Doesn’t the mere mention of chicken broth make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? I would argue that it’s the coziest of all foods – the bear hug of the edible world.
Until about two years ago, whenever a recipe called for broth I reached for my trusty standby – a box of organic broth that I picked up at Whole Foods without a second thought.
It wasn’t until my mom delivered a couple of containers of homemade bone broth to me when I was down and out with a nasty cold that I discovered it’s magical healing powers (and ridiculously delicious taste, to boot).
I drank an entire quart the day she brought it over it and the next day I was a new woman – almost all of my symptoms had subsided.
Uhh… what? Drinking bone broth helped me get over a cold that had me glued to my couch? Consider my interest piqued.
Not only does bone broth have immune-boosting super powers – it also has an almost endless list of other health benefits like:
- Reducing inflammation
- Healing leaky gut + soothing digestive issues
- Treating food intolerances + allergies
- Promoting strong, healthy bone, skin, hair + nail growth
- Reducing cellulite
- Boosting joint health
- Improving cognitive function
- Promoting detoxification
Since our overall health is heavily dependent on the health of our gut, it makes perfect sense that bone broth can stop a cold in its tracks. A huge chunk of all disease and illness these days is due to an imbalance in our digestive system.
I won’t bore you with all of the science-y words, but from a high level – bone broth is one of the best things you can put in your body from a healing perspective. It’s absolutely jam-packed with nutrients that are extracted from bones and connective tissue like collagen, gelatin (which is the result of collagen breaking down), glycine, arginine, proline, glutamine, calcium, magnesium (and so many more).
Bone broth seems to be all the rage these days (#sohip), and for good reason. Hopping on the bandwagon of this trend won’t have any adverse side effects, unless you’re not into amazing digestion, a kick-ass immune system, and having a radiant glow about you.
You can make this on the stove, but I always opt for a slow cooker. Since it’s best to cook bone broth for 12-24 hours, it makes me feel safer to not have flames from my gas stove involved.
Don’t let the cooking time scare you. Even though it takes hours to extract all of the goodness out of the bones, there is minimal work involved in getting all of these goodies into the pot.
Also! Whatever you do, don’t forget to add in the ACV (Bragg’s is my favorite brand). It’s the key ingredient that helps extract all of those beneficial nutrients from the bones.
In the cooler months, I make a batch of bone broth each week to make sure I have a consistent supply. I also drink it every morning in place of my normal mug o’ warm lemon water. I still add extra lemon juice to it before drinking to make sure I’m getting the best of both worlds – BOOM! It’s like starting each day with a little spa sesh for my gut.
If I’m under the weather, having issues with my digestion, suffering from a bout of eczema, or any other inflammatory issue I’ll up my intake to about 2 – 3 mugs per day (approx. 8oz each).
I also use this as a base for the BILLIONS of soups that I make. (Seriously, you should see my freezer.) You have no idea how much flavor this stuff packs, and it amplifies each bowl of soup’s healing properties in a big way.
INGREDIENTS: (Always organic, if possible)
- Whole, organic chicken (bonus points if the organs are included), or a package of chicken bones/parts (many butchers offer these for short money)
- 3 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 ribs of celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 whole onion, coarsely chopped, skin on
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed, skin on
- 1 lemon, halfed or quartered
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1 inch piece turmeric (not pictured)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Place all ingredients in slow cooker/CrockPot. Don’t worry about removing skins or parts of the veggies you’d normally throw away, you’ll strain them out later.
Fill pot with filtered water, leave plenty of room for the water to boil so you don’t end up with overflow.
Add lid and cook on low for at 12-24 hours (the longer you cook, the more nutrients are extracted from the bones).
If using a whole chicken, you can scoop it out of the pot for a few minutes about 5-6 hours in to remove the meat from the bones if you’d like, if not, feel free to leave it in there.
After cooking, strain out everything that’s not liquid, then ladle broth into mason jars and place in fridge.
The broth will cool and a layer of fat will harden on top. This layer protects the broth underneath it. Only skim and discard the fat right before you’re going to eat the broth. DON’T FORGET THIS PART! It tastes like a greasy, oily mess if you don’t remove the layer of fat.
Also, the more gelatinous the broth gets as it cools, the better! That means you extracted tons of good stuff.
When you’re ready to consume it, heat the broth up on the stove (never in the microwave, it destroys the healing properties).
It will keep in the fridge for up to a week – freeze extra broth as needed so it doesn’t spoil.
Add some fresh lemon juice, salt, pep, and red pepper flakes if you’d like (I add all of the above), and drink up!