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Bone broth is by far one of the easiest and best ways to get the vital nutrients & healthy amino acids your body is craving, as well as supporting a healthy immune system. We could all use a little more bone broth in our lives! You may be thinking, “Why on earth would I want to make my own bone broth when I can just pick up a can for a couple bucks at the grocery store?” … friend, I am here to enlighten you… and also teach you how to make bone broth at home that is delicious, nutritious, and super easy!
In this article I'll share some of the benefits of making your own broth at home, and let you in on how ridiculously easy it is to make this continuous~brew bone broth in your Crock Pot. Seriously… It's so easy.
I first learned about the benefits of bone broth while watching online classes offered by the Village Green Network back in the day. I was intrigued to find out that all broths are not, in fact, created equal… and even more intrigued to discover that I not only could make my own broth at home, but also would not have to spend hours slaving away in a hot kitchen, with a watchful eye on and/or elbows deep in a bubbling pot of bones. (Shewww!)
What's so great about bone broth?
Wow, I am so glad you asked. 😉
Bone broth is an incredible source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and gelatin. It's been a staple in traditional diets throughout history, and provides vital nutrients that prove to be challenging to obtain any other way.
Bone broths contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, & phosphorus, which support adrenal, teeth, and bone health. It also has an abundance of amino acids like arginine, proline (which supports skin health), & glycine (which aids in mental and digestive health).
Bone broth has gelatin, and though the benefits of gelatin are extensive… it primarily aids in bone and joint strengthening, and supports healthy skin, hair, and nails. Who doesn't want more radiant skin and stronger nails?! Gelatin has also shown benefits in reducing pain as it can act as an anti-inflammatory.
The nutrients in bone broth can have a calming effect on the body that may even promote a healthier sleep!
Ok, I got it, Bone Broth is awesome… so tell me again why I should make my own broth instead of just buying it from the grocery store?
Right, right, ok… So, I was totally there with you… bone broth is bone broth, right? Wrong.
The broth you can purchase at the grocery store pales in comparison to the kind you can prepare for yourself and your family at home. I think Emily from Holistic Squid pretty much sums it up here on why you should avoid store bought chicken broth…
Regardless of what parts of the chicken you throw in your homemade bone broth, it will always be more nutritious than store bought, canned or cartoned broth. The reason being that the store bought variety contains lots of things that you don’t want but are missing some of the most nutritious components. Here’s the ingredients from a well known “organic free range” chicken broth:
Organic chicken broth (filtered water, organic chicken), organic onions, organic celery, organic carrots, sea salt, natural chicken flavor, organic spices, organic expeller pressed canola oil and/or safflower oil and/or sunflower oil.
At first glance this list may look fine, even wholesome – but there’s no reason why you’d have to add “natural chicken flavor” to chicken stock unless it wasn’t very good chicken stock to begin with. Furthermore, a good stock will certainly have plenty of nice chicken fat in it, so there’s no reason to add vegetable oil to it either. And did you know that “natural chicken flavor” is essentially MSG? (source) Not a good thing.
Besides the fact that homemade broth is Way more nutritious, it is also more cost effective. Bones cost on average $2-$3 a pound, and I get around 12-15 quarts of nutrient-dense broth when I make it using this continuous brew method. And since it's So Stinkin' Easy, it just makes sense to make it yourself!
… so, now that you know many of the benefits and reasons you should make your own bone broth, wanna know how to make bone broth in the comfort of your own kitchen?
I thought so 😉 …Let's get to it!
How to Make Bone Broth (Continuous Brew, Crock-Pot Method)
What you'll need to get started
- a medium to large sized Crock Pot
- a whole chicken (you'll wanna remove the feathers at this point if you haven't already) 😉 …Just kidding! I usually get a whole chicken from our local farmer and keep it frozen until I'm ready to use it (Why it's preferable to get pastured, grass and/or organic (non-gmo) fed chickens)
- filtered water (this is what we use to filter our water)
- Remove lid from crock pot
- Insert chicken (honestly, most of the time I don't even defrost it first!)
- Fill the rest of the crock pot up with filtered water, within about an inch from the rim
- Put the lid back on the crock pot
- Turn on high for a couple of hours… (I usually turn down to medium or low once the water starts boiling), and let it be for 10-14 hours.
- Go lay on the couch… you deserve it after all that hard work!
5 ideas for what to do while anxiously awaiting the delicious fruits of your labor
(these may or may not be based on factual happenings)
1. Go to work.
2. Check out the
latest drama on Facebook pretty pics on Instagram. <3
3. Call your BFF and inadvertently hint at what a great “homesteader” you are, making your own bone broth and such…
4. Peruse Pinterest for your next homesteader-ish project to tackle.
5. Check out the most recent posts from Mommypotamus and Weed ‘Em and Reap
Now that the bird is done (10-14 hours later, give or take) here's what to do…
- Remove all the meat from the bones of the chicken, and store for use in meals for the rest of the week
- Using a glass measuring cup (like this one), remove the broth from the crock pot
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer (I use these) and funnel (this one is great) into your containers of choice (I prefer 24 ounce ball mason jars because they seem to be the best at holding up in the freezer… either way, you'll want to let the broth cool before transferring it to the fridge/freezer)
- Once you've strained all your broth, put the bones back in the crock pot along with any skin that may be leftover (it's okay to still have some of the meat hanging on the bones when you put them back in)
- *Optional, but definitely recommended* Add chicken feet to crock pot. It's not as gross as it sounds, and they are a huge source of gelatin for your healthy bone broth. (*If you don't want to mess with the feet, you can add gelatin to your final broth for added benefits.
- Refill your crock with filtered water, again within about an inch from the rim
- Cover and let simmer on low to medium heat (depending on how hot your crock pot gets) for about 24 hours
Every day (for about 5-7 days) go through the same process of straining the broth into containers and refilling the crock pot with filtered water (you can leave the bones in while you're doing this)
Just a few more things in closing…
- 24 hours is pretty much the longest you want to let your daily batch of broth cook, otherwise it will begin to take on a slightly burnt taste.
- I like to add in new chicken feet every couple of days to make sure there is plenty of gelatin available in the broth.
- I usually don't add any vegetables or seasonings, but you certainly can. On occasion, I'll throw in an onion cut in half, or a bay leaf perhaps, but generally speaking, I like to keep it as simple as possible.
- By the end of the week the bones should be soft and will crumble when pressed between your fingers. This is an indication that all of the minerals and nutrients from the bones have leached into the broth you've made (a.k.a. the broth you are getting all those healthy nutrients and benefits from, and hopefully enjoying!)
So what do you think?! Easy enough?
It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to do this (and most of that time is just gathering my jars and strainer), not too bad to be able to stock up on delicious and nutritious bone broth for at least the week if not longer. My husband and I enjoy sipping a cup for breakfast, or sometimes heating up broth with some lentils for a light evening meal.
I hope you've enjoyed learning about all the benefits and feel confident in how to make bone broth at home that's not only delicious but also highly nutritious and healing.
I'd love to hear from you… do you have any questions about how to make bone broth at home?
Have you tried it before? What worked or didn't work for you? Hit me up with the comments!
Thanks for reading!