08/21/2014 09:49 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My 102-Year-Old Grandma's Chicken Broth Recipe

My grandma who is just about to turn 103 is as sharp as a tack and can still sniff out a stock cube at one hundred paces. Her cooking is very traditional and one of her mainstays in the kitchen is home-made broth. When I was healing my gut I ate this recipe constantly and still do.

Many supermarket brands nowadays just don't cut it when it comes to healthy ingredients and have limited healing prowess. You'll find that even though they claim to be natural on the front of the box, in reality they are watered down versions of the real thing and often produced at high temperatures which eliminates much of the goodness. On top of that artificial colors, preservatives and MSG can be added along with sugar and high doses of salt.

There's no need to feel intimidated by making your own broth, although there are hundreds of variations of stock recipes, you can do it very simply and once the preparation is done and you've left it bubbling on a low heat until ready for use you can go about enjoying your day.

Soothing and immune boosting broth supports digestion by healing and sealing the digestive tract. You can consume it as a soup or soothing drink or use it in any recipe that calls for stock.

The gelatin found in bone broth in particular is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, to fully support digestion. It's anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense and contains a rich amount of minerals in an easily absorbable format. It not only contains calcium and magnesium, but also phosphorus, silicon, sulfur and trace minerals. It even contains broken down material from cartilage and tendons such as chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine which are beneficial for arthritis and joint pain.

When making any kind of bone broth it can be easily produced from the bones of beef, lamb, poultry, a combination of ingredients in broth work together to have beneficial effects.

For a nutrient boost you can add your favorite vegetables and spices to your liking such as garlic, leeks, carrots, onion, celery, sea salt, pepper, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage, coriander, and ginger. I like to add turmeric to my stock too. It's good to avoid bitter vegetables when making a stock so steer clear of using bitter greens, capsicum, cabbage, kale and broccoli; although these vegetables are healthy, they do not improve the flavor.

Bones can be found at your local butcher, or meat departments of food stores and you can also use bones from roasting a chicken or use a variety of bones together. Some people roast them in the oven for 30 minutes beforehand to get a richer flavor, this is up to you. Chicken stock can be cooked for up to 24 hours and beef can be cooked longer up to 48 hours.

The addition of apple cider vinegar helps to draw valuable minerals from the bones to boost your bone broth and fast track gut healing.

Supercharged Tip

Homemade Broth can be used as the liquid in making soups, stews, gravies, sauces, and reductions. It can also be used to sauté or roast vegetables or you can enjoy it straight from the bowl!

The best way to store it is in sealed glass jars in fridge, ensuring it cools down sufficiently before you place it in the jars. You can also store it in the freezer or ice cube trays. Recipes that call for a cup of stock would need about 8 cubes.

Healing Chicken Broth

1 whole chicken
2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
2 litres of filtered water
2 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 large onion chopped
3 celery sticks chopped
1 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken and chicken feet in a large stainless steel pot with water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and all vegetables
Bring to the boil, and remove foam that rises to the top.
Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover and simmer
After two hours remove chicken meat from bones and set aside
Return bones to pot and simmer for a further 10 hours or up to 24 hours
Ten minutes before cooking time has finished add parsley and garlic to increase minerals and anti-fungal properties
Remove bones with a slotted spoon and strain the stock into a large bowl and refrigerate until fat rises to the top and congeals
Skim off fat (optional) and place stock in a jar or covered container in your refrigerator or use the storage instructions above