In traditional food circles you hear a lot about ‘bone broth’. That term can throw people off a bit and sound gross to those who are imagining drinking bones. (Because, yeah, barf.) Bone broth can also be known as chicken broth or stock. You can also make bone broth out of beef bones, chicken bones and even fish bones, personally prefer to make broth from chicken bones.
Chicken broth (and beef broth) should be made from bones of animals that were pasture raised, with no added hormones, antibiotics or grains. You’re homemade bone broth will be delicious and a nutritional powerhouse.
Bone broth is a great source of easily absorbable minerals, particularly calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It is also a great source of gelatin, collagen and a variety of amino acids.
Bone broth can help heal your digestive tract and it is very economical. (Considering you make it from food that typically would be thrown away.)
Many of us are familiar with consuming “chicken noodle soup” when we are sick. It’s not because that can of Campbells chicken noodle soup is good for you… it’s because traditionally bone broth is nutrient rich and can heal the body from the inside out.
I keep quarts of bone broth in my freezer and bring it by when friends are feeling sick. It’s also nice to have on hand, no one wants to spend 24-72 hours cooking bone broth when you have a cold.
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).
I love to save the unused parts of veggies in the freezer until I have enough to add to a batch of broth! I actually do not add any spices to my bone broth, other than what the original chicken was coated in. (Which tends to be a lot, so that is why!)
I always use apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons is plenty, this helps the bones to release minerals.
How to make bone broth:
You will need a crockpot, this is the one that I have.
Chicken or Beef Bones
Purified Water, this is the water system that we use.
If you choose to use vegetables I would recommend carrots, celery and onions. You can also save scraps from vegetables such as peels from onions, tops of carrots, bottoms and tops of celery, bell peppers and brocolli. I would recommend freezing them and then dump the bag of frozen veggies scraps into the broth.
You will need chicken bones. If you eat a lot of chicken, you can save the bones in the freezer and use those to make your broth. I like to buy two organic chickens from Costco, one to use and one to freeze. Cook your whole chicken in your preferred method (i.e oven, BBQ, crockpot etc.) and after you have eaten the meat you can either freeze the bones or prepare your bone broth.
If you are cooking your whole chicken in a crock pot, no need to get all of the meat off the bones. Put the bones, skin, cartilage and any meat you don’t want back into the crock pot with the original juice that was left from cooking the chicken.
Put the vegetables and bones in the crockpot and fill with filtered water. I add a couple bay leaves and 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother. This helps draw the minerals out of the bones as I mentioned before. The calcium and other minerals will leach from the bones and you will actually be able to break them when the batch is done.
Cover and cook on low for 24 – 72 hours. Strain and you have delicious, nourishing chicken bone broth!
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. (I would recommend using wide mouth mason jars, I prefer Ball, there is a “freeze to line” on the jars)