Making the transition to a more natural lifestyle and diet can sometimes feel overwhelming and expensive. I’ve found the trick to overcoming those issues is to find something simple and highly impactful….”more bang for your buck” if you will, rather than doing a complete overhaul and going crazy. This has helped me make sustainable changes that serve my family well.
One of the easiest, least expensive, most nutritious, and delicious changes you can make for your family’s health is to start incorporating bone broth! Bone broth has been consumed in many cultures for many centuries. It has numerous health benefits, including promoting gut health, healthy immune function, healthy bones and joints, healthy sleep patterns, and is even believed to have an anti-aging effect!
We use bone broth in place of regular chicken broth. I love using it for soups, in beans, and in place of water when I make rice for toddlers who haven’t been eating very well.
It is nutritionally dense and way more flavorful than the super salty stocks available in the grocery stores.
My best friend, aka the Instant Pot, helps me make bone broth that is better than store-bought, for PENNIES.
Is this the traditional, a b s o l u t e best way to make bone broth? No.
But is it still wonderful, budget-friendly, and sustainable for my family’s schedule? YES! So it is the BEST for us.
Listen. This is not a strict recipe. It is a GUIDE. These are not rules or laws. Organic, filtered, etc. are ideal, but don’t let those things keep you from getting started! Start with what you have! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can also use a crockpot or stovetop for as long as possible, but I personally feel safer using the instant pot rather than having to monitor the stove for hours on end. I’ve seen excellent prices for pressure cookers on social media, second-hand stores, and holiday sales.
Ok. So what do you need to make it?
Special tools: Instant Pot (or preferred pressure cooker), fine mesh strainer, large bowl, mason jars.
Now. people make bone broth from numerous different animals. But we buy whole chickens and cook them in the instant pot very frequently so this is the most feasible option for us.
I save the peels and skins from the veggies we use in cooking other meals. Onion and garlic peels are my favorite. Plus carrot ends, celery bottoms and leaves, lettuce that went a day past its prime, you get the idea. Don’t throw it out! Just throw it in a freezer bag and once you’ve collected enough to make your broth (probably a gallon size) then you can toss it in the IP (instapot) with the bones! Potato peels make it taste like dirt though…so probably just toss those out or compost them if you’re into that! (I’m not that advanced yet, ok?)
Use the best quality water you have access to. Filtered is preferred.
Again, just use the best you have access to. I personally prefer Redmond Real Salt, but people have lots of opinions and preferences on this subject. The goal is to season it and draw the minerals out of the bones. So whatever salt you use, don’t be shy with it.
Apple Cider Vinegar!
With the mother. I use the HEB Organics one.
Here are the other things I prefer to add if possible:
Sliced lemon, a whole head of fresh garlic (smashed a bit), quartered onion, black pepper, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, and chicken paws (I know it is not a normal food in the American diet. but they are an incredibly inexpensive source of nutrient-rich gelatin!) I usually add 4 or so.
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients, just toss them all in the instant pot, cover with water to the fill line, and cook it for 2 hours on high pressure. Let it naturally release for at least 10 minutes once it is done cooking, then strain and pour into mason jars. Leave the jars on the counter for a bit to cool down before putting them in the fridge or freezer, otherwise, they will crack from the extreme temperature change.
When you’re ready to use your broth, move it from the freezer to the fridge a day in advance so it can thaw gradually.
Well, I think that’s all I have to say on the basics of bone broth! This was my number one reason for getting an Instant Pot and I have absolutely abused that machine for the past couple of years now!