I want to start with this simple (and true) statement: YOU can do THIS! Practically with your eyes closed. Not even kidding. You just need a few ingredients, a big pot, a stove and time. That's it.
First, let's start with the Why: Bone broth is extremely healing, especially for those who have gut issues, joint pain, allergies or brain related issues like ADHD and Autism. The primary benefit of bone broth is its ability to rebuild the gut lining and connective tissues in the body; collagen and various minerals being released from the bones and connective tissues are responsible for these regenerating qualities. Check out this post by Paleo Mom to read more about the specifics of why it is so healing. And if you want a little more in general on the topic, check out this post by Wellness Mama. I'll just say that I have had digestive issues for most of my life and have found that just one day of consuming bone broth significantly calms my symptoms. It's really that powerful.
There are many recipes out there, but I'm going to give you one for a chicken bone broth that you could do in your sleep (in fact, it does most of its cooking while you do just that — sleep!). You can also make a bone broth from beef bones or fish bones and shells. With beef bones you will want to roast them in the oven for a bit before you boil/simmer them with veggies and herbs and spices, and then you'll want to simmer it for up to 48 hours. Yes, 48 hours. Chicken and fish take less time to leach out all the yummy goodness.
For my chicken bone broth recipe I use a whole chicken, but you can use bones from an organic chicken you roasted the day before or you can go to the market and ask for bones. If your market (or online source for organic, free range chicken) has chicken's feet, grab some of those, too. No, I'm not kidding. It ups the collagen game in your broth. All in the name of healing substances, I promise!
You can consume bone broth on its own as a warm beverage of sorts or you can make any type of soup you like. Either way, you will get the healing benefits of bone broth. 1 cup per day is all most need to start seeing benefits. Incorporating bone broth into your regular diet is a powerful way to bring healing to digestion, immunity, joints and a number of other health concerns. Experiment with it and see how you feel!
- 1 organic, free range chicken (including any parts included in the cavity)
- 4 organic carrots, peeled and chopped in half
- 4 organic ribs of celery, chopped in half
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped in quarters
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 Tbl quality sea salt
- 16 black peppercorns
- 2 Tbl unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Plenty of filtered water
- 4 sprigs of parsley
- Place a big stock pot on your stove.
- If you're using a whole chicken, remove it from its packaging and remove whatever goodies are in the cavity of the bird. Place the whole chicken and the goodies into the pot. If you are using bones instead, place those in the pot.
- Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, sea salt and peppercorns.
- Add filtered water to the pot until all the contents are covered, leaving about one inch between the top of the water and the top of the pot.
- Add the apple cider vinegar.
- Turn the heat to medium-high. Cover the pot and bring just to a boil. As soon as the water boils, reduce to a low simmer. Keep the pot covered as the broth simmers. Add extra water as the water level drops. Skim any scum off the top that forms (although you won't have much if you use a high-quality, organic chicken).
- After two to three hours, remove the chicken and remove the meat from the bones. Reserve the meat for use in future soups or enchiladas. Return all bones to the pot to continue to simmer.
- Continue simmering the broth for up to 12 hours. You can do this overnight. If you feel uncomfortable leaving your stove on for that long while you sleep, you can use a slow cooker.
- When there are about 30 minutes left in the cooking, add the parsley sprigs.
- When simmering is done, strain all vegetables, herbs and bones out of the broth.
- Store broth in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can store in the freezer for months.
- I find it really helpful to use a large pasta pot with a strainer built in. That way, when cooking is done, I just lift out the strainer pot and discard everything. Very easy! My recipe uses a whole organic chicken, but you can start with just bones. I find that starting with a whole chicken enhances flavor and also provides meat for the soup I generally make right after I make the stock.