The world has really taken a huge step in the right direction towards bettering our health over the course of the last few years. If we were to travel back in time a couple of decades, we would find trans-fat in almost every meal we consume. We would find Americans smoking cigarettes as if it were going out of style and we would find that breathing in pollution was pretty typical on our daily commute to the office. Welcome to 2020! We have grown so much as human beings since then where it almost seems as if we all had an epiphany.
This realization woke us up and taught us that some of the things we have effortlessly been putting into our bodies are actually really harmful. Today, you can easily go to a grocery store or hop on Amazon to read the label on your favorite food products. You can see which ingredients have been listed so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Reading the nutrition labels is so important because our bodies require certain things like vitamins and minerals to function properly.
The problem today is that life gets busy. Sometimes it gets so busy that we forget to nourish our bodies with these good nutrients that we truly need to function. Another issue is that the market is completely saturated with different fad diets and supplements that we tend to get lost and confused, causing us to just completely give up on trying to feel better. Some people feel that the only way to get the right nutrients is by popping an artificial vitamin or gummy.
I am here to tell you that there is a better way to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to support a healthy lifestyle. It might even sound kind of silly because it is so simple and has been around for years, but as of recently, it has come into the spotlight. Are you ready? The answer is bone broth. Specifically, we’re going to talk about chicken bone broth and how you can make bone broth.
What is Chicken Bone Broth?
Bone broth is made by using a slow cooker or stock pot (it can also be made in an instant pot) to simmer the bones and connective tissue from animals into an easy, digestible liquid. It’s similar to chicken stock, but with more benefits. By doing this, we are transforming the bones which have an immense amount of nutritional benefits such as amino acids, minerals and vitamins, and turning it into what we know as, bone broth. Bone broth is simply comprised of animal bones we normally don’t eat when cooking!
We all know that eating chicken is really good for us because it is high in protein and tends to be low in fat. Usually we eat the meat and toss the bones, however what many people do not know is that those bones contain an immeasurable amount of nutritious value to our bodies. Chicken bones contain many vitamins and minerals such as magnesium. Additionally, chicken bone broth is the perfect addition to anyone who follows a keto or paleo diet.
Our bodies are amazing and can do some truly incredible things, however something our bodies can’t do, is make omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. We must obtain these nutrients through diet. These essential fatty acids play a crucial role in supporting optimal health. Omega-3 essential fatty acids support healthy brain development and function where Omega-6 essential fatty acids are an important source of energy for our bodies. Nutrition facts don’t lie. Both of these essential fats are found in chicken bones.
What is Bone Broth?
The use of bone broth and its benefits date back to many centuries ago, but what you are probably most familiar with is grandma bringing you a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup when you were feeling ill. Yes, I am sure the warm broth would soothe your sore throat and would bring happiness to your spirit, but that was not the only reason why grandma made this for you. Bone broth has been used in many different cultures due to the amazing benefits it has to offer. While there are many different types of bone broth such as beef and turkey, one of the most popular types comes from chicken bones.
How to Make Bone Broth in a Slow Cooker or Stockpot
Bone broth is packed with so many amazing body nourishing nutrients from the bones and connective tissues. So, when you want to make bone broth, you will always want to start with high quality chicken bones. High quality chicken bones mean that the chickens were grass fed and raised humanely. These bones pack the highest amount of nutrients.
For your chicken bone broth, you will want to start by using the bones of a chicken carcass. Most recipes call for organic chicken. The cuts of meat that are high in collagen are the areas you want to utilize such as the chicken feet, knuckles, neck, back, marrow and even chicken wings. Don’t be afraid to use the whole chicken. To make your chicken bone broth taste the best, you will first want to blanch the bones.
Blanching is a cooking process where the food item is boiled and then submerged in ice cold water to quickly stop the cooking process. You can do this in a stock pot before utilizing the slow cooker if that’s your method of cooking. However, chicken bone broth can be made on the stove top in a stock pot from start to finish. Let them cook and simmer for roughly 20 minutes before you drain and roast them.
There are specific bone broth recipes you can follow or you can customize it to your liking to create your own homemade bone broth. Some people like to add a little bit more flavor to their broth so they will actually roast the chicken bones after blanching them.
When we roast the bones, they will brown and caramelize in the oven at approximately 450 degrees. This is where that extra level of flavor comes from! Roast your chicken bones for roughly 45 minutes or until they are a nice golden color. Once your chicken bones are done roasting, it is time to whip out your largest cooking stock pot!
You will place your chicken bones into a large pot and simply top it off with filtered water until all of your chicken bones are generously covered. The key ingredient to chicken bone broth is going to be adding some type of acid. This is what gets the bones to release all of the nutrients, so it is critical to add this to your broth.
You can use any type of acid, but apple cider vinegar typically tends to be the most popular choice. Apple cider vinegar alone has so many benefits when added into a person’s diet. Put in roughly 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar into your water mixture.
Next is your seasoning! There are so many different things that you can put in your chicken bone broth to help season it, but since you are using high quality bones, make sure you are using high quality vegetables as well! Add veggies like celery and or onions. If you want a little bit of a sweeter broth, then opt for carrots. Add in a dash of sea salt and pepper to taste, maybe some thyme and bay leaves. Whatever flavors you enjoy – add them!
Now it is time to simmer! Once all of those amazing ingredients are packed into the pot, you will want to bring your pot to a boil. Once your water is boiling, immediately bring it down to a simmer and let it do so for up to 24 hours. The total amount of cooking time is what really let’s the ingredients soak in to give you the full punch of flavor you should expect to get with chicken bone broth.
The result of allowing it to boil for 24 hours is mind blowing! Think of chicken soup, but better. Flavorful, nutrient packed, gelatin rich chicken bone broth is what you will have. You will want to strain your chicken broth prior to consuming by using a mesh strainer and or storing it. To store the finished chicken bone broth, put it in a sealed jar or freezer bag. It will last in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 4-6 months. Enjoy!
So, there you have it folks! Welcome to 2020 where we are bringing back old recipes from grandma’s kitchen to help our bodies get the best nutrients possible! Chicken bone broth is so good for us because of the amazing benefits it has to offer such as support to our brain function and reduction of inflammation to our bodies.
Chicken bone broth also provides us with essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot create otherwise. So, remember, grandma knows best and don’t forget to drink your chicken bone broth – it’s good for you! The best part is that it doesn’t stop there. Start with chicken bone broth, but don’t be afraid to adventure out and experiment with beef bone broth or turkey bone broth. The options are endless.