“Good broth resurrects the dead”
– South African proverb
Boiling-up left over meat bones for their ‘fountain of youth’ properties has been practised in Japan, China, Korea, India, Africa, South America, the Middle East and Europe for centuries. Your grandmother may well know the health benefits of doing this and you may even have fond memories of the warming chicken soup she made for you when you were sick. The traditional method of making this can be a little time consuming since a true bone broth recipe takes 24hrs of nursing, but with modern day pressure cookers and slow cookers available, it is accessible and dare I say, easy to prepare even for the busiest of persons.
Typically made with left over chicken carcass (or beef bones), bone broth contains only a small amount of meat and can be eaten alone or added to your favourite soup recipe. The bones are simmered 24hrs in order to release the gelatin from collagen-rich joints but also to release minerals from the bones. At the end of cooking, the bones should crumble when pressed lightly between your thumb and forefinger.
The benefits of homemade bone broth:
- It’s inexpensive, homemade and contains no hidden additives or cancer causing additives. It is fairly well know now that commercial farming techniques equal hormones, antibiotics and other questionable chemicals in your food. When making your own homemade bone broth, I highly recommend using only free range or organic chickens to maximise the nutrient benefits and safeguard against harmful carcinogenic chemicals. For more information on cancer causing chemicals found in factory farmed chicken, read this article about arsenic found in chicken meat by Natural News. You’d be right to assume that this isn’t just practised in America, and if it’s in the chickens, it’s in the soups and stock made there too.
- Reduces inflammation courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage
- Rich in minerals for healthy bones, a better nights sleep
- Inhibits infection – chicken broth inhibits neutrophil migration; it is said to help mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections
- Aids digestion – glycine, released from the bones, supports the bodies detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of heamoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids. Gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion
- Promotes healthy skin and nails – proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health. Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which may support skin health
Recipe for Free Range Organic Chicken Bone Broth
You will need
- 1 leftover organic or free range roast chicken carcass (Fair Price Finest sells them cooked for $12)
- Vegetable scraps (celery leaves, onion trimmings, carrot peels, garlic etc)
- 2 bay leafs
- Pick the chicken carcass clean of useable meat and reserve that for another dish
- Add the chicken carcass, vegetable scraps and bay leafs to a crockpot
- Pour filtered water over the carcass to cover
- Cook in your slow cooker on low heat for 24-hrs or longer
- By adding water to the cooker, you can continue to cook the broth until the chicken bones become flexible and rubbery
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and pour into mason jars
- The broth should gel, but it is not necessary
When you have finished your broth, you can add it as a base to your favourite stews, soups or use it as a side dish to help clean the palate as the Chinese do.
For storage, it’s generally recommended to keep bone broth in the fridge for no longer then 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to a year. Store in a non-toxic container with a tight lid.