Although we are passionate about vegetarian food, mainly for its health benefits and minimal impact on the environment, most of our friends and followers know that we like to eat a little meat, in moderation. Recently we have been eating more meat to ensure that Mama and growing bub get all the nutrition they need. However, when we choose to eat meat, we make an effort to ensure it has come from a more sustainable, ethical source and we treat this dish as special, putting some effort in to prepare it and usually enjoying of a Sunday evening.
This recipe is the first non-vegetarian dish on our blog – primarily because it is so nutritious, being very high in minerals, and so very sustainable by reusing all the bones and bits and pieces that normally get thrown away as waste. A fantastic addition to soups, slow cooked recipes, rice and pasta (in place of water) and offers a lot of nutrients for the busy mum (particularly those breastfeeding) and to children.
This recipe is for a chicken bone broth that is both garlic and onion free. By all means you can add garlic or onion, however we usually like to stay away from those two due to food intolerances in our family and our little breast-fed bub’s reflux (which can be worsened with these foods through Mama’s milk). It is also salt free. The intention being that this bone broth can be used to make meals for our little one who is just starting out on solids – high levels of sodium puts a lot of stress on baby’s body so it’s best to keep added salt to a minimum in the first 12 months of a child’s life. You can always add salt to the dishes you use the broth in later on.
We usually use 3 carcasses to make our broth in a 6L slow cooker. Add bones, 3-4 roughly chopped medium sized carrots, 3 roughly chopped celery sticks, a roughly chopped leek and top it all up with a couple of litres of water in order to completely fill the pot. Push any bones down under the water if you can, but don’t stress if they stick out a little. Just make sure the lid is on. Slow cook on a low setting for at least 8 hours. Strain out the bones, vegetables and other solids into a clean jar and store in the refrigerator for 1 week. Sterilising the jar before using it will extend the shelf life, though we wouldn’t recommend keeping for more than 2 weeks. You could always pop some in the freezer once cooled if you don’t think you’ll use it all in 1-2 weeks.
Some people like to skim some of the fat off as it rises to the surface of the broth while it’s cooking. We personally don’t do this as we feel the fat is the tastiest part of the broth, plus when using this broth in soups it acts as a bit of a filler so that our soups tend to be a bit heartier for those cold winter months.
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