It’s not just an old wives tale, chicken soup is good for more than just the soul. It is one of the most nourishing foods you can give your body when you are sick. The trick is to use a homemade broth, not a processed version with added taste enhancers like MSG (monosodium glutamate). Sorry, soup from a can is more convenient but it is not usually healthy.
I read about the benefits of “homemade chicken broth” a few years ago. It is loaded with essential minerals, like calcium and magnesium. This might be why it is tolerated well by pregnant women experiencing “morning sickness”. (Magnesium deficiency is one of the reasons women get morning sickness, but I will blog about that in a different post).
I have recently discovered another reason to consume bone broth. In the book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, Catherine Shanahan discusses how consuming bone broth can actually prevent wrinkles. Bone broth is loaded with collagen. I find this intriguing because Korean women look very young for their age. Some speculate it is because they stay out of the sun, but I have to wonder if the bone broths play a role in their youthful appearance as well. (Soups are an integral part of Korean Traditional Food).
I try to make bone broth once a week now. Not only is it nutritious, but it is also delicious and easy to make, especially if you own a slow cooker. I like to make this “rotisserie style chicken” in the slow cooker for dinner, then I use the bones to make my broth. Instead of using Lawry’s Seasoning salt, I make my own using a “copycat recipe“. Not only is it difficult to find spice mixes like that in South Korea, the commercial brand contains MSG, (which I try to avoid).
The Copycat Spice only takes 5 minutes to make. (I don’t use regular sugar like the original recipe).
I order most of my spices from iHerb.com.
It is best to use organic meats, especially if you are consuming broth as part of a gut healing protocol like the GAPS diet.
First, I cook the chicken for 8 hours on the low setting of my slow cooker. My husband and I eat the “rotisserie style chicken” for dinner. Then I remove the remaining meat from the bones and freeze it, or use it in a meal that evening.
To make the broth ….. Ileave the bones back into the crockpot, and add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. (Lemon juice can be used too, the acid draws out the minerals). Then I fill the slow cooker with water, keep it on low for 24 hours, and the next evening I have approximately two quarts of chicken broth. (I use a colander to filter out the broth from the bones.) You can also put the broth into ice cube trays and freeze it, if you don’t think you will use it in 3-5 days.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can still make chicken broth. Just put the chicken in a pot, cover it with water, add some salt, heat it up to the boiling point, and then let it simmer for around 2 hours.
Broth is not just for soups, you can use it in sauces, cook vegetables in it for added flavor, or you can even drink it straight. I should add that it is “allergen free”, (no dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, etc.). I consumed a lot of this broth when I did an elimination diet a few years ago.
Broth is also an integral part of the GAPS diet. The glucosamines, gelatin, and fat in broth helps to heal a “leaky gut”. Many food allergies and auto-immune diseases can be reversed with the GAPS diet, which got it’s name from the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. If you have any food sensitivities or allergies, I highly recommend this book!
Broth can be made with beef bones,or even fish bones. My favorite is the chicken broth. If you make beef broth, you are supposed to broil the bones first, (for taste). You don’t have to use a whole chicken, you can use leftovers from chicken that has bones in it. Chicken feet can be added to give your broth a collagen boost, (if you can handle the way they look, they are quite creepy looking). I used chicken feet to make broth once and the broth was definitely thicker.
So that’s it folks, pretty simple. I was surprised how easy it is to make, especially with a slow cooker. It is also a great money saver. Instead of throwing bones away after a meal, they can be used as part of an ant-aging, gut healing, immune boosting protocol. Awesome.
Have you made chicken broth from scratch? What did you think?