"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Healthy Eating at $65: Bone Broth

Family cowboy stew recipe a CHEAP EASY HEALTHY favorite, featuring bone broth!

First of all thanks for all your positive feedback on this series! I had so many questions about bone broth I figured I better just start with that:

When I first made my own chicken noodle soup from "scratch" as an adult it was loaded with msg bouillon cubes and antibiotic pumped chicken breasts the size of my head cut into cubes and homemade noodles (from scratch) YUMM it was SO GOOD! MSG just tastes delicious! I totally remember remarking to my husband, who was just realizing I could cook (maybe even better than he could), "This is WAY better than my mom's chicken noodle soup!"

Flash forward 5 years. 

The truth is, Moms really DO know best. My mom made it the old fashioned BONE BROTH way. And the health benefits are INCREDIBLE! My favorite blog Holistic Squid notes the benefits of bone broth, "...homemade broth is loaded with nutrients that its packaged cousins do not – minerals, gelatin, and glycosaminoglycans (which include substances like chondroitin and glucosamine, keratin and hyaluronic acid and more.) These nutrients known to benefit teeth, bones, hair, nails, and joints." Sounds impressive, right? Not only does it save me money but it also does add a lot of flavor AND I have adjusted my mom's recipe to be the way I prefer it! No MSG needed... although man, that stuff is tasty and addicting, but oh so bad for you!

  1. Start off with Organic Chicken (I have not used beef, yet). I buy mine whole at Trader Joes or I buy a $3.90 pack of Organic Chicken Drumsticks. My parents also have given me some of their free range chickens and chicken bones. Organic chicken is SO expensive so I make the absolute most out of it!
  2. Throw the whole pack of meat (without the obvious packaging and less obvious nasty sack of "grossness" found in the chicken's cavity) in a large crock pot. Along with organic celery just the leafy tops you don't usually eat (because it's on the dirty dozen and is pretty inexpensive to buy), conventional carrots (maybe one chopped), onions (a handful of chunks), onion powder, garlic powder, and  black pepper. I want it to be as flavorful as possible! (I wait to add sea salt so I can use some of the broth for my baby sodium free.)
  3. Top with water and cook 6 or so hours on high until meat is done. I think cooking your bone broth WITH the meat adds significantly more flavor so I only do it this way. Plus you are killing two birds with one stone - cooked tender chicken AND bone broth!
  4. Take meat off the bone and put everything (yes, even the fat and cartilage) back into the pot and top with water and one Tbls of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (with "the mother" I buy Trader Joe's brand).
  5. If I have cooked a whole chicken I chop the meat into two (sometimes three) portions and use or freeze for later. I try to get 2 meals out of the batch. More on that method later. 
  6. Turn crock pot on high for 20ish more hours. And forget about it. I do it overnight - works great and smells awesome! It's done when the bones break easily. I don't really think you can overcook it.
  7. I wake up in the morning, turn off the crock pot, take the lid off. Feed little people breakfast etc while it cools. Then when I have a spare minute I strain. If you want to puree the veggies you can for baby food but I think they don't have much flavor at this point. I pour into Mason Jars and store in the fridge (short term) or freeze in the freezer. We usually go through it pretty fast.
  8. And WALA! You are done! On the day I work at making bone broth I almost always make soup so my supper is prepared in the meantime. 
What else can you make with bone broth? 

RICE: I cook all my rice in it in my rice maker. I love my rice maker. Think crock pot for rice and you have an easier rice than instant rice! Actually "rice packets" were one of the main things I used to purchase when my husband and I were married. Bone broth organic brown rice is WAY cheaper and WAY healthier!! Just PLEASE do yourself a happy food favor and add SALT (and other spices) and coconut oil or butter for even yummier rice.

QUINOA: I cook my rice in a coconut milk (from the can) and bone broth combo whatever the recipe. It adds so much richness and health benefits.

Obvious -- SOUP: Anywhere broth or bouillon is needed.

Less obvious, unhealthy, cheap food hack -- RAMEN NOODLES: Yes, I said it. This is where I'm keeping it real. My husband and I LOVE Ramen. Since I never buy it - that solves that problem. Take that MSG! However, when we have 6' 2" 17 yr old Aidan stay with us I'm pretty desperate for cheap and quick lunches to stay on budget. If he eats it the kids will want it too. So I make their noodles cooked in bone broth with sea salt and frozen peas. They don't complain. It's health-ier. I will leave it at that. :-)

I just made some Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup yesterday with my bone broth and my kids and husband devoured it. Mmmmm! I'll share the recipe sometime at a later date! 

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