If you’ve gone Paleo, or even if you’re just trying to eat cleaner this year, you’ve probably started to notice that you have a lot if waste. Vegetable scraps from peeling and cutting, citrus rinds from all that good-for-you fruit you’re eating, and maybe you even have some bones from bone-in meat you are making yourself.
Don’t throw all of that good stuff away! If you do, you’re missing out on some really great nutrients that you probably didn’t even know you weren’t getting by going store-bought on your broth and stock, not to mention all of the added sodium and BPA and other nasties that are in those pre-packaged foods.
I’ve already shown you how to make your own tea. This is a great way to use citrus peels and rinds. You can also add the rinds to your favorite tea to up the flavor and antioxidant count of your cup. Yum!
I’ve also already shown you how to make vegetable broth with the leftover veggie scraps you save in the freezer as you cook throughout the month. That broth is seriously amazing.
But what about if you’ve got those leftover veggies and you have some leftover bones from the meat you ate a week ago? Two words: bone broth!
Bone broth is great for you. The bones from the meat you eat have all sorts of nutrients in them that will end up in the broth you make, making that soup you crave in the frigid winter even healthier for you. Plus, the broth you make will be more flavorful and have less bad stuff in it than that typical, store-bought stuff.
Don’t have any bones to make broth with? Go ahead and make this chicken in your slow cooker. Seriously, it is the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. You won’t be sorry. Go make it. I’ll wait.
Ok, so now that you have some bones and some leftover veggies, you’re ready to make your broth. Here’s what you do:
1. Put your veggies in your slow cooker. Any combo will do. This time around, I had sweet potatoes, asparagus ends, onion peels, carrots, celery, and garlic. But you can use whatever you’ve got.
2. Put your bones in the slow cooker. It’s totally cool if they have some meat and fat on them. In fact, I encourage it.
3. Fill the slow cooker with enough water to cover the veggies and bones. Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This will help break down the bones so you get all the nutrients in your broth.
4. Set your slow cooker to LOW for 24 hours.
5. After a day has passed, strain your broth through a fine-mesh strainer or cheese cloth. Discard the scraps and put the broth in the fridge. In a few hours, you can skim the fat right off the top of it.
6. Add a it a tablespoon of fish sauce (or soy sauce if soy doesn’t bother you) an salt & pepper to taste.
7. Store it in the fridge for up to a week or I’m the freezer for up to a month. I like to portion mine out in 2-cup portions so I know exactly how much to thaw when I want to make soup.
And, you’re done! See how easy that was?
You can do this on the stovetop, too, but you have to simmer it for 24 hours and I don’t trust having my gas on for that long.
I’m super excited to make this Mexican chicken soup with my homemade broth tomorrow. It’s just what we need to warm us up on another cold, winter day!