But about a year ago I was introduced to the idea of Bone Broth. While not technically a broth (it’s more of a stock), the idea is that by a LONG cooking process with animal bones + vegetables can create a richer, more healthy broth. We won’t deal with the stock/broth issue… let’s just move on because what you really want is the recipe, right? This is the result of my recipe below. These are 32-oz jars and they’re about full to the curved lip, because we freeze them and I want room for them to expand. 6 jars = approx 200 ounces of amazing broth. OH. YES.
Okay, Erin… but why broth?
Great question! Broth is such a simple and easy way to get healthful nutrients into my kids! It’s super nutrient-dense and has approximately one zillion uses in the kitchen. We use our broth as the base for soups, as the water when we make rice, and in just about any recipe that requires water (if the water will be soaked INTO what we’re eating… we want to consume this broth! Not just use it to boil pasta – waste!).
It’s totally YUM and has those awesome cooking uses… but it’s also a great source of minerals for your diet. Bone broth has been shown to support boost your digestive and immune systems and is excellent for bone & tooth health. There are a lot of dental issues in our family so we’ve intentionally focused on adding this to our diet to remineralize our teeth… yay! Also… there’s a ton of collagen in bone broth, which is awesome for your hair, skin, and nails, and can support your joints too (working out? getting old? You get the drift).
The short recipe looks like this:
Put your bones, root vegis, spices, and water in a pot… simmer for a LONG time. Strain. Drink.
But if you really want to get the MOST out of those bones and vegis, there’s a strategy to really up the benefits of your broth and to increase the amount of healthy liquid you’ll have at the end of the process… so keep reading!
BONES. You need bones, obviously. Pretty much any animal can be used. This isn’t a “simmer a boneless chicken breast” kind of thing, using the bones of the animal is super important. We ONLY use grassfed/antibiotic-free/free-range bones. We’re VERY particular. Why? The long cooking process will break down the bones quite a bit, releasing all the collagen, marrow, and minerals in the bones. If that animal has also been fed antibiotics or grain or gmo nasty-ness… well then you’re releasing all of those chemicals into your broth. GROSS. Totally not worth it. It’s also why I’ve completely given up store broths… just because the broth is labeled organic doesn’t mean I know anything about the sourcing for the meat/animal used to create the broth, which is a huge issue when you’re paying attention to these things.
Okay, now how much of those bones? I’ve done this EXACT PROCESS before with just a single chicken. This time I used the bones from a chicken (previously cooked, meat picked off, and the bones were frozen so we could use them for broth at a later time) PLUS a single beef bone. I grabbed this pack of Grassfed, antibiotic-free bones from our local meat source. I used the single bone in the center and will use the two other smaller ones in a future broth recipe.
ROOT VEGIS. Okay so you need some root vegis. I usually use the basics… carrots, celery, onion (or organic dried onion if I don’t have a fresh one on hand).
SPICES. This can vary, too. I have some I prefer, but you could just use salt and pepper if that’s what you have.
WATER. Yep, you need some water. Full disclosure… we only use filtered water for this. We want this to be as healthy as possible so we’re using a Berkey filter on all our drinking AND cooking water. We started with a Big Berkey water filter (which holds 2.1 gallons of water) and recently upgraded to an Imperial Berkey because we use tons of this amazing filtered water!
You also need a device to cook this in! You can simmer it in a soup pot on the stove (though I don’t like the idea of keeping my stove eye on overnight for this) or you can put it in a crockpot, but both of these methods will lose liquid over time and you’ll need to add some water every few hours. I prefer to use an InstantPot so I can keep that seal over the top and not lose the precious water. The one I prefer is the 7-in-1 model which lets me make this gorgeous broth as well as a host of dinner recipes and even yogurt!
Okay, so let’s talk recipe. Well… I don’t use one. Wait!!! No wait, listen. If you need a 1-2-3 recipe, I’m sure you can google one. But let me show you how I do this and how SIMPLE it is to adjust based on what you have on hand.
Rough chopped organic celery (about half a head), a handful of whole organic carrots, and half an onion
Bones – I recommend at least one whole chicken, you can also use a big beef bone like I did here
Spices – salt, pepper, whatever else you want.
For spices I added 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric and 1 tablespoon of JuvaSpice – this is a Young Living spice/supplement that is amazing to add to anything you’re cooking. I’ll get to the Apple Cider Vinegar in a second.
JuvaSpice® is a delicious blend of rice seed bran, spinach, tomato flakes, beet root powder, flax seed, oat seed bran, broccoli powder, cucumber powder, potassium chloride, Redmond RealSalt®, dill leaf, barley seed powder, cayenne pepper, ginger powder, slippery elm bark, L-Taurine, psyllium seed husk, anise seed, fennel seed, aloe vera leaf extract powder, and peppermint leaf. Sprinkle it on food such as eggs, baked potatoes, rice, or salads for extra fiber and to support proper digestion. It’s amazing for your Liver – hence the “Juva” name! Contact me to order some!
Rough chop your root vegis and toss them in the bottom of your pot. Add your bones on top and then your spices. For the first cook through, I’ll add about 8 cups of water on top.
(If I’m working with just bones… then I add the Apple Cider vinegar at this point. If I’m cooking a whole chicken – not just the bones – then I’ll leave out the ACV and just follow this first step here.)
At the end of the 2 hours… or whenever (because it will hold everything on warm for several hours after it’s done cooking)… come back and CAREFULLY strain off the liquid. I use a steamer basket over my big soup pot and carefully pour everything through it so I can save all the bones/vegis. Pour off that first set of liquid into your pot, cover the pot, and put it in the fridge. If you used a whole chicken to start with, this is where I’ll pick the meat off and set it aside in the fridge in a bowl to use for soup or chicken salad or tacos.
Put all the bones and vegis BACK in your InstantPot. At this point I add a teaspoon of ACV (even if I added it before… I will add another teaspoon here).
Now I fill it with filtered water all the way up to the MAX FILL line on the inside of the InstantPot.
I know some people who will pressure cook this for just one hour, but I love to get everything I possibly can out of those bones… so I set it for Manual pressure for two hours.
Let the pressure release on its own (which can take a while), then once it’s released I’ll set it to the crock pot setting for 10 hours. No, I’m not kidding. Usually by now this is going to be going on overnight, which is perfect. Could I pull the broth out before then? Sure! But I have a “cook it to death” thing going on here. And when I’m done with it, even my chicken bones are soft and mushy. YES. That means I got all the goodness out.
After it’s fiiiiiiiiinally done cooking for a zillion hours… strain, strain, strain. I’ll grab the pot out of the fridge and start pouring broth out of this hot InstantPot, through the steamer basket, into the broth that’s chilled and waiting for me. (You should notice the pot of broth from the fridge is gloppy gelatin… yep… that’s the awesomeness from those bones coming out and congealing. GOOD STUFF.
Pouring the hot broth into this cold broth will liquify it all and mix it together. Once it’s all poured into the BIG soup pot, I set up another filter station with a thinner sieve. You want to get all the little bits out of there. THIS is your final batch of broth and it’s ready for your jars!
By using this method of cooking through the bones twice… I get tons of amazing broth. I fill my jars (32 oz size in the picture at the top) about an inch from the top and put the lids on loosely… give it space to freeze and expand! Then I pop them upright in the freezer and let them go! 🙂 Grab a jar when you need it and thaw in the fridge… use it in your rice, your soups, or anytime you need broth! Or, warm it back up and put it in a mug to sip on. My kids love this. I’ll cool it with a cube of ice and put a straw in there and they think it’s the fanciest tea to sip on while watching a movie. Hah!