Bone Broth – Universal Healthy Comfort Food in a Slow Cooker

If you follow modern foodie trends, you are likely to be aware of what some consider “new fad” – bone broth. In my view, they couldn’t be farther from the truth. New? Fad? Come on, this is one of the most traditional dishes that grandmas all over the world made for kids that happened to catch the flu or cold. Warm, rich, ultimate comfort food, irreplaceable for the days when it’s cold and snowy outside – and, as many authoritative in the nutrition field sites claim, offering enormous health benefits. Among those are broth abilities to help with leaky gut syndrome, food intolerances, and allergies, improve joint health, boost the immune system and much more. Interestingly enough, it’s also recommended for fasting days.

It’s very easy to make. I use a slow cooker, although it’s just as easy to make on the stove. Basically, you throw together a few ingredients, add water, bring it to boil, and put it on a low simmer for 24-48 hours. There are a couple of additional details, which I’ll quote from the Dr. Jason Fung site:

Bone Broth Recipe

–                2 – 3 lbs of bones

–                1 onion, coarsely chopped

–                2 carrots, coarsely chopped

–                2 stocks of celery, coarsely chopped

–                2 tbsp of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar

–                1 tbsp of salt

–                1 tsp of whole peppercorns

–                Other herbs and spices

 

  1. (Optional) Roast the bones in the oven on a roasting pan at 350°F/177°C for 30 minutes.  This gives a nice flavour to the bones.
  2. Place the bones into a stockpot and pour cool water over the bones.  Add the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and let sit for 30 minutes.  The vinegar helps make the nutrients from the bones more available.
  3. Add the vegetables and dried herbs.
  4. Bring to a vigorous boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. For the first few hours try to remove any impurities that are on the surface.
  6. When 30 minutes are remaining, add any fresh garlic or herbs.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, then strain.

Simmering Times

Chicken/Poultry 8 – 24 hours

Cattle/Bison 12 – 24 hours

Fish 8 hours

You can vary the ingredients, changing the taste to your liking. For my broth, I used a combination of beef, pork, and chicken bones, adding an onion, carrot, bay leaf, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, spinach, and some freshly cut rosemary (short stroll to the backyard involved). Didn’t happen to have any celery handy, or I would have thrown a stalk in.

Bone broth ingredients in a slow cooker, ready for cooking

After about 12 hours of a simmer, I took out the shreds of meat and marrow (delicious!), poured two cups of the broth to try, returned the bones to the pot, and added boiled water to fill the pot up again. 12 hours later, this golden goodness presented itself for a photo:

Bone broth i a cup

If you need some broth during this time, just pour a cup or two and fill the pot with boiled water to replace the liquid. Some parts of the bones (mostly pork and chicken) become so soft, you can chew on them – they are full of minerals and vitamins. And you get to feel like a caveman.

You will see all the various uses for the broth and fat in the article linked above (and probably all over the Internet). It can be refrigerated, frozen, used as a stock etc. As a straight-up drink, some like it as it is while others find it too fatty; if that’s the case, simply dilute it with hot water.

As far as drinking it during fasting days goes, it’s a thing of beauty. Whatever hunger you may feel, a cup of a broth kills it dead. For the longer fasts, if that’s what you do, per many websites it’s a valuable source of stuff we need to replenish, particularly sodium, potassium, and magnesium – somewhat debatable claim, as there are just as many sites arguing against bone broth containing those in appreciable quantities. Not having the capability to perform my own lab analysis, I’ll settle on this: It’s amazingly filling and warms you up from the inside in a way that is difficult to describe. Remember this feeling from the early childhood, when the world was small, kind and unicorns danced on the rainbows? No? Drink a cup of this magic potion.

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