Warmth of Bone Broth
Maybe I’m a little slow in realizing this, but 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 a recent health craze, bone broth. The end result is this Deliciously Golden Bone Broth.
Bone Broth Health Benefits
There has been so much research to back up the claims that bone broth have multiple healing properties. Included in the health benefit list are weight loss, anti-aging, immune system booster, gut and joint healer, cancer fighter… the list goes on.
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 adding bone broth to my diet.
The health claims of bone broth seem endless, with all of the health benefits stemming from this delicious gelatin and collagen-rich concoction.
My Personal Focus
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 a very tasty experiments. It’s also incredibly easy and inexpensive to make.
I usually make chicken in my slow cooker at least once a week. I use cooked chicken in so many dishes. And now it’s easy for me to use the chicken carcass and leftover bones to make a delicious bone broth.
And the rest of the ingredients are always hanging out in the fridge in some state of freshness but are still in edible form. They’re begging to be used each time I open the produce drawer.
Because I live in an Amish community among the corn fields in Central Illinois, chicken feet are easy to come by. And I can not tell you what a difference they make in adding gelatin to my broth. After I cooled it down in my fridge it had so much gelatin in it that the broth actually giggled. Just like Jello!
I do have to admit it took more than a couple of batches of broth using chicken feet before I got past the gross-out factor. I wish I had a video of me opening the package and sliding the contents into my slow cooker to make the bone broth. Disgusting! But it took the broth to the next level of deliciousness.
You don’t need chicken feet for a good broth, though. Using the bones, the veggies, a few seasonings and and water, will still produce a gelatinous mixture of delicious goodness.
My “Expert” Findings
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 just plain any time of the day. It 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. In the mean time, I’ll keep drinking away.
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.