical practice in Newtown, Connecticut. She runs a Functional Medicine Clinic Immersion program for professionals and hosts the podcast New Frontiers in Functional Medicine. She lives with her daughter in Connecticut.

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Jill Sheppard Davenport, CNS, LDN

About the Author

Jill Sheppard Davenport, MS, MPP, CNS, LDN is a health and wellness expert, with twenty years of experience directing, managing and implementing health equity initiatives, nutrition-related projects, health programs, and public policy and advocacy work.  She is fluent in the scientific, clinical, and real-world applications of “food as medicine.” Jill holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the Maryland University of Integrative Health, and national board certifications in both nutrition and health coaching. Her consultancy, focused on health equity, and her clinical practice, specializing in diet-related chronic disease and nutrition for mental health, are based in the Washington, DC area.

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