Lately, I’ve been reading up on the AIP diet because I seem to react to almost everything I eat anymore, so I’ve cut out eggs (which seems to be helping!) and am trying to only eat real foods that are nourishing and healing. Along the way, I’ve found that one of the most healing and nourishing foods around is homemade bone broth. In fact, there’s an old saying that bone broth can bring a person back to life – which is obviously untrue, but you get the idea 🙂
Homemade bone broth contains gelatin and high amounts of nutrients that store-bought (even organic brands) just don’t contain. Not only is homemade bone broth really easy to make, but it helps with leaky gut, digestion, reduces joint pain and inflammation, promotes strong hair and nails, and is full of vitamins and nutrients – YAY!
As of late, I’ve gotten into the habit of buying a natural, whole chicken from Sprouts (you want to use a natural, organic, or grass fed chicken because confined chickens don’t always gel, which is an important part in helping with digestion), boiling it, taking off the meat for recipes and salads, putting the bones back into the water and making broth out of it. I do this once every week or two so I always have shredded chicken and homemade broth on hand. I used to buy a whole cut up fryer chicken, but they are more expensive to buy them already cut up and you don’t get the backbone, with has lots of great nutrients for the broth. Plus, it’s just as easy – it’s a win-win!
I mainly use the broth in recipes, but me and the kids also just heat it up and eat it like soup – right around 3:49 when me and the kids are wanting something to eat but I don’t want us to just eat junk food. It’s nourishing and holds us over until dinner. At first they didn’t want to even taste it, but now they don’t mind a small bowl, I tell them the soup is our appetizer before dinner 🙂
But now you might be wondering, “What’s with the Balsamic Vinaigrette in the title?” Well, I’ll tell you! I use the shredded chicken to make big salads for us throughout the week for lunches and we have come to absolutely LOVE this balsamic vinaigrette dressing. I used to drink a smoothie almost every day for lunch, but now I really look forward to a nice big salad with shredded chicken and balsamic vinaigrette – the kids even take it for lunch at school at least once a week and tell me how much they like it!
Here are the super easy recipes:
- 1 Whole Chicken (preferably organic, naturally raised, or grass fed)
- One Onion, roughly chopped (doesn't even need to be peeled!)
- 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (helps bring out the minerals from the bones)
- 2 or 3 Carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 or 3 Stalks of Celery, roughly chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced or smashed
- 1½ tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp Black Pepper or 1 tsp. Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 or 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tbsp. Parsley
- ⅓ C Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tbsp. Pure Maple Syrup
- ⅛ tsp. Onion Powder
- ⅛ tsp. Garlic Powder
- Juice from ½ Lemon or 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
- ½ tsp. Oregano
- Place the whole chicken in a large stock pot and cover with filtered water by about 2 inches.
- Bring to boil and boil uncovered for roughly 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the water and remove the chicken from the bones when it's cool enough to handle. Place the chicken in the fridge for future use.
- Dump out the old water (sometimes if you use water that has been boiled it makes the broth bitter) and cover the bones with new, filtered water by about 2 inches.
- Add the vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered, 12 - 24 hours, skimming any foam or fat off the top in the first few hours. I don't always simmer mine that long, but the longer you simmer it, the more minerals you get into the broth, Top with water if the water level starts to run too low.
- When there are 2 to 4 hours remaining, add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and parsley.
- Strain out the solids from the broth (I use a fine mesh strainer).
- Store up to 6 months in the freezer or up to 5 days in the fridge. If your 5 days is up and you don't want to freeze it simply boil it again, let it cool, and place it back in the fridge. It will stay good another 5 days.
- The broth may have a layer of fat after refrigeration, skim off before using.
- Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
- Goes great on a large salad with the boiled chicken from above 🙂
this post is part of Fat Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, and Gluten Free Wednesdays