Bone broth. The new “super food” you’re hearing about everywhere. People are acting like it’s something never heard of before. Yet as I was putting my celery, carrots, onions, and beef bones into my Crockpot, I had flashbacks of my grandma using the same ingredients to make soup stock. Maybe she was just a genius before her time or maybe this low-sodium Crockpot bone broth isn’t really all that new. Either way, I love it and I made some for my pantry.
Making a soup stock or bone broth is really pretty easy. Using the basic mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions), water, and some sort of animal or bird bones, you have a healthy, delicious base for soups and so much more. Our moms and grandmas didn’t just give us chicken soup when we were sick because it tasted good – they knew the health benefits behind it too.
The natural gelatin in the bones used for your broth base is like taking a glucosamine pill. Great for your joints and said to help leaky gut syndrome too. Forget Botox, the natural collagen in the bones will help your skin look younger. Bone broth has been shown to help people sleep better, and all those natural vitamins and minerals in the bones and veg are a great way for you to boost your immune system! The liquid of broth makes it much easier for your body to absorb those natural goodies far better than breaking down a pill. Read about more benefits of bone broth HERE. I don’t know about yours, but my grandma was a pretty smart cookie.
Now bone broth is not a cure-all and by no means am I telling you to stop any medication before talking to your doctor – seriously, don’t. But I am very much all for eating healthy foods to build and maintain healthy bodies.
What’s the difference between soup stock and bone broth? Bone broth is simmered longer to release the gelatin and collagen from the bones. Stock is usually a fairly quick cook and much lighter.
Low Sodium Crockpot Bone Broth
3 celery stocks, halved
3 large carrots, halved
1 large onion, halved, skins on
2 pounds beef soup bones
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
12 cups water, approximately
Roast veggies and bones in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until starting to caramelize. (If not roasted, the bones can cause a slightly acidic flavor to the broth. The roasted veggies really enhance the flavor.)
Place all ingredients into a large slow cooker. Simmer on low for 24 hours.
Remove the veggies and bones. (I gave the celery and carrots to my chickens – they loved it! Don’t give onions to chickens!) Strain the broth for all solids.
Allow the broth to cool. I put mine in the fridge overnight. Once the fat has risen to the top and hardened, remove. Broth is now ready to be used.
You can use the broth for cooking at this point. Since no salt was added, my first thought when tasting it is, “This need salt and pepper,” but we’ll be using the broth as a soup base and will season it then. If you wish to simply drink the broth, I personally would suggest added salt and pepper to taste, unless you want to keep it low-sodium, of course.
The fat that I skimmed from the cool broth, I put in a round cake pan. I sprinkled black oil sunflower seeds and reheated the fat in my broiler. I then placed the liquid and sunflower seeds in the fridge to cool. Now my chickens will have a healthy, tasty treat!
Preserving the Broth
I had two Crockpots going of this recipe and ended up with six pints of broth. I decided to can it for later use.
Prepare your canning jars and pressure canner.
After the broth is cooled and fat removed, bring the broth back to a boil.
Pour hot broth into hot, sterilized canning jars, leaving one inch headspace.
Clean jar rims and place lids, tightening to fingertip tight.
Place jars in pressure canner and lock canner lid. Using medium-high heat, allow the canner to vent for 10 minutes once there is a steady stream of steam. Close vent and bring to 10 pounds pressure. Process pint jar for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes.
For more on safely pressure canning, check out the Ball Canning Website.
Don’t forget to label your jars!
How will you use your low sodium Crockpot bone broth? Share comments and recipes in the comment section below!