Making Bone Broth

I began making bone broth several years ago when I learned about it’s healing qualities for teeth, bones and the gut.  I wanted an easy method that didn’t required me to stay in the kitchen tending a stock pot for 2-3 days. When I talk about bone broth I often hear that people don’t feel they have time to make it. I think it’s important for us to remember that in this modern time we have we have access to the most modern kitchens and tools ever which makes preparing the foods of our ancestors easier than it’s ever been.

I’m going to show you how you can make bone broth with very little time invested.

Enter…….The crock pot!

 

This is what I have been using to make bone broth for quite a while now.  All you really need to make bone broth or as others call it “soup stock” are:

  • Crock pot
  • poultry or meat bones: feet, gizzards, legs, wings, entire chicken etc
  • onion
  • garlic
  • celery
  • lemon juice or vinegar
  • carrot
  • filtered or fluoride free water (you don’t want fluoride in your bone broth because it blocks absorption of minerals)

I generally take the left over bones from dinner and use those. Since buying organic birds or meat is very expensive but worth it, I save the bones, skins, etc that no one wants to eat and toss them into my crock pot.

Then I add in some chopped onions (or the scraps of an onion), a few pieces of celery or celery leaf, and a chopped up carrot. I’ve been known to toss in some juicer pulp instead of the carrots. Basically I use what we have on hand or what I have saved from a past meal I prepared.

Fill your crock pot with the spring water or if you have clean well water. I prefer to avoid tap water that has fluoride since that blocks the absorption of minerals to your bones. Once full, add in a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice.

The purpose of that is to create some acidity to help the minerals leach out of the bones.

Now let it a sit for 30 minutes.

After that, turn the crock pot on high.  Go about your normal routine for the next 6-12 hours. Then check on the broth and skim any scum that forms off the top. You can reduce the crock pot to low.  Let it continue to simmer for another 24-48 hours.

Skimming any scum and add a bit more water if it has lost some liquid. We keep the lid all the time and this helps keep the liquid from boiling away or anything falling into your broth.

After 48 hours, I usually turn off the crock pot and let it sit until the liquid has cooled down enough that I can safely strain it.

You will need a large stock pot and a colander.  Set your colander into the stock pot and start to slowly pour the broth mixture from the crock into the stock pot. The strainer will catch-all the bits you don’t want.

Once you have strained, you can remove any meat that may have come off the bones that you want to save for soups etc.

Now if you are super frugal and are into Nourishing Traditions and you can take the bones and break them apart to remove some of the marrow. The bones should be very soft and break in your hands at this point. The rich meaty marrow is very nutritious and hides well in soups or other dishes like meatballs or meatloaf. You won’t even know you’re eating it. I took me a while to get used to doing this but the family has not detected the hidden marrow in food!

Nourishing Broth

After straining I take the stock pot of broth and put in the fridge over night. The following morning you can scrape off the fat that has congealed on the top. Do not remove the gelatin which is wiggly and clear, unlike the fat which is white. The gelatin is the magic, you want that to stay in the broth. It liquefies again anyway when you heat up the broth.

I use a canning funnel to pour the broth into glass jars with lids and store it in the fridge. I use it for making soups, boiling vegetables or pasta, etc., that week. It helps enhance and sneak in amazing nutrition into our diets and the kids don’t know!  It can also be frozen in food storage bags, just be sure the broth is cold when you put in the bags to freeze it. It can also be canned for long term storage using a pressure canner in order to insure safety and prevent spoilage.

We have done this with our Thanksgiving turkey carcass after removing as much meat as we can. It makes wonderful turkey broth for soups or gravy. Save those chicken drums, roaster chicken bone….etc…..

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Why we don’t own a microwave oven

I have a confession to make. I don’t own a microwave oven! I decided to write this post because I am getting ready to make some bone broth today and I keep coming across websites that refer to people re-heating it in a microwave oven. GASP!

I have fondly referred to it as “the nuker” since the 1990s when every home got one of these little machines. It isn’t a coincidence that I’ve given it this name. To me “nuke=radiation” and well, microwave ovens essentially radiate your food. Not exactly in the same way that say a stick of plutonium would, but in a similar manner that alters the molecular structures of the food. When I learned they were banned in Russia in 1976, that fact alone prompted me to research why. This research is well detailed in the Health Hazards of Microwave Ovens post.

microwaveAfter my research we gave up our microwave in 2006 and haven’t owned one since.  When I began our autism journey one of my first ventures was nutrition and insuring that every bite my picky eater took was as nutritious as it could be. My research on microwave ovens convinced me that the foods nutrition is ultimately destroyed through the process of agitating the molecules of the food. This microwave process bounces the molecules all around and distorts or breaks them. In turn many problems have been found in research with eating foods that this has been done too in terms of changing blood chemistry, causing deficiency or immune suppression.

globalresearch"I know children with autism or people with health conditions often have immune dysfunction. And if only people know that eating microwaved foods was shown to changes the blood included a decrease in all hemoglobin values and cholesterol values, especially the HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol) values and ratio. Ouch!

I had made up my mind. Bye microwave that made us rubbery bland food! We won’t miss you! I always noticed how the food cooked in one had no flavor and if you didn’t eat it in a few seconds it shriveled up and turned into a rock. So one of the first things we noticed when I began cooking using traditional methods was the taste and texture of the food was so much better!

Some people certainly thought I was crazy and likely some still do, but many that have eaten with us comment on how the food tastes so much better.  Sure they all complain that it must take me so much more time to cook, but honestly I have not noticed that it takes me that much more time. Crock pots are great and I have an excellent ceramic cook top that heats up in seconds. It is amazing how the new ovens heat up to temperature in less than few minutes. I use that time to prep the food I’m going to cook or say…..check my messages!

Something else I could not over look is that some of my crunchy mama friends spend extra time and money sourcing grass-fed traditionally raised beef, raising their own chickens, growing their own produce. Then preserving it all for winter by freezing, canning, dehydrating. They have pesticide free gardens and won’t drink or eat out of plastic. My one friend doesn’t let her child eat anything from a package. However, she uses the microwave to defrost her organically raised grass-fed meat or poultry! I really couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one so I shared that we don’t own a microwave at all. When questions came in, I answered them. Including how I defrost meat. It’s called the refrigerator, overnight. The same way my grandmother defrosted meat. Ever watch Kitchen Nightmares? Well, Chef Ramsey is not a fan of the microwave because it alters the taste and texture of the food.

So what happens if I forget to take the foods out of the freezer the night before?

That is what vegetarian night is for.

Anyone concerned about nutrition and health may wish to consider ditching their microwave oven.  Already have a wall mounted microwave? They make great storage space for extra dishes! Just unplug that vampire electric hog and turn it into storage and not only will you be Eco-friendly, your family will be eating healthier too.