For a while now I have been in the habit of making a weekly stack of bone broth. I live alone and I am often too tired in the evening to cook much. I found that bone broth (from a stack that I have frozen previously) provides an excellent nutritional base for anything simple that I might put together. It can become a soup with added vegetables, that I blend, or a sauce to go with meat, or even just cook some veggies in a small amount of broth. It gives a great taste and adds extra nutrition.
You might ask: “what’s so special about bone broth?”
Here is a little summary from Dr. Mercola about the benefits of bone broth
- Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatine found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion .
- Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage.
- Promotes strong healthy bones: Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation.
- Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.. : A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infections.
- Fights inflammation: Amino acids, such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Arginine for example has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole body inflammation.
- Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better
- Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatine in the broth.
So without delay, here is how I do it.
I usually make it with a chicken carcass, a FARM RAISED or free range chicken carcass. I don’t always choose organic due to the cost, that’s just my choice, but it is obvious that it is always better to go organic if you can afford it.
You can also do it with lamb, or beef bones . I prefer the taste of chicken broth so although I occasionally make the other broths, this is the one I ALWAYS stock in my freezer.
You can use the left overs from a Sunday chicken roast, or, you can buy very cheaply an uncooked chicken carcass.
If it is uncooked, I suggest you put it in the oven for 1/2 hour, to give it that golden look and delicious roast chicken taste. Sometimes the carcasses I get still have quite a bit of meat on them. So I pick the meat off the bones and save for my next meal.
If I buy several carcasses, I cook them all together and freeze them to be retrieved later for the broth.
So I am now ready to make my broth:
I put the carcass, frozen (or not) in the slow cooker and fill it with water.
Put in a swig of vinegar (it helps the minerals leach from the bones into the broth)
Add some bay leaves, an onion cut in half, some rosemary, perhaps some garlic …
Some people add carrots, celery, etc… it’s all mostly for flavour.
Put the slow cooker on high until it starts to boil, than turn to slow cooking and leave for 8-12 hours. The advantage with a slow cooker is that you can leave the house and it is safe.
Mix it from time to time if you are around so the flavours all go into one another. But if not, it’s ok, it will still be delicious.
It’s done. Now it needs to cool and be put in pots in the freezer for further use.