I rarely get sick, but when I do, I have a cookbook manuscript with my final edits due at the end of the week. True. Story. I knew this cold was coming. Sure, I tried to dodge it, I made sure that my daughter covered her cough, washed my hands fifty times a day and ate lots of healthy foods high in Vitamin C. I even used my elbows to open doors – have you ever done this at Starbucks? Guaranteed you're getting some weird looks.
Then my son got the cold as well.
My body apparently just threw up its hands and said to me “Listen. You've been on the road for five weeks, successfully battling off every virus known to man at Disney World and on a cruise ship. Did I mention gas station pumps and debit machines? It's time to give in. Here's your yearly winter cold.”
That means it's time for some good old-fashioned bone broth. Bone broth was a hot commodity last year, with its health benefits being touted from here to kingdom come. It's also a Paleo diet staple which in all honesty may be the reason that people don't really think about bone broth. Good foods get lost when they are attached to certain types of diets and I really think that bone broth got lost in the Paleo craze last year. It has been a mainstream food for prairie folks for decades here in Canada. We ain't discovering anything new here, folks, just a nice return to healthy, homemade basics.
It's very basic : animal bones and your choice of vegetable flavouring. The world is your oyster when it comes to choices. I'm just going to teach you all How to Make Crockpot Bone Broth. It's truly SO easy!
Making beef bone broth might sound the same as making a nice beef soup base, but the intentions with a bone brother are different. We aren't just looking for flavour, we are looking to leech every single bit of healthy goodness out of the bones. Pass by any recipes that tell you to cook it for 8 hours or simply overnight, that's a beef broth, which is good in its own way of course.
You take some beef or chicken bones, throw in some carrots, onion, celery and garlic for some extra flavour, then roast them in the oven for a good half an hour. Throw them and around 12 cups of water into a crockpot and let it simmer for a good two days. Yes, two days.
Bone broth needs a solid 24 or more hours to reach the point where the bones almost crumble in your hands. That's when the bone broth is done. During this time, the cooking process breaks the bones down and releases all of the available nutrients and minerals. The main attributes of bone broth seem to be touted as collagen, gelatin, and glucosamine, all of which are easier to digest when cooked for this longer period.A nutritionist I am not, but it can't be argued that while it may not be a wonder cure-all, bone broth has been proven to be easy on the stomach and all hot liquids help out with colds – broth has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
Bone broth can be used as a soup base, the same as bouillon, but most people simply drink a cup of it plain, which I did. I wanted something hot to sip on a few times a day without any, well, chunks in it, that helped me battle my cold. Sometimes I honest to God just don't feel like chewing when I'm sick. Just me?
If you notice, my broth is NOT clear. By the time you have cooked the vegetables and bones, you have a lot of (healthy) matter that has broken down into your bone broth. This is a fabulous thing and makes it even healthier for you.
So now one week later, my cookbook edits are in, all the other work that I had due is in and my cold..is still hanging on a teensy bit. What a drag this cold was! I don't get colds for a week, yet here this one was in all its glory.
To be honest, I'll be keeping a crockpot of this simmering at least twice a week from here until summertime. I've already used a beef bone broth as a base for a beefy vegetable soup and there's chicken broth in jars in the fridge just waiting for an egg noodle chicken soup. Once you get the rhythm, it's nice and easy to keep yourself stocked up on it.
A note, buying the best possible bones from grassfed beef is important when it comes to quality. Use the best products and you will get the healthiest result. To put it bluntly, think of what you are boiling out of the bones and eating.
How has everyone fared this winter so far? Any nasty colds or have you managed to stay fairly healthy?
Love you more than chocolate,
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How to Make Bone Broth
- Prep Time
- 15 minutes
- Cook Time
- 2 days
- Karlynn Johnston
- 3.5-4 pounds of beef or chicken bones
- 4-5 small whole organic carrots tops included
- 1 medium white onion peeled and quartered
- 3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and left whole
- half a stalk of celery - I like to use the bottom part that no one eats
- 3-4 leaves bay
- 12-14 cups of water
- Pre-heat your oven to 450 °F.
- Roast the bones and vegetables for 25-30 minutes, until browned and any meat on the outside is cooked. I like to leave the carrot tops on and let them cook into the broth, whose why organic is very important for those.
- Remove and place into a crockpot or a large stockpot on the stove. Add the water in and simmer for at least 24 hours, but 48 is better.
- Strain the solids out and store the broth in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or simply freeze and use later.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.