Bone broth is one of the healthiest foods you can make at home. It’s also one of the cheapest and easiest. It’s a superfood that does it all: it assuages an irritated throat, nurses the sick back to health, helps aid healing for arthritis and inflammation, eases childbirth, and wakes up the fatigued (1). It also provides proline, glycine, and gelatin, essential nutrients that the body needs for healthy cartilage, bones, joints, skin, muscles, and a healthy digestive track, immune system, and heart. (2) It also contains other nutrients and minerals–like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, and other trace minerals– in a form that the body can easily absorb. (1,4) As if it didn’t do enough, it also improves liver function (3), heals the mucus lining of the small intestine, improves digestion, dampers allergies, heals nerves, provides electrolytes in an absorbable form (4), and smoothes out cellulite and wrinkles. (5) Why, yes, you did read that correctly.
Not only is it nutritionally sound, it, by nature, provides that wonderfully warm sense of healing and comfort– it really is food that soothes the soul and welcomes the weary traveler home.
And it’s frugal. The bones used to make it are cheap to buy, but most bones found on the table are usually thrown away with the other table scraps. Also, save your onion skins, carrot and celery peels, and you don’t have to use up your vegetables stores to make the broth. If you do those things–keeping the bones and vegetable scraps–you’ll make the broth for the cost of the water and herbs (and your time and effort, if you want to be precise). Since the cost of those things are so small, you’re pretty much making it for free, since you’re using things you would usually throw away.
It’s healthy, frugal, and easy. Bone broth is probably the most hands-off thing to make in existence. Once the ingredients have been combined, the soon-to-be broth sits out of the way, minding its own business for 12-24 hours. (If you get ugly foam rising to the top, however, you will have to strain that off, since those are unappetizing impurities. But even then, you only strain the foam only once an hour for maybe the first two hours– that’s only twice!)
So, go. Make yourself some broth. Make yourself at home.
bone broth (chicken)
bones from one chicken carcass (or leftovers from a roasted chicken and any others)
4-5 carrots, with tops removed and cleaned
1 onion, quartered (or onion skins from about two onions)
1 bunch of celery (or peelings from about that much// note: my family loves the taste of celery in broth, so we use a lot; feel free to reduce this amount)
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1-2 bay leaves (optional, but recommended)
2 tsp ground thyme (optional, but recommended)
7-8 whole black peppercorns (optional, but recommended)
Enough filtered water to cover
1.) Place all ingredients in a stock pot (or crock pot, if you’re using one).
2.) Cover with filtered water so that there’s about 2 inches of water above the bones.
3.) Pour in apple cider vinegar and stir.
4.) Cover and allow it to sit for 1 hour.
5.) Turn the stove on to low heat (or crock pot to its lowest setting).
6.) Cover and allow to sit for an hour, returning to check for foam. If foam is on the top, skim it off with a spoon, and throw the foam away. Cover the broth and leave it alone for another hour, when you’ll come back and skim the foam off again.
7.) Walk away. Leave it alone. Check it only once and a while to make sure it is NOT boiling–make sure there are no bubbles rising to the surface, like when boiling or even right before boiling. (Boiling will oxidize the fat and cause the broth to take on a strange flavor.) The broth is finished in 12-24 hours from when you turned the heat on.