Healthy homemade bone broth is super simple to make and can be so useful and beneficial. You’ll wonder why you never knew about this old homesteading staple.
If you are like me not so long ago, you may have never made your own bone broth or even be sure you know what it is. That’s okay and all the more reason to continue being a lifelong learner. It was just a few years ago that I started to read and begin to understand the just how powerful good food can be for us and the healing power it holds. At the time of my dad’s pancreatic cancer diagnosis, I was on the search for ways to help with his nutritional needs. I discovered an excellent cookbook for cancer patients and those caring for them.
The biggest takeaway from that book, though, was healthy bone broth. Over the years, it has gradually become a staple in my kitchen and now that we are raising our own chickens, I have established an easy routine of preparing a whole chicken each week and using the bones from that chicken to make a batch of delicious and nutritionally dense bone broth.
Benefits of bone broth
1- Helps with digestion issues. Many people suffer from leaky gut and other digestive issues which can be helped by the gelatinous elements of bone broth. This element of bone broth helps to ease the discomfort of damaged lining of the digestive tract.
2. Boosts your immune system. Bone broth is almost like a superfood for a weakened immune system. Because the main ingredient in this liquid gold is bones and the marrow that is steeped from them is a great source of nutrients and vitamins.
3. Great source of amino acids. Bone broth contains several different amino acids including proline which is great for helping to reduce wrinkles. Hey! That should motivate many of us women to plop a chicken in a pot for a day or so. These amino acids are also great for heart health.
4. Promotes joint health. Bone broth contains glucosamine which can be a big help keeping your joints pain free. This is probably my husband’s favorite reason to sip on bone broth.
Additional uses for bone broth
While one of the most popular ways to consume bone broth is simply by the cup, there are also many great uses in the kitchen. Here are just a few:
- Use as a base for soups and stews. Many recipes will call for water or stock, but bone broth is a sure way to beef up the nutritional score of any recipe.
- Use as the liquid for gravy and sauces. Many recipes will work to substitute bone broth for other liquids.
- Use in the place of water for cooking rice. You’ll get instant flavor, not to mention better nutrition.
- Add to leftover dishes as you reheat them either in the oven or on the stovetop to keep them from drying out. Sometimes rice or pasta dishes need a little extra liquid and this is a great way to boost the flavor and the minerals.
It’s as simple as this
Making healthy bone broth is very simple using an instant pot or slow cooker, but you can also use a regular stock pot on the stovetop. All you need to do is toss a few ingredients into a pot, top with water and your favorite leftover raw veggies like carrots, celery, onion and garlic. I recommend simmering the broth for at least 12 hours, but the longer it simmers, the more nutritionally dense your broth will be. I aim to keep the pot simmering for 24-48 hours.
Once you have reached your desired time, allow the pot to cool a bit and prepare several jars to store your bone broth. I usually end up with one half gallon jar plus an additional quart size jar of broth. Place a strainer inside a funnel over the top of the first jar and ladle the liquid into the strainer. You can speed the process along by scooping out the larger bones and vegetables in advance. This process takes about five minutes and the reward is great!
Sip from a cup (add salt to taste) or add to your favorite recipes. You’ll love knowing you have done something great for your family!
Looking for ways to use that chicken meat? Check out these ideas here.