We have been thinking a lot about healthy comfort foods in preparation for our comfort food themed Third Thursday event at the store.  Our pal Al recommended a book called Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon Morell.  This amazing book is essential a broth bible, first educating you about the numerous health benefits of homemade broth in your diet, then teaching you how to make a variety of bone broths, culminating in a variety of recipes using homemade bone broth.

Four white bookWe’ve been trained to steer clear of of fatty foods, yet those foods we have pulled from our diet actually have a place in a healthy balanced diet. Foods like broth.  Broth is a kitchen staple, yet most of us use store bought stuff that has been stripped of the nutrients that make broth an essential part of your diet in the first place.  The kind of broth we are talking about is the stuff made of oddball animal parts cooked to oblivion to extract all the business that is good for your hair, skin, nails and insides too!  Think collagen injections without the needles!

Here is a basic recipe to get you started.  Essentially you want to cook the collagen out of your various animal bones, hooves, etc that you have procured from your local butcher.  Note, there is no added salt at this point.  Meat releases some salt so you don’t want your broth as it concentrates to become too salty.

Bouquet GarniMixed Bones Slow Cooker Stock

-8 cups bones: add some feet and heads too if you have any saved up

-¼ cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

-4 cups chopped vegetables: onions, leek, peeled carrots, celery, turnip, parsley, etc (If you have any wilty veggies, use them up!)

-Bouquet Garni (a bundle of herbs tied together with string. Usually parsley, thyme, basil and bay leaf; pictured to the left) and whole peppercorns

-4 quarts cold filtered water

  1. Place the bones in your slow cooker then pour the vinegar on top.  Put veggies on top, then cover with water.
  2. Cook on low for 12-24 hours.  Check occasionally to ensure ingredients are still covered with water.
  3. Remove the larger ingredients with a slotted spoon, then strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into heatproof containers.  If you are not using your stock right away, let cool to room temperature, refrigerate uncovered until the fat rises, then skim off and cover.  Broth will stay in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 6 months

Use your broth in your favorite recipes, and bask in the health benefits and nutritional majesty!