In any case, I'm still trying to get more things ready, as sleep is already a distant memory, so the more I can have ready for us, the better I'm hoping the postpartum days will go. A few posts back, I promised you a recipe for a wonderful, delicious, healing bone broth. So, today is the day I make good on my promise! Traditional bone broths offer an amazing variety of benefits - nourishing amino acids (protein building blocks, for recovery from everything from illness to actual physical trauma), rich minerals to replenish a depleted body, and cartilage to help with regrowth and healing. AND, in the cold winter months, the broth is a welcome way to warm your body while nourishing it. The broth recipe below can be used for gravies, in place of water to cook rice and quinoa, as a base for a lovely soup, or all by itself as a complete tonic. For new mommas, it's a great way to get nutrition and hydration in those early days of breastfeeding, when adequate calories and fluids are essential to establishing a solid milk supply. I can't wait to start sipping on mine!
makes about 12 cups, depending on how far you let it reduce
From Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions"
2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts (you can use a whole chicken, and just save the meat for later use in soups, casseroles, etc.; or you can use the carcass of an already cooked bird; or the necks, backs, breastbones, etc., even the inards)*
4 quarts (about 16 cups) of cold, filtered water
2 Tbs vinegar (I typically use white vinegar, apple cider is good too)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 bunch of fresh parsley
In a very large pot, combine all your ingredients except the parsley. Allow the water/bone/vinegar/veggie mixture to sit covered for 30-60 minutes. The acidity of the vinegar helps to break down the bones, releasing the nutrients.
Bring to a rolling boil. If any scum rises to the top, remove with a slotted spoon and discard. Reduce the heat to a very low simmer (barely any bubbles coming up). Cover, and simmer like this for 6-24 hours. The longer you go, the more savory and concentrated the broth will be. We usually let it go overnight and wake up to a lovely aroma of fresh, healing broth (anywhere from 10-14 hours). At that rate, we are left with about 12 cups of actual broth.
Just before you are ready to remove the broth from the heat, add your parsley and let cook for an additional ten minutes. Allow your broth to cool. You may even place it in the fridge once it is no longer too hot to touch. Fat may rise to the top, which can be skimmed off and discarded. I often find that removing the fat is very difficult, especially with poultry-based broths. Leaving it will not hurt at all.
You're ready to put your broth into containers! You can remove all the bones/veggies/etc. with a slotted spoon, or, what I prefer, you can place a strainer over the container of your choice and slowly poor the broth through it into the container. (I usually do this in the sink, so any spillage is easy to clean up!). I tend to use containers that can hold about 3 cups of broth and just keep filling new ones until all the broth has been divvied up. Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for later use. :)
*This recipe is written for chicken broth, but can easily be adapted for beef, turkey (Thanksgiving leftovers?!), pheasant, lamb, fish, or any other animal bones you can think of. Beef/red meat broths should be simmered the longest, followed by poultry, and finally fish to optimize the flavor and nutrition.