Tis the season… for all kinds of sinus yuck! You see it in TV shows, in movies, in your own home. When you’re sick and mom brings over a giant bowl of soup that makes you feel just a little bit better in an instant. Well, there’s a reason you always crave mom’s chicken soup- that soul warming, sinus relieving, all day simmered bone broth!
Did you know that bone broth can hydrate you, even better than plain water? Bone broth is packed with electrolytes! When you are sick, replacing electrolytes is essential to keep your body hydrated and electrolytes also help to relieve muscle cramps- so if you’re feeling those aches and pains often associated with a bad cold or the flu, electrolytes are key! In addition to electrolytes helping with those aches and pains, the amino acids in bone broth help to reduce inflammation, which is why this magic broth is so helpful in relieving symptoms of the common cold. Chicken soup actually has a boosting effect on white blood cells and it stimulates antioxidant activity in the body. Bone broth can actually help to clear mucus and open up your airways. There was an interesting study done where it was found that one of the amino acids found in the bone broth chemically resembled a drug used for bronchitis. As someone who used to get bronchitis 3x a year (before eliminating chemicals from my home, but that’s a topic for another day) this was a huge reason for me to fall even more in love with bone broth and all of the amazing benefits that go along with it! Bone broth is also packed full of goodness needed to nourish your body back to good health too, and then my favorite perk, is that it’s absolutely delicious!
There are a lot of other amazing benefits that I didn’t even know until I researched bone broth last year. It’s great for your nails and your skin. It can help settle your mind. Its amazing for joint health and bone density, it promotes great sleep. It is literally a miracle broth and it is SO easy to make! Any time we have bones from a meal, I immediately get what I need to whip up a great broth! It is ever changing depending on what is in season, what looks good in the produce department (because let’s be honest, it all doesn’t always look great) and what I have a taste for. I always use the same base and that is what I’m excited to share with you today!
We are huge fans of a great roasted or rotisserie chicken. You can stretch that bad boy in so many ways. We will have it one night with a veggie and a starch, we might have it the next afternoon as chicken salad, chopped into a pasta or a pasta salad, shredded for burritos or enchiladas. The possibilities are END-LESS y’all!
I grab my big stock pot and todd the whole carcass in, whatever is left on the bird is going for a dip in it’s own bath. I use 3-6 HEADS of garlic. Sometimes I break up each clove and toss it in with the skin on, sometimes I peel each clove. It really just depends. If I leave the skin on, it’s because I’m straining the whole pot of broth to make a big soup that night. If I peel it, it’s because I’ll be using a ladle just to get the broth out and put it into jars for freezing. I always used tupperware in the past, but my good friend Amber of Holistic Happiness Blog recently told me she uses her mason jars. If you’re like me, you have a stock pile that you bought for crafts and never got around to. I was able to dust those bad boys off and put them to good use!
I peel two sweet onions and quarter them and toss them into the bath. Then I peel a 1lb bag of carrots, and wash 1 whole bunch of celery. I chop the bottom off and then toss the celery in, leaves and all! I also typically add fresh ginger (peeled, about the size of my hand) and fresh, peeled turmeric root! Next up is Oregano. If you follow my blog, then you know of my newfound love of this magical, medicinal little herb. If you are new here (Hiiii!) then check out my Magic Tea recipe! I will add 1 package of fresh oregano (or more if I have more) and then fill the pot with water. We have heavily treated water, so I buy gallons of water to use for my teas and for soups because it just tastes so much better! Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer it for as long as you’re willing. Today, for example, my broth went from 9:30 am to about 3pm. Then I ladle it into jars OR I will strain it into another pot and add soup ingredients like diced chicken and other veggies, wild rice etc!
When I say occasionally I build upon the broth, what I mean is this- sometimes if I know a broth is in my plans, I will save veggie scraps that I might otherwise toss. Broccoli stalks, zucchini, cauliflower kale or chard stems, etc! So many great ways to pack extra nutrients into your bone broth!