In Traditional Food circles you hear a lot about ‘bone broth’. That term can throw people off a bit and sound ‘yucky’ to the uninitiated! Instead of bone broth, think of chicken broth…that doesn’t sound so bad, huh?
Chicken broth (and beef broth) made properly (with bones from, preferably, a pastured chicken) can be delicious and a nutritional powerhouse.
*Bone broth is a great source of easily absorbable minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
*Bone broth is also a terrific source of gelatin, collagen and a variety of amino acids.
*Bone broth can help heal your digestive tract
*Bone broth is very economical. You can get quarts and quarts of broth from the bones of 1-2 chickens.
There are many other benefits of bone broth. Be sure to check my post next week to learn everything you want to know about broth!!
As you read different recipes for making broth, you will see some variations, in the vegetables used (or not used), in spices used (or not used), in vinegar (used or not used).
There really isn’t a hard and fast recipe. You essentially need bones, water, heat and time. However, adding some additional items to the broth can make it more flavorful and help to release more of the minerals from the bones!
I have a pot of chicken broth going at least once a week. I usually use the following steps:
Gather vegetables: I coarsely chop carrots, celery and onions. I like to leave the peel of the onion on as this gives the stock a dark brown color. If you want a lighter broth, ditch the peel!
You can also use vegetable scraps as the vegetables are used simply to flavor the broth. Sometimes I save veggie scraps (peels and ends of onions and carrots, bottoms and tops of celery) in a freezer bag and dump them in my broth. It isn’t supposed to be pretty, just tasty!
Gather chicken bones. These are the bones, skin and cartilage of two small pastured chickens. I am sure there is a little meat left too. I am not a fanatic about cleaning every bit of the bones.
If you cook a whole chicken, use those bones! If you eat a lot of cut chicken, save the bones in a freezer bag until you have a full bag. Then make broth! You can even bring home leftover bones from restaurants to save for broth. (I do, recommend, using pastured chickens for broth…this will be difficult to find most restaurants).
Put the vegetables and bones in a crockpot. Fill with filtered water. Sometimes I add a bay leaf or two. I hold off on salt and pepper until the end.
Add a couple tablespoons of an acidic liquid (I use raw apple cider vinegar). This helps draw the minerals out of the bones. Have you ever done or seen the science experiment where you soak a chicken bone in vinegar for 24 hours and the bone becomes all rubbery? This is because the calcium and other minerals have been leached from the bones! In the crockpot, these minerals wind up in your broth!
Cover and cook on low for 24 hours. Strain and you have delicious, nourishing chicken bone broth!
From this batch I was able to get over 4 quarts of broth! Think of how economical that is! 4 quarts of organic chicken broth at the store can easily cost $15-20 and those broths aren’t nutrient dense bone broth! I just made 4 quarts of nourishing broth from bones that would have been thrown away!
You can store your broth in freezer safe mason jars in your freezer for 6 months or longer. You can also keep in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
- Add vegetables and bones to crockpot
- Add bay leaves if using
- Fill with filtered water
- Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Cook on low for at least 24 hours
- Strain and store
- If you have cooked a crockpot chicken, keep all of the drippings and vegetables in the pot. When you are done eating, add the bones back to the pot along with a fresh onion or two, fill with filtered water and 2 tbsp of vinegar and cook on low for 24 hours. I do this a lot when I make a whole chicken. Your broth will take on whatever flavors you used on your chicken, which is usually a delicious thing!
If you feel overwhelmed at making your own bone broth, you can order delicious bone broth from Wise Choice Market and have it shipped to your door!
What do you use your bone broth for? Give us your answers in the comments below!!!
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