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Do you do bone broth?

The benefits of bone broth are well worth the effort.

Why bone broth? Bone broth is a very easy, very delicious way to increase minerals and electrolytes in your daily regimen. Most people can use more minerals and electrolytes because these days water is often filtered, softened, or treated. The other reason is that many of us drink coffee and other carbonated beverages throughout the day. Coffee actually makes you pee more frequently and causes you to spill more minerals and sodium. Soda and other carbonated beverages can imbalance your sodium and potassium levels increasing water retention. We like to sip rich broth by the cup in the morning or before bedtime. My kids request it when they want something warm.

Want another reason to drink bone broth? Maybe you have heard of the benefits of collagen? Collagen is found in bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. It is a protein that helps to build and strengthen tissue giving elasticity and suppleness to your skin and joints. Bone broth is rich in collagen and provides amino acids to your body so your body can build its own collagen. Homemade bone broth has been shown to be richer and more nutrient dense than most store products. Collagen is also a prebiotic, which means its healthy food for your gut flora. 

Making bone broth:

Bone broth is easy to make and it’s easy to find bones from well-raised, well-fed animals when your curious to know your farmer and their practices. Look for the most nutrient dense meat and bones that you can find. We always have bones available, so please ask if your interested.

We make our bone broth using an Instapot. I like that it contains all the minerals and it loses less liquid than when I reduce on the stove top. However, to get the richest and thickest broth, the stove top wins.  The best broths and most gelatinous can go all night on the stovetop on a very low heat and if you like the steam- this is sometimes nice. My hack is to cook a little both ways. The time you need to make it will depend on how rich you like your broth. This varies for me depending on our family’s needs and time.

First, I put a package of bones or a frozen chicken carcass in the Instapot and cover with water, usually to the max fill line depending on how many bones. I then add a tablespoon of white vinegar. This helps breakdown the bones.  You could use apple cider vinegar too but I like to save that raw vinegar for other uses. I then set the pot on the longest time setting using the manual pressure button. I let this go a full cycle and sometimes a full second cycle (after resetting it) if I don’t have time to deal with it. 

Second, I add the cooked stock to a large pot on the stove and bring to a low rolling boil. At this time I add a teaspoon of fish sauce just for flavor or umami. I sometimes add kelp too when I have it for extra minerals. I add more water, at least two quarts, so I can boil for a while and reduce until the color or taste is nice. If I want gelatinous broth (this is an all day or overnight thing), I must keep adding water and keep it as low as I can while still having some movement in the pot. If I’m letting it go overnight then I just keep it on low. Again, the time will vary depending on how high the boil and what water you add back in. Add salt when you’re finished or add it as you use or serve it.

Once it starts cooling, I begin transferring the broth to jars using a strainer and a piece of fabric. After the jars have I cooled, I transfer to the fridge. I usually keep broth for a week and a half in the fridge. If there’s a fat layer in tact, it will keep longer so don’t take it off even if you don’t want to use it. My mother-n-law uses breast milk bags and freezes them. This makes nice single serve portions.

*Note. Some folks freeze jars or plastic containers. I haven’t had much luck with jars and I don’t like storing food in plastics. If you do freeze jar, don’t fill them up and cool them fully in the fridge first, then they seem to store best on their sides and in the door of a freezer rather than in the center. It is also a thing to pressure can broth for longer storage. Follow your pressure cooker instructions for this.