This article was originally published for Real Farm Foods newsletter.
“Mommy, can I have some chicken broff?”
I smile when my four year old says this to me. He loves to drink chicken broth. I like to think it’s because his body recognizes the nourishment it provides or maybe it’s just yummy. Either way homemade chicken broth is a must have at our house.
Traditional chicken stock is a time honored healing food. I’m not referring to the kind you get from the store either. What I’m referring to is a type of bone broth, a gelatinous substance made from parts of the chicken we don’t normally eat. Properly prepared chicken broth contains bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables creating a nutritious brew rich in electrolytes, gelatin and collagen that are easily absorbed. Using vinegar during the cooking process helps draw out the minerals from the bone making the broth rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium too.
There are many reasons to drink bone broth. Folk wisdom refers to this rich chicken broth as Jewish penicillin, a natural remedy for the flu. Bone broth is known to help heal the gut lining, reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, strengthen teeth and bones and give your skin a health glow. Some even say bone broth can help with cellulite too due to its ability to support connective tissue.
According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, bone broth can help improve digestion, brain health, immune function and food allergies. Broth is rich in the amino acid glycine, which is an important component of our connective tissues and helps with healing. Glycine plays many important roles in the body. It is needed for liver detoxification and the production of glutathione, our body’s most important antioxidant. Glycine also helps reduce activation of inflammatory cells and inhibit inflammation.
The multiple benefits of bone broth make it a necessary staple in our real food diet. I encourage you to try it out. The recipe is simple and leftover broth can be stored in the freezer for later use.
Here is how we make our broth:
2-4 lbs chicken pieces (back, neck, feet, etc) or beef soup bones
Enough water to cover pieces (4+ qts)
Vegetables (onion, carrot, celery, etc)
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (any vinegar will do)
After devouring a whole premium chicken from Real Farm Foods, save the leftover chicken carcass including the back, neck and bones. You can throw in some chicken feet for extra goodness. Place the pieces in a Crockpot and cover with water, about 2 quarts per pound of chicken. Add some veggies of your choice. I like to use onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Then add 1 Tbsp Sea Salt and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. Cook on low for 12-24 hours. Strain and pour into glass jars. As the broth cools it should thicken. Store the broth in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for longer. You can also make beef broth by using 2-4 lbs beef soup bones and simmering for at least 24 hours. (Recipe adapted from Nourishing Traditions)
Homemade broth can be used in soup or sauce recipes instead of water for extra nutrition and flavor. It is also great to just sip. When I reheat the broth for sipping I add 1 tsp of coconut oil to an 8 oz mug. Do you drink bone broth? Are you ready to try it? I would love to hear your thoughts.