Ok friends, I could start this blog off by boring you with a generic list of why you should drink broth and all of its lovely health benefits (I mean yeah, I’ll get into that for sure) but here’s the real reason why I started making broth at home. It wasn’t because it’s good for you; it’s because I. Love. Eating. Like it’s a serious situation! For most of my life, I’ve never had an off switch when it comes to food. You know when you eat so much your stomach hurts so you stop eating?…yeah, so I used to just keep on eating. Like I said; it was a situation. Don’t even get me started on when people talk about intuitive eating (I mean it is a thing, but not for people like me).
So, a few years ago I gained some unwanted fat that I couldn’t seem to shake. My nutritionist introduced me to a healthy eating plan called Metabolic Balance (definitely will talk more about this later, as it was a 100% game changer regarding my relationship with food). Actually, let’s backtrack, I’ve never had an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia, but my relationship with food was far from healthy. I would go from being really strict to binging like it was my last meal on earth. Fast forward to six years ago when I started intermittent fasting; specifically 16/8. This basically means you fast for 16 hours and then you can eat within an 8 hour window. Lots of good came from this: I learned how to stop grazing after dinner and that I wasn’t going to die of hunger if I wasn’t eating every 2 hours. What I didn’t learn though, was how to stop overeating. Intermittent fasting in my mind was sort of a free pass to stuff your face in that 8 hour window (FYI what not to do even if it is all healthy foods).
"I’ve never had an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia, but my relationship with food was far from healthy. I would go from being really strict to binging like it was my last meal on earth."
There are both mental and physiological reasons for why we overeat. Physiologically, when our bodies are lacking certain nutrients it leaves us feeling unsatisfied and un-satiated; over eating becomes a byproduct of this. Mentally, the reasons are person specific. I know part of my issue was how I was raised. My grandmother wouldn’t let us leave the table until we finished our plates. Looking back I’m like WTF? Why was I forced to eat an adult portion when I was 10 years old? I think that actually piggybacked off my grandmother’s personal issue of being without food as she actually lived through wars and famines. Anyway, basically I was force fed as a child, rewarded with naughty food and also created some unhealthy attachments to food as a source of comfort.
Ok, back to Metabolic Balance. So I get the 50 page dossier of my new eating plan. There are 8 main rules and I basically was all like “fuck my life” after I read them. The first 2 rules were my issue. You’re only allowed to eat 3 meals a day and each meal has to be spaced out by 5 hours with only plain-ass water in between. Like whattttttttt!? At this point, you have to remember that I was a massive IFer (Intermittent fasting addict). When you fast you’re allowed to drink all the black coffee, tea & lemon water you want. Coffee filled me up and suppressed my appetite and on top of that I would eat 3 meals in that 8 hour window. Basically that meant I was eating every 2.5 hours. So now my brain goes into overdrive trying to figure out how to scam the system because the thought of following the first 2 rules were mentally painful to me (at the time).
Well, my brilliant mind comes up with overeating as the solution (obviously) thinking that this will keep me full for the 5 hours until the next meal. You can’t actually starve in a 5 hour window but try telling that to me seven years ago. Again, there are 8 rules to follow and one of the other rules is that you have to eat exactly the amount they tell you to at each meal. Guys, you have to get a scale and measure that shit out (I feel like I’m really not selling this lifestyle ha ha but that’s not the point of this blog. I actually ended up loving Metabolic Balance but certainly not the first 16 days of it. (That was also due to a massive candida overgrowth situation though – also, a story for another time). Anyway, so if I have to measure everything out how can I scam the system…BROTH!! Yes! That was my grand epiphany!! Yeah I know, as I type this it doesn’t sound that groundbreaking but I really was proud of myself at the time. Broth is basically water (so I technically wasn’t cheating) and I also needed to drink 10 cups of water a day (another rule which I felt like I was scamming by substituting some broth). FYI I no longer attempt to scam the system. I’ve now learned that there are actually no shortcuts in life if you want to achieve lasting optimal results. I know, so boring but facts are facts.
Broth has had a major revival in the last few years nand is sold everywhere now. I was never big into cooking; it only became a thing for me as I started to educate myself on nutrition and started to get grossed out by conventional foods. I realized that most store bought items were full of shitty ingredients that promoted ill health. FYI I’m also a (recovering) perfectionist and if I do something I tend to go from zero to 100. So yeah, when I decided to become the healthy witch I am now I obviously couldn’t settle for anything but the best. At first I tried to buy pre-made broth but everything at the normal groceries stores were full of shitty ingredients and preservatives. The other option were the health food stores but those broths cost a small fortune. So, I decided to buy myself a crockpot and make my own. I literally googled “the best chicken broth recipe in crockpot”. The recipe I found is the one that I still use to this day and it's amazing!
A FEW REASONS WHY BROTH IS LIFE:
- full of vitamins & minerals that boost the immune system
- Helps with liver detoxification
- Heals the gut lining (repairs leaky gut – aka intestinal permeability)
- Source of collagen for gorgeous skin (vanity always)
- Lubricates the joints which could be helpful for arthritis sufferers
- Tastes amazing. Well at least the recipe I use! Not all broths are created equal
Of course, nothing I do is ever simple. I found this recipe for broth, but to make it first you need to make what they refer to as “The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot”. Ok, so they weren’t bragging they were truth tellers. Both the chicken AND the broth were off the hook. If you’ve actually made it this far I applaud you and will end your misery. Here is the recipe for not only a delicious fall-off-the-bone whole chicken but the chicken broth recipe as well! It’s so ridiculously easy I can’t believe it took me so long to start making my own. Also, your house is going to smell like heaven during this process.
The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot & Chicken Broth
FYI all the ingredients I use are organic and obviously I only use clean filtered water – no tap water!!!
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. sea salt/my pink salt
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. thyme powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.)
- Mix all the spices together
- Chop up that onion and throw it in the bottom of the crock pot
- Rub the spices all over the chicken – top & bottom – and then put it in the crock pot on top of the onions
- Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours (temperature really depends on how quickly your crock pot heats)
- Chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees
- After the chicken has cooled, remove all the meat but keep everything else: skin, bones, onions and put them back in the crock-pot to make the Chicken Broth!
The chicken is an amazing fall-off-the-bone situation and you can use it for anything; tacos, sandwiches, salads, in soup etc. Now that we have our chicken meat we must move along to making our beloved Bone Broth. The secret to the amazing flavour of the bone broth is all the spices that were used for the whole chicken rub.
FYI I’ve upped the volume of ingredients from the original recipe which you can find here.
o Leftover chicken carcass, bones, skin & onions from the “Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot” recipe.
- 1-2 onions roughly chopped
- 2 ribs of celery roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 2-3 sprigs of parsley
- 2-4 cloves of garlic (I added this as I am garlic obsessed)
- 1 tsp. sea salt/my pink salt (or to taste)
- Filtered water
- Use a 6 quart crock pot or larger
- I use an 8-quart crock pot. After I add all the ingredients I fill it up to one inch below the top.
- Add the chicken and all the ingredients and set the crock-pot on low. Cook for 24 hours.
- After it’s done pour it through a fine sieve
- I allow the broth to cool and then freeze it in 1 cup portions for future use
Again, this broth is so flavourful from all the spices from the chicken. Sometimes, I use it as a base for chicken soup but usually I just drink it as is. It's that good and the addiction is real. I sincerely hope you enjoy the recipes and would love to hear your feedback!