24 Hour Crockpot Bone Broth

Crockpot Bone Broth in Mason Jars

Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more clients with suspected gut hyperpermeability (aka “leaky gut”).

“Leaky gut” is a pretty trendy topic these days.

A quick google search brings up over 4 million hits on the topic!

Some people like to discount any trendy nutrition topic as a “fad”, much like they did for gluten sensitivity a few years ago. But I believe that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and searching for leaky gut IS so popular because it actually IS affecting a lot of people!

Let’s face it, our guts are a mess these days.

With the onslaught of antibiotics, low-fiber refined foods, preservatives & food additives, medications, stress, and low self-care lifestyles, we’ve got a recipe for disaster.

As we learn more and more about our microbiome (the bacteria that live in our gut), we’ve come to understand how our diet, medications, and lifestyle can affect the number and proportions of the bacteria in our gut. For a full recap of what factors affect your microbiome, and how to keep yours healthy, check out this article.

I’m not going into a full-fledged discussion of leaky gut in this article, but I’ll give you a short recap:

  • Basically, in a healthy digestive system, you chew your food & swallow it, and it enters the stomach where it is mashed into liquidy paste by your stomach muscles and hydrochloric acid.
  • Then, your stomach slowly releases small boluses of liquid food (known as chyme), into your small intestine. The small intestine is where your food is further broken down into its smallest components and then absorbed across the cells of the small intestine and into the bloodstream.
  • In a healthy small intestine, the cells that make up the lining of the intestine (called enterocytes), are tightly packed next to each other. There isn’t any room for anything to squeeze through the cracks. In order for food to be absorbed, it has to go through the enterocytes first. This allows the small intestine to control what gets absorbed, and make sure it’s mostly absorbing completely digested food particles.
  • In contrast, in a person with leaky gut, the enterocytes are NOT squeezed tightly together. Instead, they have gaps in-between them, and undigested food particles can “leak” through these cracks directly into your bloodstream.
  • When this happens, your immune system freaks out and detects the food particles as invaders. It launches a full blown attack on these “unfriendly” food particles, causing inflammatory symptoms in the body (ouch!).

Leaky gut can be caused by many things, but it’s especially common when people have SIBO- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. In SIBO, healthy gut bacteria that are normally supposed to be in your colon, have made their way backward up the digestive tract and colonized the small intestine. That’s bad news bears!

SIBO kicks off a whole host of digestive issues, especially extreme bloating after meals, and begins a cascade of inflammation that can lead to leaky gut.

Once leaky gut is in play, people feel even WORSE because their immune system then starts reacting to almost everything they eat!

For many people, eradicating the SIBO with antibiotics & then reinoculating with probiotics is the best way to “reset” the gut & start w. a clean slate. Then, once the trigger causing the leaky gut is removed, you can start healing the gut tissue.

There are lots of things you can do to “heal your gut”, including taking supplements like l-glutamine, zinc carnosine, phosphatidylcholine, and butyrate, and eating foods rich in collagen, like bone broth. 

Bone broth is basically just regular broth that is simmered for an extra long time.

Like, at least 8 hours, and ideally a full 24. The easiest way to do this, by far, is with the crockpot. Just throw everything in there, set it, and forget it. No need to worry about keeping a burner on overnight, just leave the thing plugged in and enjoy how awesome your house smells.

There are a few tricks to delicious tasting bone broth:

  • Roast those bones!! Skipping this step is a recipe for mild, “off” tasting broth. Roasting the bones brings out a delicious depth of flavor you can’t get any other way. The easiest way to do this is to just use a roasted chicken carcass. Enjoy all the meat and skin for dinner, then put the remaining skeleton into the crockpot & simmer overnight. You’ll wake up the next day with some delicious nourishing broth to sip on.
  • Add a splash of vinegar. Upping the acidity levels in the broth can help leach more of the minerals out of the bones and into the broth for your enjoyment.
  • Use aromatics. You can totally make a plain bone broth without any vegetables or herbs, but the results are a little one-note. Of course, if you are currently suffering from food sensitivities, plain might be the best way to go, but if you’re just making broth to enjoy as a warming and nutritious beverage, by all means, flavor it up! I usually use the traditional broth seasonings: onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, salt, and pepper, but you can totally get creative here.
  • Go low and slow. Simmering your broth on too high of heat can denature some of the collagen proteins and make it less likely to gel when cooled. The better philosophy is to cook it low and slow for a long time to get the highest quality broth.

The end product is a savory warming beverage you can enjoy as a coffee or tea substitute.

It’s like drinking a mug of warm chicken soup without any of the chunky pieces!

By simmering the broth for hours and hours, you basically break down the bone and cartilage so that the minerals and proteins are now in the broth. No joke, the bones should be soft enough to crumble between your fingers by the end of the cooking time.

Bone broth gives you a nice serving of all the bone minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, sodium, and potassium, and some unique proteins from the cartilage, like chondroitin, keratin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid. While there haven’t been any actual research studies on the health benefits of bone broth, it’s such a traditionally nourishing food (we’ve been making broth/soup for thousands of years), that I don’t see anything wrong with trying it out and seeing how you feel! I personally believe it’s a delicious and nutritious beverage option that can be a great addition to your diet.

Cheers!

Warm Crockpot Bone Broth in a Mug

24 Hour Crockpot Bone Broth

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 d
Total Time1 d 5 mins
Servings: 1 crockpot full
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover roasted chicken carcass
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 organic yellow onion, halved, peels left on
  • 2 carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Generous sprinkle of black peppercorns
  • Generous sprinkle of rock salt
  • Water to cover

Instructions

  • Place the roasted chicken carcass in the body of a large electric slow cooker. Add the apple cider vinegar, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Pour water over the top to cover the chicken.
  • Cover with the lid and cook on low for 24 hours, or until the bones of the chicken crumble when pressed between your fingers. When it’s done cooking, ladle the broth through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove the solids. Let cool slightly, then store in lidded mason jars in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy as a warming beverage in the morning instead of coffee, or as an afternoon pick me up.
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Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Close Up Shot

It’s official, fall is upon us.

[The first day is today!]

I don’t know about you, but for me, the summer flew by in a snap. Between traveling, beginning new business ventures, and the everyday hustle and bustle, I feel like I looked up, and summer was gone.

But truth be told, I’m ready for the slower seasons of fall and winter. When the atmosphere gets cozy, the leaves turn a beautiful rainbow of red, orange, and yellow, and the faint hint of fireplace smoke is in the air.

Days begin to shorten, people spend more time indoors with the family, and dinner gets served a little earlier. As the weather cools, the meals start to heat up. Braising, stewing, roasting, simmering, or even crockpot-ing take hold. Slow food… comfort food… become our cravings.

And I am here to fully oblige those cravings.

 

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Fresh Out of the Oven

Starting with this warm breakfast deliciousness- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal.

If you like instant packets of Apple Cinnamon flavored oatmeal, you’re going to flip over this one.

It has all the same sweet and satisfying cinnamon sugar flavor, with generous chunks of juicy baked apple and crunchy walnuts. Plus, since it’s baked, it’s a little heartier.

I swear, it’s almost like eating pie for breakfast.

I don’t know anyone who will turn that down!

I love making baked oatmeal on Sunday mornings, when the pace is slow and you can relax before a busy week ahead. Pop it in the oven, enjoy a scoop when it’s warm and gooey, fresh out of the oven (maybe with a dollop of yogurt), and save the rest in the fridge for breakfasts later that week.

And even though this oatmeal tastes almost like dessert, the whole dish only has 1/3 cup of brown sugar!

The rest of the sweetness comes from the natural sugar in milk and the immensely tasty flavor of honeycrisp apples (everyone’s favorite apple these days).

I also added some egg to help bind the baked oatmeal together increase the protein content, and a generous amount of ground flaxseed for a boost of fiber.

The process for baked oatmeal is pretty simple.

Separately mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then combine in a large bowl and stir well. Spread the apple slices on the bottom of a greased baking dish, pour the oatmeal mixture over the top, and bake for about 45 minutes until firm.

That’s seriously it!

Don’t skip the part about putting the apples on the bottom of the baking dish, either. Some of them will end up floating towards the top of the oatmeal, but the majority will remain buried in the moist oatmeal interior, steaming and softening into melt-in-your-mouth juicy morsels that take this oatmeal to the next level.

Enjoy.

 

Warm Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray, butter, or oil for greasing the baking dish
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large honey crisp apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the interior bottom and sides of an 8x8 pyrex baking dish with cooking spray, butter, or oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the oats, brown sugar, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, flax, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the bowl that contains the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  • Spread the chopped apples on the bottom of the greased baking dish and pour the oatmeal mixture over the top. Use a spatula to spread the oatmeal evenly throughout the baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the oats have firmed up but still have a moist creamy texture. Let cool slightly, then scoop your portion into a bowl and enjoy.

Blueberry Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes are special occasion food in my house 🙂

I make them only once or twice a year, usually on someone’s birthday or the morning after a holiday.

So when I DO make them…. you know they have to be fabulous!

This Monday was my 29th birthday… so I celebrated in style with some Blueberry Oatmeal Buttermilk pancakes!

I typically just make classic fluffy pancakes with flour & milk, but I happened to have some leftover buttermilk in the fridge, so I decided to try my hand at buttermilk pancakes.

Buttermilk is a soured/fermented milk product that looks (and tastes) kind of like runny super-tangy plain yogurt. It is made by culturing milk with lactic acid bacteria, which thickens the milk and gives it a tangy sour taste. It also gives the pancakes a richer flavor and fluffier texture than just milk, and provides an acid to help leaven your pancakes when it reacts with the baking soda.

*If you want to learn more about the difference between the different soured milk products (buttermilk, yogurt, kefir, sour cream, creme fraiche) check out this awesome article from KQED.*

So anyways, besides trying to use up my buttermilk in the fridge, I also wanted to give my pancakes a little more fiber & heft.

During the holidays I do this by adding flaxseed & pumpkin to my pancakes, but this time I wanted to try something different.

Enter, oatmeal!

Rolled oats are the perfect addition to pancakes, especially the thinly rolled quick-cooking oats. They soak up the liquid in the pancake batter and get nice and tender, so you add some fiber to your pancakes without even noticing a change in texture.

By adding oatmeal AND blueberries, I had a nice hit of fiber & nutrients that made the pancakes delicious & slightly more nutritious.

Noms.

I think these would also be delicious with raspberries, strawberries, banana, or even chocolate chips 😉 The sky’s the limit!

Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

Blueberry Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 12 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking (1 minute) oats
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 cup blueberries, plus extra for serving
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt until well mixed.
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat the 2 eggs until smooth. Then whisk in the buttermilk, milk, and melted butter.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients & stir just enough to combine. It’s okay if there are still a few lumps. Overmixing = dense un-fluffy pancakes. Gently stir in the fresh blueberries and set aside for a few minutes to let the oats soak up some of the liquid.
  • Add a little bit of ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil to a large nonstick skillet or griddle. Warm over medium-low heat until melted. Scoop 1/3 cup of batter into the pan for each pancake, taking care not to crowd the pan (I could only fit 3 pancakes per batch).
  • Let the pancakes cook on the first side for about 2-3 minutes, until the edges start to firm up and bubbles form in the pancake that leave a hole when they pop (they don’t refill immediately with batter).
  • Carefully flip the pancake and let cook another minute or so on the second side, until golden & the pancake is cooked through. Remove to a plate, add more butter or oil to the pan if needed, and repeat the process until all of the batter is gone. Serve with fresh blueberries and real maple syrup.
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