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Bone broth – Chicken

*As we are including bone broth in our diet for its incredible nutritional value, I try to use organic vegetables, herbs and spices where possible, I also use  filtered water.

“Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It also contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons – like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine ,all now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.”

RECIPE

1 x chicken carcass (free range)

1 tbspn apple cider vinegar (this helps leech the nutrients from the chicken bones)

1 large onion (unpeeled)

1 whole garlic head

½ a celery, (including leafy tops)

2 large or 3 small carrots, unpeeled

1 tspn whole peppercorns

1 – 2 bay leaves

fresh parsley and thyme if available (good handful of each)

Roughly chop the celery and carrots into 1 – 2 inch pieces. Leave the nutritious peels on the carrots and leafy ends on the celery.

Roughly cut the onion, leave the skin on, it has valuable nutrients and add a rich colour to the broth. Cut the entire garlic head in half crosswise, leaving the peel on as well for the health boosting nutrients.

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, this quantity is suitable for a small slow cooker or you can double mixture for a larger one. Add enough water to ensure everything is immersed.

Cover and cook on low for a minimum of 24 hours. The time is very flexible as it is hard to overcook, I have often left mine on for 48 hours in the hope of getting as much of the nutrients activated as possible.

Cool and strain through a wire sieve, removing the fat is completely optional, hopefully your stock gel’s when it cools. Unlike the less nutritious, store brought broths, this homemade broth transforms into a gel consistency as it chills in the fridge (and dissolves back into a liquid once heated). The gel is a sign of the big health benefits available when making bone broth as it means the natural gelatin is readily available which is where loads of the nourishment comes from. If the broth hasn’t gelled it is probably because you either have added too much water for the amount of bones or the stock hasn’t been cooked for long enough.  This doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of nutrients still available, just an indication of adjustments that need to be made next time.

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