Slow Cooker Bone Broth

Cooking bones, vegetable scraps, and herb cuttings for at least 8 hours produces a healthy and nutritious bone broth suitable for use as a base for soups and sauces or as a stand alone meal when protein and veggies are added.
Cooking bones, vegetable scraps, and herb cuttings for at least 8 hours produces a healthy and nutritious bone broth suitable for use as a base for soups and sauces or as a stand alone meal when protein and veggies are added.

One of the latest buzzwords in the fad diet world is bone broth, and it's being hyped like few things since Paleo hit the diet world. (Yes, I know Paleo and Primal are lifestyles, not diet fads.) While many websites tout bone broth's magical qualities (see below), few sites dispute those qualities. On the other hand, though, few studies have been done to show bone broth's magical qualities. A quick Google search reveals all kinds of reasons one should ditch store-bought stock and use homemade bone broth instead.

Let's start with what many deem the essential difference between stock and broth - cooking time. While stock can be made in an hour or two - toss your ingredients in a pot with water and voila! - bone broth takes a minimum of 8 hours for fish broth and as much as 48 to 72 hours for beef broth to simmer that magic from the bones. The biggest reason, that I can think of, for most people is the sodium content of store-bought stock. Even if you use the low sodium variety, let's face it, the stuff come in a box or can.

Benefits of Bone Broth

  • Full of nutrients, such as collagen, gelatin, glycine, proline, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur and potassium.
  • Collagen, gelatin, hyaluronic acid, and chondroitin sulfate make improve joint health.
  • A cup a day can help heal leaky gut syndrome.
  • Collagen is used on the "outside" for plumping our skin. But can just as effective for skin, hair, and nail health when taken on the inside.
  • Glycine has been shown to improve sleep quality and memory.
  • Bone marrow helps boost the immune system. In fact, many Asian cultures drink bone broth daily.
  • It can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 24 hours
Ready in: 24 hours 10 min
Yields: 10
  • Chicken bones
  • Vegetables
  • Fresh herbs
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
This pork bone broth serves as a stand alone meal when shredded pork, beans, carrots, onions, and swiss chard are added to the reheated bone broth.
This pork bone broth serves as a stand alone meal when shredded pork, beans, carrots, onions, and swiss chard are added to the reheated bone broth.
  1. Toss the vegetables and bones in the slow cooker. Cover with water. Add 2 cloves of the minced garlic.
  2. Turn the slow cooker to high until it begins to boil, approximately 3-4 hours, then turn down to low.
  3. Slow cooker can be turned to "keep warm" overnight. Be sure to replenish water as needed, if needed.
  4. After 18 hours, add the fresh herbs.
  5. After 22 hours, strain the vegetables from pot. Be sure to leave the chicken bones in the broth, and break the bones if possible to help the marrow seep into the broth. Add the rest of the minced garlic and the juice of 2 limes, plus the limes.
  6. After 24 hours, strain the broth through a wire pasta strainer to remove all the vegetables, herbs, and bones that remain.
  7. Separate the soup into 8-10 containers and refrigerate or freeze.
  8. This broth can be used as the base for soups or sauces, or as a stand alone meal. To use as a meal, reheat over the medium-low on the stovetop. Add the vegetables and protein you want to eat that day.
Reheat bone broth over medium-low and add your choice of protein and vegetables for a healthy and nutritious bone broth based soup and meal.
Reheat bone broth over medium-low and add your choice of protein and vegetables for a healthy and nutritious bone broth based soup and meal.

Cook Times

Protein
Cook Time in Hours
 
Fish
8
 
Chicken or Pork
24
 
Beef
48
 
Chicken bone broth serves as the base for this vegetable soup that contains carrots, peppers, beans, radishes, avocado, and cilantro.
Chicken bone broth serves as the base for this vegetable soup that contains carrots, peppers, beans, radishes, avocado, and cilantro.
A variety of vegetables adds nutrition and flavor to bone broth. Use scraps for the bone broth itself and fresh vegetables, such as swiss chard, green onion, carrot, peppers, tomatoes, beans, and any others in your crisper, in bone broth soup meals.
A variety of vegetables adds nutrition and flavor to bone broth. Use scraps for the bone broth itself and fresh vegetables, such as swiss chard, green onion, carrot, peppers, tomatoes, beans, and any others in your crisper, in bone broth soup meals.

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3 comments

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 16 months ago from Sunny Florida

@cvanthul it looks and sounds like a lot of work but I think it would be worth it.


cvanthul profile image

cvanthul 16 months ago from Florida Author

Hi KoffeeKlatch! It really isn't much work at all. I freeze chicken bones from dinners - drumstick, leg quarters, etc - and I also freeze the veggie cuttings, like the ends of them that you snip off or the peelings. And throw it all together with water, herbs, and seasonings. Then wait. The most time-consuming part really is just straining it at the end. And yes, very worth it!


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

I like the idea of using every part to its full potential. My grandmother used the concept in throwing a hambone into a pot of navy beans rather than discard it.

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