Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup { that just might be the best thing for you! }

Bone broth is new to me.

Soup is not.

The claims of bone broth go from curing sagging skin to healing your gut. But is there really research behind it all?

Collagen peptides (which can be found in bone broth) have been shown to improve skin integrity (Here’s the research) but does it REALLY improve your gut health?

Here is my take on using bone broth for gut health.  There is SOME research backing it up (here ya go gut health enthusiast) and I will say, for me – it HELPS! Early December 2017, I had a nasty gastrointestinal virus that took me out for about 2 days. It was so harmful to my body that I had a difficult time eating Gluten and Dairy after my bout of that GI bug…

Add in store bought bone broth and home made bone broth to daily regimen. Within days my stomach returned to normal and I kept drinking the bone broth for a week after just to make sure. I drank it in a mug and added turmeric to it. Turmeric to help with any inflammation that was going on and the bone broth to start it’s repair work.

So, In my experience it helps!

 

 

MAKING YOUR OWN BONE BROTH

I encourage you to make your bone broth (or even simply chicken broth) from air chilled chicken. This is important because of the quality of chicken. Air chilled means that they didn’t dip that chicken into a vat of water and preservatives. Air Chilled chickens are also fed antibiotic free food and hormone free food.

Take the skin off of the chicken before you cook it. In a dutch oven, add olive oil to the bottom so it doesn’t stick. Add in your onions, garlic and any other flavors you want. Put that lid on and bake chicken at 350*F for at least 1hr (or until 165*F internal temp).

Now that you have a baked chicken, take those bones and put them back into the dutch oven with water. Also add in more onions and garlic plus any other flavors (like carrots, celery, and a bay leaf). Boil the bones on the stove for at least 8hrs. This means you’ll be adding more water throughout the day, as the steam will leak out reducing the water. Which in turn means the bones could burn…

That’s it. Really not difficult. Have fun!!!

SOUP’S ON!!!

Living in Texas means we get “mild” winters (it’s 33*F now and it did snow a few weeks ago!) and it also means we eat a lot of Mexican food!

TexMex is my jam y’all!

I love finding ways to make a healthy spin on a family favorite. That is just what this soup’s all about!

Butternut squash is a great source of  Vitamin A for eye health and also vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. Plus, butternut squash just tastes really good because it’s sweet and can help balance any strong flavors or spicy flavors.

A strong flavor I LOVE to pair with the butternut squash is KALE. Kale is a great fall/winter veggie that is packed with a lot of health benefits. Pairing flavors like this together will only improve your meal, so try it out next time!

These two additions to a family favorite, enhance this soups nutritional value and helps out when you’re needing a bit of a health boost!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

 

 

Chicken and Butternut Squash Taco Soup

Everyone loves a healthier spin on a family favorite!

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 64 ounces Bone Broth (chicken broth) home made
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 3 Cups Butternut Squash Cubed
  • 2 Cups Kale chopped
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Beans
  • 1 Cup Organic Corn Frozen works 😉
  • 1/2 Air Chilled Chicken remove gizzards & skin
  • 8 ounce Tomatoes Crushed
  • 3 Carrots diced
  • 1.5 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1.5 Tbsp Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Prepare dutch oven with EVOO and add whole chicken. Season chicken with 1/2 TBSP Garlic and Salt n Pepper.

    2. Bake chicken inside dutch oven for 1.5 hours or until internal temperature 165*F (I encourage doing this the day before or weekend before you make the soup, in order to leave enough time to make the bone broth)

    3. In dutch oven, large pot, or slow cooker - add all ingredients (including 1/2 cooked & shredded chicken. Save the other half of the chicken for another meal). 

    4. Cook for at minimum 90 minutes (remember those black beans weren't cooked) however the longer it cooks the better it tastes!

    + Let it cook all day long on low heat and keep checking broth level. May need to add additional broth or water if level gets low

    Toppings (optional): greek yogurt, shredded organic cheese, avocado slices, cilantro


  2. Bone Broth Making:

    *Note ingredients for bone broth NOT included in above list.

    1. Take your chicken bones and add into large pot or dutch oven. Boil bones for 8 hours (this helps release some of the calcium out of the bones too for extra health benefits, especially for those that don't eat dairy!)

    2. Add 1/2 chopped onion, 3 garlic cloves, celery (other times I'll add turmeric but not for taco soup 😉 )

This recipe take a bit longer than most recipes I typically make. We are moms- we don’t have this much luxury every day. Totally get it!

That’s why all my meal plans have 30 minute meals in them. From sheet pan meals to pizza, you can have dinner ready in a flash!

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