Anti-Aging Bone Broth

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES     COOK TIME: 24 HOURS  MAKES 2+ LITRES OF BROTH

NUTRITIONAL BITES

As the current media darling of youthful skin and weight loss, you may have already heard of the proclaimed benefits of bone broth. 

According to Dr Kerryann Petrucci, New York Times best-selling author of 'The Bone Broth Diet', "When you eat bone broth, you’re really eating cooked collagen. This is a powerful way to restore collagen in your skin and make those wrinkles disappear. Sure, you could find a lot of products with "collagen" on the label, but dietary collagen is more potent — it mainlines collagen to your cells. Additionally, the gelatin derived from the collagen you get in bone broth heals your digestive tract which is a surefire way to prevent inflammation and aging skin."  

I always like to use a crock pot to make my broth as I can leave it to cook safely for the maximum amount of time, with no worries. 

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds of chicken (pasture-raised or organic) wing tips, neck and backbone (get the butcher to bundle it up for you)
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 large onions, peeled, ends cut off and cut in half
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
4 sticks of celery, cut to fit the pot
1 leek, rough top leaves removed and cut into quarters
4 bay leaves
6 black, white or green peppercorns
2 inches of ginger, whole
1 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
Cold water to cover chicken (preferably filtered)

*Many recipes call for chicken feet to provide extra gelatin. Let me assure you, they are extremely hard to find and with the chicken parts I'm using in this recipe, you will have plenty of gelatin, so I don't want you to stress. :) 

LET'S COOK!

  1. Pop the chicken pieces into your slow cooker (or a large stock pot) with just enough cold water to cover it (approximately 12 cups). Add in the apple cider vinegar and let this stand for 45 minutes. This is a crucial step as the vinegar helps extract the valuable minerals from the bones and makes them available for you! 
  2. Add in all the remaining ingredients and set the crock pot on high heat for 2 hours then change to low heat (lid on) for 22 hours. If you don't own a crock pot, just use a large stock pot with a tight fitting lid,  bring to the boil and turn down to simmer for 24 hours (lid on).  
  3. Occasionally check the broth and if you see any scum floating on the surface, simply remove it with a ladle. Remember to put the lid back on!
  4. After 24 hours, you are ready to sieve your broth, removing the veggies, so place a large fine-meshed sieve over a suitably sized heat-proof bowl (I like to use a large pyrex measuring jug) and place it in the bottom of the sink; this way you don't have to worry about spills. Have 3 x 1 liter size mason jars standing by the sink, ready to pour the strained broth into. 
  5. Carefully (it's still hot) carry your stock pot or crock pot over to the side of the sink and pour the stock into the sieve until you have sieved all the broth. You may have to stop half-way through to pour the already-strained broth into a mason jar.
  6. Cool the broth to room temperature then pop into your fridge leaving the lids off the mason jars, allowing the broth to cool down.  After several hours, the chicken fat will rise to the top of the mason jars - go ahead and discard it (otherwise the broth will be very greasy).  
  7. You can keep the broth in the fridge for up to 3/4 days OR you can transfer it into several glass pyrex dishes and place in your freezer where it will keep for several months. 

Note: When you pull the chicken broth from the fridge it should have the consistency of jello (which is the gelatin) which is exactly what you are looking for. However, once you heat it, it will return to a liquid state. I like to drink this broth every day, either just as it is or sometimes I add greens, like kale or bok choy, right at the end of heating it up (so as not to destroy the nutrients) as these fresh veggies boost the flavor and nutritional value.