It’s no secret that food can have a significant impact on our mood. When we’re feeling down, we often crave comfort foods like warm soup or a hearty stew. There’s something about these dishes that just seems to soothe the soul am I right?
The problem is, comfort foods aren’t often very healthy…
Except when it comes to nourishing stocks and broths that can be used as a base for soups and other dishes
And if you really want a healthy, nourishing dish, you MUST start with bone broth.
Bone broth is highly versatile and you can use it in sauces, soups, to cook gluten-free grains like rice, or to just drink on its own as a warm beverage when you’re craving something savory.
The best part is that bone broth is not only available to buy pretty much everywhere these days, but it’s also very easy to make a slow cooker bone broth at home (especially if you have some scraps leftover from a meal), and the benefits are plenty!
Bone Broth is a Superfood
Bone broth is a really nutrient-dense food, and there are a few reasons it would make the “superfood” mark in my book – I mean, it has so many benefits and little (if any) downside! It’s packed with minerals like calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and magnesium, PLUS the amino acid glutamine. These boost your electrolytes and nourish the gut, helping you hydrate better while it heals your gut lining.
It also has healthy proteins and fats that most people could use more of in their diet. Some other benefits include:
- It can give your immune system a boost (it’s not just an old wive’s tale to have soup when you’re sick!)
- It can help reduce inflammation and support the health of your joints (the main protein found in bone broth is collagen!)
- It can help aid digestion and even help heal the lining of your gut
- It’s low in calories and can provide extra protein to your dishes which can be beneficial if you have a fat loss goal (or can reduce hunger if you have a cup between meals!)
So, with all that in mind, I think I stand by my statement that bone broth falls under the category of superfood.
How to Make Your Own slow cooker Bone Broth
Like I mentioned, slow cooker bone broth is SUPER easy to DIY, especially if you have some scraps leftover from a meal. I usually start with the leftovers from a whole roasted chicken (carcass/bones with meat pulled off), or the bones from a few bone-in grass-fed steaks that I’ve saved in the freezer.
You can do this with vegetable scraps too, like carrots and onions (even the skins!!). If you make a habit of collecting bones and scraps to stash for later, you’ll always have some on hand to make fresh bone broth!
If you don’t normally cook whole chickens or buy bone-in meat, you can call around to local butchers and grocery stores to see if they have them available. They usually do, and you can usually buy them for cheap.
It’s important to note that like most things, quality matters here. The quality of your meat and bones is going to directly translate into the quality of your bone broth. There’s a huge difference between conventional meat from factory farms and pasture-raised and grass fed meat, so you’ll want to make sure you get the latter to get the most benefits from your bone broth.
I know finding sustainable pasture-raised meat isn’t easy. And even if you DO find it – the high prices prevent a lot of people from buying. I use Wild Pastures exclusively, because they bring affordable, sustainable, pasture-raised meat straight to your front door.
Wild Pastures partners with local, American farmers who are leading the industry in sustainable, humane, and regenerative farming – and they’re creating incredibly delicious beef, pork, and chicken, too.
When you’re ready to make broth just toss the bones in your slow cooker, and add in a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with enough water to cover and fill to the upper edge of the crock. Cook on low 16-24 hours.
If you want to speed up cook time with an instant pot, add all ingredients and pour in enough water to cover and fill to the max fill line of the pot. Cook on for 2 hours.
Then just strain and enjoy.
See? I told you it was easy!
Bone Broth Variations
You can make a more flavorful slow cooker bone broth by adding spices or vegetables. I like to dress it up with some whole black peppercorns and bay leaves. Veggies to toss in include a sliced onion, some whole garlic cloves, 3 stalks chopped celery, 3 chopped carrots (like you would if you were making a soup).
Do NOT add salt until you’re done cooking because the liquid will concentrate as it cooks, and no one needs too-salty bone broth!
You can also roast beef bones ahead of time to deepen the flavor, but it’s not required. If you want to try it, roast in the oven in the oven at 400º for 20ish minutes.
For a VEGAN broth, eliminate the meat parts and double down on veggies – cook in the slow cooker on low 1 hour and in the instant pot for 30 minutes. Once your broth is done cooking, strain all the solids out of it (discard those) before transferring it to jars to cool completely.
These broths make a great savory sipping beverage or can be the base for soups (like my Cozy Thyme Chicken Soup) and sauces. You can store in the fridge up to 5 days or portion into 1-cup portions and freeze it for future use.
If you like this recipe and want more like it, check out my Keto Slow Cooker cookbook! It has over 70 “fix it and forget it” keto recipes the whole family will love! Check it out and grab your copy now (just cover a small shipping fee).