Bone Broth, what, why and how?

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chicken broth

I recently wrote about my love for My slow cooker and how I originally got it because I wanted to make bone broth. Today I thought I’d share with you what bone broth is and how to make it.

Broth is made from the bones of animals. By simmering the bones for a long period of time the nutrients will extract from the bones.

It is incredibly protein and mineral rich and contains nutrients that our body will thank you for. Minerals that support the immune system and healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine, and proline.

It can heal and protect your gut lining and reduce intestinal inflammation.
It can help protect your joints and from getting osteoarthritis because of the glucosamine. It gives you stronger bones.
It boosts your immune system because it’s so rich in minerals. And even if you do get sick, you know the old “chicken soup remedy” when you have a cold? Well, it’s true. Bone broth is the answer.
It can help you look younger. Bone broth is a rich source of collagen.  You can often find collagen in beauty products that help to minimise wrinkles and make your skin to look younger, but you can drink it too.

Ok, so how do I make it?

1-2 kg of bones from chicken, beef, turkey or fish. I will say though, that it is important to use bones from a good source. Meat and bones from organic and grass fed, happy animals are more nutrient rich and healthier than grain fed cattle or battery farm chickens.

1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar – optional
Vegetables. Use what ever you have at home; onions carrots, leeks, celery, garlic. 1-2 of each, roughly chopped in large chunks. Exact amount of size doesn’t matter so don’t worry about it to much, its just for flavouring.
1-2 bay leaves
Peppercorns

You can use the bones that are left over from a roast chicken or any other times you have bones left over from a meal. Clear off as much meat and other stuff from the bones as possible but it doesn’t matter if you can’t get them really clean, it will all be filtered away when its all done anyway. If you have raw bones you will need to roast them in the oven for about 30min. The broth will taste better than if they were raw.
The amount doesn’t have to be exact. I can usually get 2-3 old chicken carcasses in my slow cooker, or 1 kg of bones. If you don’t have enough bones left after dinner, you can freeze them and accumulate until you have enough.

Put the bones in the pot and pour water over them. You will need it to cover and have an extra 2-3cm extra on top, but make sure you don’t fill up to close to the edge. This is why you need a big pot.
Pour the apple cider vinegar over and let it sit for about 30min. This is to help draw out the nutrients from the bones. If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar, don’t worry you can still make the broth and it will still taste fine.

Then in goes the vegetables and seasoning. Once it starts to boil, immediately turn it down to just simmering. Or if you have a slow cooker, put it on the ‘low’ setting and just leave it.
The times vary depending on what bones you’re using.

12-24h for chicken bones
24-48h for beef bones
6-12h for fish bones

When the time is up it will look something like this:

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Yummy! 😉

 

Then you need to filter it. I use a big colander and pour it all through in to another big pot, just to get the big bits out of the way. Then I filter it again through a mesh filter.

You will want to cool this down quickly but don’t put it straight in the fridge, that will raise the temperature of the fridge and it will be unsafe for the other food in there. Put the pot in the sink filled with cold water instead.

Once it’s cooled a bit, pour the broth in to jars or containers to store. It will keep in the fridge for about a week. And what you won’t use this week, put in the freezer. It’s a good idea to store it in portion size tubs so you can just take one out to defrost as you need it.

A cooled broth will have a layer of congealed fat on the top. You can remove it if you’d like, but if you have used bones from grass fed, organically raised animals, that fat will be really good for you. And once you reheat the broth it will all melt in it again and make the broth all nice and shiny. You can even use it to fry food in. Fat from well raised animals is not bad for you, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

Thats your broth.

Once you have that the options are endless.
You can season it and drink it as it is.
Use it as a base for soup, stews, gravy or sauce.
Cook vegetables in it.
I use broth anytime I have to use water when cooking. It gives a delicious flavouring and extra nutrients to food.
Mostly I use it for soups.

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Chicken broth soup

So there you have it. Please give it a go. I thought about making broth long before I actually got around to doing it because it seemed so complicated to me, but once I did it, it’s really not that hard at all.
If you try it, please let me know how you got on!

xx

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