Along with our healthy eating challenge this year to switch over to a more whole foods approach to our diet, we have discovered the benefits of making our own yogurt, drinking and making kombucha, recently started making kefir, and have been making our own bone broth.
I have always used chicken bouillon base to make our soups and to flavor our dishes. I never really thought that I was feeding my children a chemical, sodium filled ingredient until I stopped. I found an alternative to make my own chicken bouillon with nutritional yeast. That was our first step to flavoring our soups. We stopped buying store chicken bouillon and then added this homemade version to flavor our soups. It definitely had less of a salty flavor but we were “training” our tastebuds to a different way of eating. I added more spices and we learned to enjoy this method.
My next step was to make my own broth. People all over the world make this mineral rich nourishing broth, why would I not have done this in the first place?? I started looking at the benefits from it:
- Helps aid in digestion. The gelatin extracted from the bones can help heal and protect the lining of the digestive tract, which means you absorb more nutrients from foods.
- Good for your bones. Calcium and other minerals in bone broth help repair bones.
- Can help joint pain. Glucosamine, found in the fluid that lubricates our joints, is also in bone broth.
- Helps boost growth in nails and hair as it contains collagen and gelatin.
Then to look up the benefits of chicken flavored bouillon, I found one:
- convenient to use
That wasn’t enough for me to continue using it. Convenience over health has taken a back seat for me.
I took whole chickens that I had bought from Aldis and put them in my roaster with water to fill it to the top.
I added some carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to help infuse the flavors. I then set it on low and let it cook for hours, overnight was best. The longer you let the meat cook, the more tender your meat will be.
It just fell off the bones and then I separated the meat from the carcass and gave that part to the animals. I then strained off the liquid from the vegetables and put it into containers for the freezer for a later time.
I use this to make as a base for any soup for our family.
At Thanksgiving time, after removing all the meat from our turkey, I put the carcass into the crockpot with water, onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and let it simmer on low for 8 hours. I strained off the carcass and vegetables and used the broth for turkey stew later that week.
I don’t have to use any more spices to our soups. Just some pepper for spiciness and we are good. It takes getting used to because we are used to a salt laden broth, but as we continued to make it, we were able to use less and less salt in our soups.
Try it, it is inexpensive and good for you. Why waste things that are free. You can buy a whole chicken and use it for a few meals and then make some soup with the carcass. Use up your resources.