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Anyone else feel late to the bone broth parade? Up until a year ago I had no idea the awesomeness of bone broth. I simply new it was a good way to get more money from your meat purchases and a more frugal way to make broth at home.
Then I started reading up and discovered bone broth supports good gut health among other parts of our bodies. I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercial by now how a big portion of our immune system is linked to the health of our gut. No? Let’s just say if the folks who make television commercials have caught on, then it’s a pretty big thing. But all my real food peeps knew it way before it was main stream cool.
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Because that’s how us pioneer folk roll. We’ve known the goodness of things long before they were trends and we keep on doing them long after the “trend” has passed.
P.S. it’s okay if you’re new to the whole bone broth thing, you’ll soon be as hooked as I am.
Bone broth is pretty simple, it’s a broth made out of the bones from animals, usually chicken, beef, or fish. You cover the bones with water, add in some vegetables and herbs for extra flavor and nutrients, and let it simmer on low for hours until all the goodness from the bones and vegetables is leached out into the water.
This is how many frugal homes stretched their meals. (Want the ultimate in frugalness? Check out our Great Depression Era Money Saving Tips Series) Cook a whole chicken, roast, or fish, and save the bones to make a soup or broth with the next day. The whole chicken noodle soup when you have a cold thing, that’s actually a good idea.
Here’s why. Bone broth has lots of gelatin and collagen. Collage is good for our joints, nails, skin and hair. Gelatin is good for our guts. Broth is also easy to digest. It also happens to taste amazing. I use it to make sauces, gravies, soups, and even in place of water to cook quinoa or rice in. Pretty much anywhere I’d use water in a savory recipe, I’ll swap it out for broth.
1. Start out with an organic pasture raised animal. You don’t want to be pulling out hormones, antibiotics, or GMO gunk from animals that are given growth hormones and corn based diets. We raise our own meat chickens and beef, so I know exactly what went into our meat and what’s going to come out of it.
2. Toss a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar over the bones a half hour before cooking. The acid helps leach the minerals out of the bones.
3. Save the skins of onions and garlic. You know how we usually toss out the skins, either to the garbage or compost pile? We should be saving them to use in stock or soups. I had no idea the skins had more nutritional value than the actual onion or garlic, but NaturalKids has a great article on why we should be using the onion and garlic skins. I had no clue on using the skins until some awesome peeps on our Facebook page shared with me on when I shared a picture of making bone broth on our wood stove. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
4. Store it in the freezer until you have enough. I keep a few bags in the freezer to put small bits of vegetables (and now skins) until I have enough to add to a batch of stock. Same goes with the carcass and bones. It all goes into the freezer until I’m out of broth or have enough to make another batch.
5. Get your broth to gel. Getting your broth to gel is considered the holy grail of broth making. I’ve found it easier to get beef broth to gel compared to chicken. If you’re not getting a gel (think jello or really thick broth once cooled) it’s probably due to the face you need more bones. While the broth is still good for you if it’s not gelling, it means it doesn’t have as high of level of gelatin. When I cook my broth in the slow cooker on low for a longer period of time I tend to get more of a gelling factor.
Cooked bones and/or carcass of chicken (the feet are an excellent addition), beef, lamb, or fish
Apple Cider Vinegar
Large pot or slow cooker
Place the carcass in the pot or slow cooker. Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar over the bones and let it sit for a half hour or so. Cover the carcass with water and bring to a boil. Then switch to a low simmer. Add vegetables and herbs.
I cook mine in the slow cooker for 12 to 24 hours or on top of our wood stove in a large stock pot. Here’s my 6 tips for cooking on a wood stove it you want to try that route as well. Some folks do up to 48 hours, whichever suits you and your schedule. I really like being able to use the wood stove when we’re home to keep electricity costs down.
Here’s a great post from Wardee from Traditional Cooking School by Gnowflgins on making continual stock.
Refrigerator In the fridge for up to six months by Diana at My Humble Kitchen I love this method because it doesn’t require any canning or freezing. But you have to make sure you broth has enough of a certain thing to make this safe and to work.
Dehydrating It’s a liquid, so this seems a little weird, but you can totally dehydrate it at home for a bone broth powder.
Homemade Bouillon Yes, this is kind of genius and I don’t know why I didn’t think of it on my own. You cook down your stock to make bouillon and you can also freeze it in cubes, making it much quicker to thaw. Here’s how to make your own homemade bouillon cubes.
Freezing You can freeze your broth, but I’m not always the best at planning ahead and sometimes forget I need to thaw it out until the moment I need it. Doesn’t work so well. I prefer the fridge or canning, but if you’re a bit better at planning than me, the freezer works as well. Just remember, it’s a liquid and though Mason jars are fine to freeze, the stock will expand and sometimes jars crack when thawing.
Canning Canning broth and stock is something you must do in a pressure canner to be safe. You also need to make sure you skim off the fat before canning. The fat is thick and the heat can’t penetrate through it as well to make sure it’s heated high enough to be safe. My friend Sharon at Simply Canning is a master canner and follows all up to date safety guidelines. I feel comfortable recommending her to you and here’s her tutorial on safely canning both bone broth and stock.
Most of us make chicken and beef broth, but you can also make fish stock. Here’s a link on how to make fish stock.
Stock extends out the use of what we already have. I was doing the math to raise our meat chickens and if I figure in I can get 8 to 10 cups of stock per chicken carcass (organic stock in the store is about $4 a quart) and making it home it really lowers the cost of each animal for us. We’re all looking for ways to stretch our dollar and to get more nutrition into our diets, stock is right up there.
We were Ephesians 5:22-24 Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
This past Sunday we were listening to this podcast by pastor Greg Laurie, which preaches on this topic.
That verse usually doesn’t sit very well with me. I’m not a submissive person, it’s not in my personality naturally. It’s not something that comes easily to me. Every time I read that verse it rubs me the wrong way. We were listening to that verse, my husband was not trying to pound that over my head in any way shape or form, lets just get that out there.
When we’re reading the Bible it’s easy to want to ignore the things we don’t want to do or think we don’t agree with. We either have to believe the Bible is all God’s word and we’re supposed to follow all of it or it kind of cancels out everything else. You can’t pick and chose from the Bible what you want to believe or follow, a lot of people do that, I have to at times, but you have to believe all of it or none of it.
I believe the whole Bible is God’s word to us. I was mulling this verse over and it’s what the Bible says, its what God says. When I chose to ignore it I’m choosing not to let him have full reign in my life and my marriage. He can’t work through me and change things in those areas of my life if I don’t do what He says.
Those verses do talk to husband’s too. In a marriage when both parties are working together, ti’s key there. I’ve been asking God to show me in the ways I need to with His wisdom and inspiration with the Holy Spirit where I nee to work. So that’s the verse that’s been playing a lot in my thoughts.
I actually tend to read five books at once, maybe I’m weird. I usually read one fiction book at a time and about four non-fiction books I read, from devotionals to educational learning. I kind of read a lot at once.
I just finished reading this book. I stayed up way late past my bedtime, if a book will keep me up then I know it’s a good one to share. Francine Rivers is one of my favorite authors. I just finished reading Marta’s Legacy series, you can get two book in one on kindle. She writes longer books, usually about 500 pages each. I admire her for that as an author, it takes incredible skill to write a book that long, but each time I finish one I’m sad it’s over. This series starts with Marta and follows the main character in the early 1900’s. It goes through three generations through Marta, her daughter, and daughter’s daughter. They come from Europe, Canada, and then California. We don’t realize the way people are or react, how they were raised or their history, we just see the end product. It was fascinating how she showed the family ties and how things were repeated and handed down. Francine is a Christian fiction author so there was showing how God works through despite these women’s flaws and mistakes and how He brought it all together.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.