We all want to know about super food natural remedies. One of my favorites is bone broth. It’s rich in collagen, which is incredibly useful for maintaining healthy joints, skin and hair; as well as gelatin, which has gut-healing qualities. It is also rich in the minerals that are needed to keep bones strong. It’s a very restorative and balancing food to include in our diets. I love to make a batch over the weekend and have it available for drinking instead of tea, as well as to use in soups and stews. I’ve got a couple of great recipes below.
If you don’t feel up to making broth, it is now available both in stores and on line. I like The Brothery (www.thebrothery.com). You can buy 6, 10 or 15 count packages of organic chicken bone broth using Mary’s Organic Chicken. And I just got back from a food expo and discovered that Pacific Foods makes a great tasting bone broth, in several different formats. You can get it with ginger, lemongrass or rosemary, sage and thyme (my favorite) Look for it at Whole Foods.
Mineral-Rich Bone Broth/Basic version
prep time: 5 minutes
This recipe makes approximately 64oz of broth depending on how much water, how much you reduce the broth and how strong you like the flavor to be.
- 4 quarts of filtered water
- 1.5- 2 lbs of bones (beef knuckle bones or marrow bones, meaty bones, chicken or turkey carcass bones, chicken or turkey necks)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (organic, unfiltered) (This helps to release minerals)
- 2 Tspn unrefined sea salt – or more/less to taste
- cloves from 1 whole head of fresh garlic, peeled & smashed (optional)
- If you choose, you may brown or roast the bones/meaty bones first in a separate pan/pot if using a crockpot, but this isn’t a necessary step.
- Place all ingredients in a 6 quart crockpot and set the heat to HIGH. You can even smash the bones a bit to get more nutrients out of them!
- Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat setting to LOW.
- Allow the stock to cook for a minimum of 10 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer it cooks, the better!
- Turn off the crockpot and allow the stock to cool.
- Strain the stock through a fine mesh metal strainer and throw away what you skim off.
- Place the cooled stock into glass jars for storage in the fridge (for up to a few days) or pour into freezer-safe containers for later use. (You can freeze it in ice cube trays and defrost a few at a time!)
When the broth is fully cooled, look for a gelatinous consistency. That means your broth is gelatin-rich! At times, a longer or very hot simmer may break down the gelatin and your broth won’t appear gelatinous. That’s OK! The minerals are still there.
If you like, you can skim off any fat that has risen to the top and solidified.
Chicken Broth with Veggies
- 1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
- 2-4 chicken feet (optional)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
If you are using a whole chicken, cut chicken parts into several pieces. Place chicken or chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. (You can cook up to 24 hours, but you will need to remove the chicken meat and return the bones so the meat doesn’t become inedible.) About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salads, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.