It turned cold here this week, the kind of weather that makes you want to stay at home in some comfy clothes and read a book or watch a good movie! We make a lot of soup during winter and it almost always calls for broth. A couple of years ago I learned how to make bone broth. It’s so easy and SO good for you so I wanted to share the process with you today!
Why Bone Broth?
There’s a reason our moms and grandmas fed us chicken noodle soup when we were sick. Broth is soothing and easy to digest. But it also has healing properties. Bone broth has been known to reduce inflammation and improve digestion. Bones are full of nutrients – amino acids, collagen, minerals and electrolytes. When you make broth from bones leftover from meat all of the nutrients from the bones go into the broth. When you drink the broth, whether straight or in soups, etc. your body benefits from all those nutrients.
Research shows that bone broth can help alleviate allergies, improve joint health, boost your metabolism and immune system and overtime give you healthier skin, hair and nails. Drinking it during a cold helps replace lost electrolytes. It soothes the lining of your gut and has been known to help individuals who struggle with IBS, Crohn’s, reflux and more.
Easy to Make
On top of all of the benefits of consuming bone broth, it is super easy to make! The broth featured in this post was made from a whole chicken.
I buy Aldi’s Never Any! Fresh Whole Chicken . My husband likes to use the pressure cooker. He sets it for two hours and the chicken is ready to go! I prefer the crockpot (I have this one and love it!). To each his own! After cleaning out the inside of the chicken (which is the hubby’s job because I can’t do it without gagging) I put it in the crockpot, sprinkle it with some salt and pepper and put the lid on. No need to add any water, the chicken creates it’s own juices as it cooks. I set it to cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 depending on when we need to eat.
Once the chicken is done, we pull it out and strip the meat off the bones. Leave the juices, skin, etc. in the pot. At this point you can roast the bones in the oven if you want the broth to have more flavor, or you can just place them back in the crockpot. I usually add some celery and onion, sometimes a bay leaf and some carrots to add sweetness. It’s really up to you how you flavor it. Adding vegetables to the broth while it cooks also adds extra vitamins and minerals.
Fill the rest of the crockpot up with water until it’s almost full and place the lid back on. Since we usually have the chicken for dinner, I’ll cook my broth on low overnight. But you want to cook it for at least 8-10 hours.
Once your broth is done, turn the crockpot off and let it cool. Once broth is cooled down you can put it through a strainer to remove the bones, spices and vegetables. You can pour the broth in a bowl and seal with a lid or divide it into mason jars. The broth will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer it for several months.
There are so many ways to use bone broth! I know people who drink a glass of bone broth almost daily. You can use it in soups or stews. Cooking your vegetables in broth will add nutrients and you can also use it to make sauces.
And now that you know how easy it is to make, you may be ready to say goodbye to store-bought canned broth!
Homemade Bone Broth
- Bones, juices from whole cooked chicken
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 onion chopped
Take the bones and juices from a cooked whole chicken and place them in a crockpot. Add carrot, celery, onion, and bay leaf. Fill the rest of the pot almost to the top with water. Cook broth on low for 8-10 hours or overnight.
Once broth has cooled, strain and store in sealed container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.