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Slow Cooker Bone Broth for Leaky Gut

by Lauren Larson MS, RDN July 07, 2016

Slow Cooker Bone Broth for Leaky Gut

Broth or stock is extremely easy to make and it’s a great way to use leftover ingredients that would otherwise go to waste, such as leftover chicken carcasses and vegetable scraps. It can be part of a healthful, flavorful, and well-rounded diet.

While this recipe calls for whole onion, carrots, and celery, you could easily keep a running bag of vegetable scraps in the freezer and use that instead. For this, while prepping for other recipes you would add things like carrot tops and peels, celery tops and bottoms, onion peels, and garlic peels that you would otherwise discard until you have accumulated about a bagfull.

Keeping it in the freezer prevents the scraps from spoiling. You can do the same with leftover chicken bones from roasting a chicken if you are just not ready to make this broth. When you’re ready, throw everything from the freezer in the slow cooker, cover with seasonings, apple cider vinegar, and cold water, and proceed with the recipe.

The apple cider vinegar in this recipe helps draw the minerals from the bones into the broth - you want to use about 1 tablespoon for every pound of bones you include. You may find that your broth forms a gel once cooled, this is because of the gelatin that has been extracted in the cooking process. This gelatin contains the protein building blocks, which may be used in combination with other amino acids from the diet to help rebuild the gut.

Use this bone broth recipe periodically - as a medicinal food, it can do wonders for leaky gut and other GI tract irritation- but you don’t have to consume it all the time. Make a batch, consume it over a week or so, then concentrate on other dietary adjustments and natural medicines for gut health.

Chicken Bone Broth

  • 1 leftover roasted chicken carcass (providing about 2 pounds of bones)
  • 4 cloves unpeeled garlic, smashed
  • 1 medium unpeeled onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 large unpeeled carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Fresh herbs (optional)

1. Place chicken carcass in a large slow cooker.

2. Spread garlic and vegetables around chicken. Sprinkle with salt and peppercorns and add bay leaves.

3. Add apple cider vinegar and pour in just enough water to cover the chicken.

4. Cover and cook on low for at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours. Turn off slow cooker and add fresh herbs.

5. Skim any fat, froth, or foam off the top and discard. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve and store in glass jars for up to 5 days. Alternatively, divide amongst freezer safe containers and freeze for later use.

Omit the sea salt if you would rather have an unsalted broth that you could add salt to later depending on how you are using it. Add fresh parsley and/or thyme at the end for added flavor. If you have any of the skin leftover from roasting the chicken, you can add that as well. To skim more of the fat off, strain and refrigerate the broth until a fat layer solidifies on the top. Skim this layer off with a spoon and discard.


Ruth, Megan R., and Catherine J. Field. "The immune modifying effects of amino acids on gut-associated lymphoid tissue." Journal of animal science and biotechnology 4.1 (2013): 1.

Lauren Larson MS, RDN
Lauren Larson MS, RDN

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