I know many of you are interested turning your home kitchen into a nourishing central for you family, but you may not know where to start. I want to help by starting a series of ways to add Nourishing Traditions into your daily diets. Plus, added ways to ditch modern day “products” that our society has taught us to believe in so you can have a nutrient dense pantry instead of a lab created nightmare. There is no better way to kick off this series than with Bone Broth. Ultra-healing, full of necessary minerals and nutrients and very simple to whip up in your home.
By now, we have all heard of the elusive bone broth but may not have a clue what it could do for us or where to start. So, you’re thinking, what’s in it for me? Well, a whole lot more than just making some chicken noodle soup to help that nasty cold.
Amazing Benefits of Bone Broth
- Minerals: Bone broth is loaded with essential minerals for our bodies to run at full levels — calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals, all of which have been depleted in our every day diets. Our bodies need these minerals for enzymatic processes need to function well. What does that mean? Overall, our bodies function better.
- Nutrients: There are two essential nutrients, glucosamine and chondroitin, which support joint function. So many individuals spend high dollars on purchasing these supplements when they could be getting this on a daily basis with home-made bone broth.
- Anti-Aging: Bone broth contains gelatin and guess what gelatin does ladies (and men)? It strengthens hair, nails & skin. It also aids in healthy digestion as well as nourishes connective tissue. This broth also contains proline, an amino acid, which is necessary for the production of collagen. So, are you tired of that saggy skin, thinking about botox – drink up.
- Detoxifying: We all know how important it is for our liver to detoxify properly and bone broth is has glycine, which is the amino acid that aids the liver in detoxifying. Glycine also helps with the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that lends it’s hand in preventing premature aging.
Alright – so to sum up lots of terminology and mean to some problems I struggle with on a daily basis? So why can’t I buy the store bought, pre-packaged broth?
Most important, read the ingredients on the labels – many packaged broths contain unnecessary ingredients added to increase the shelf life, taste and ‘nutrition’. Many stocks have added oils, but a good bone broth is full of quality chicken fat, so there is no reason to add any oil. Often found in broth is ‘natural chicken flavor.’ Now someone tell my why this is necessary? If you’re broth doesn’t taste like chicken and you have to add flavor, it tells me it wasn’t very good chicken stock to begin with. Also – ‘natural chicken flavor’ is essentially MSG.. so steer clear of the boxed kinds and turn to making your own. You’ll know exactly what it’s comprised of and it will contain all the fat-soluble vitamins and micro-minerals, that those counterparts have missing.
What do I need?
Beyond a crock pot (preferably one that can go from browning on the stove top, straight in the crock) and a mesh strainer plus some canning jars or ice cube trays for storage – you will need quality chicken bones and parts. You can either buy whats needed from your local butcher or farmer, but what if you don’t have that type of access? I typically make bone broth after I roast a whole chicken. I purchase a pasture raised chicken either from a reliable online source or my local healthy food store. Buying the highest quality (pasture raised chicken) will lead to higher fat content with more fat-soluble vitamins and chocked full of macro-minerals you won’t find in any lean white meat counter part chicken broths.
When I am preparing my whole chicken for roasting, I remove the gizzards and neck and set aside in the fridge to be used later in the broth. After the chicken is cooked and carved, it’s as simple as taking the carcass and tossing it into a crock pot along with the gizzards and neck to begin the process. Follow these simple steps below to be on track to healing your house with nourishing bone broth.
Keep in mind – the amount of ingredients can give and take depending on the size of your crockpot. You can also use a variety of vegetables you have on hand to create the stock, but it is always good to add the onion and celery in. This recipe can also be used for beef broth or fish stock, just be sure to add a little more apple cider vinegar and the beef broth can cook for up to 72 hours, where as fish would be timed the same as chicken.
Nourishing Chicken Bone Broth
- 1-2 lb pastured chicken bones, neck, feet* (*optional but these add a whole extra level of nutrients packed into the broth)
- 1-2 yellow/brown onion – ends removed and roughly chopped (I even thrown in the skins of the onion, given it’s organic so it’s not laden with pesticides)
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- Optional – extra vegetables, such as broccoli stalks or leeks (I keep leftover parts of veggies I don’t use the week prior to making broth)
- 2 tsp unrefined sea salt (DO NOT use table salt – make sure to purchase a quality celtic sea salt or real salt for nourishing recipes and ditch all table salt from here on out)
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns, optional
- enough filtered water to cover the bones
- 1-2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
Place chicken bones, neck, feet with veggies, salt and peppercorns into the crock pot. Pour in enough filtered water to cover the chicken, basically enough water to fill the crock pot up to the top. Add the apple cider vinegar. Turn slow cooker on low and let it simmer for up to 24 hours. The longer the broth simmers, the more nutrients it will draw out of the bones. If you’re slammed for time, you can cook it for as little as 8 hours.
After the broth has finished simmering, strain the broth and discard all bones, vegetables and peppercorns. Pour broth into wide-mouth mason jars for easy storage (regular mouth jars have a tendency to crack so it’s important to use these as they are intended for freezing). You can also pour into ice cube trays for easy use in small quantities. I double strain to make sure I capture all small pieces of broken down vegetables and meat. Bone broth will be good for 1 week in the fridge. If freezing some stock, allow it to cool before placing in the freezer.
Also be sure to enjoy some fresh out of the pot – especially on this chilly winter days.