So maybe I’m a little slow in realizing it is officially “Slow Cooker Month.” In my kitchen, my collection of slow cookers (and yes, I do have 4) run all year long —fall, winter and spring for chili and stews, and summer for hummus, “refried” beans and “roast” chicken. Lately I’ve been experimenting with the latest health craze, bone broth. The end result has been this Deliciously Golden Bone Broth
A couple of years ago I read Sally Fallon’s, Nourishing Broth and Nourishing Traditions, where the health benefits of bone broth were explained and touted, but it wasn’t until I recently listened to a podcast by bone broth expert and author of Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci (www.drkellyann.com), that I realized I had nothing to lose by trying bone broth. The health claims of bone broth seem endless, with all of the health benefits stemming from this gelatin and collagen-rich concoction.
Some of the health claims for bone broth include weight loss, anti-aging, immune system booster, gut and joint healer, cancer fighter… the list goes on.
Here’s what I zeroed in on: WEIGHT LOSS and ANTI-AGING. If anything can start erasing and filling in those wrinkles (natural botox?) and shape up flabby arms, butt, hips, etc., all while improving my immune system, well…Sign me up!
So far all I know is that it has been very tasty and is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make.
I use a chicken carcass and leftover bones because they’re easy to come by as I try to always make a whole chicken in my slow cooker at least once a week, regardless of the time of the year for quick and easy meals.
And the rest of the ingredients are always hanging out in the fridge in some state of freshness but still in edible form and begging to be used. The end result was a very gelatinous mixture of delicious goodness.
It’s only been a few weeks and here’s what I know. First of all, I’ve gotten over the hurdle of thinking bone broth was only for lunch and dinner. It actually tastes very delicious and even better is that it fills me up. It also makes a great midday snack, especially for kids who could definitely use the extra nutrition.
As for the anti-aging claims, I’m still waiting for that part to kick in. When I start looking and feeling 10 years younger, I’ll let you know.
Deliciously Golden Bone Broth
- 2 unpeeled carrots peeled or scrubbed thoroughly and rough chopped
- 2 stalks celery rough chopped (you can even throw in the top leaves)
- 1 medium onion peeled and rough chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic peeled and chopped in half or even better when smashed
- 3½ pounds chicken or beef bones leftover chicken bones or chicken carcass works or, my favorite, chicken feet when I can find them
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar brings out the nutrients and I don’t notice a vinegary taste
- Optional but nice additions: Fresh ginger root; turmeric root, fresh or dried; dried mushrooms, a couple dashes of Tabasco or sriracha .
- PLACE all ingredients in the slow cooker. ADD enough water, preferably filtered, to cover everything by 1 inch (about 12-13 cups). COOK for at least 8 to 10 hours on LOW (24 hours for beef bones).
- STRAIN the broth thorough a fine mesh strainer and DISCARD all the cooked vegetables, meat and bones.
- TASTE the broth and ADD more salt and seasoning as needed to taste. Let COOL. COVER and PLACE in the fridge overnight to chill. The next day, REMOVE the congealed/hardened fat from the top of the broth.
- The broth will keep for 3 days in the fridge and 3 months in your freezer.