Sunday, January 14, 2018

AIP, bone broth

You may have heard all the rage about nutrient dense bone broth, or seen cartons in the stores.   I'm here to tell you, don't buy it, you have to make it to get all of the health benefits!

Actual bone broth, in a chilled state should resemble, at minimum, a runny jello.  This means that you have extracted the gelatin and collagen and all the minerals from the bones that you cooked.  While some use a pressure cooker, I prefer the slow cooker.   When I first made a batch, I was home recovery from carpal tunnel surgery, so I had the three days it takes to make this!  One day soon I will adapt this for my programmable pressure cooker, just not today.

Warning, this method makes over a gallon of bone broth!  Make sure you read this all the way thru before starting.  Once you have, come back to this starting point.

Basic ingredients (feel free to add more or less per your preferences)
Filtered water up to 3 gallons
Raw apple cider vineger, 2 TBSP (do not sub white vinegar)
Sea salt, dash
3 lbs Bones from organic animals   **
Celery, 3 stalks rough chopped
Onion, 1/2 medium white or yellow, rough chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves, smashed and chopped
Bay leaf
Carrot, 4 , scrubbed, not peeled fresh carrots, rough chopped***

**Use the most healthiest animals you can find to avoid added toxins and chemicals.  You are what you eat, as are they!  I use chicken and turkey bones, equivalent to several quarters, thigsh, legs, wings, and a whole chicken carcass.  I put cooked bones in a freezer bag for later use.  You can use raw bones or previously cooked bones, with or without some meat left on.
***I grew carrots this year so I knew mine were organic, and contained no toxins in the skins so we left the skins on.   Purple cosmic carrots from Baker Creek heirloom seeds, they are pretty and a bit sweet (still pulling them out of the coldframe box). Check them out here:


Day 1
Place the animal bones (poultry or beef/lamb, or combination thereof) in your slow cooker.  Hopefully the bones will fill the pot at least 3/4ths.  Cover with water, add a dash of salt and a TBSP of raw apple cider vinegar.  Cook on low with the lid on for 24 hours.

Day 2
About this time you should be able to see the smallest bones start to disolve. Check back every few hours, removing any scum that forms.  I also like to help break the bones down by smashing them (good stress reliever), its not required as once this process is done, if any are not disintergrated, you can cool and freeze them for one more use (beef bobes may work best for that).   Using the crockpot will help maintain your water level as you do not want to start reducing yet.  Continue on low in the crockpot.

Day 3
By now even the largest turkey breast or leg bone should be soft and you can crush it to see all the minerals (yum yum).  Wash, chop and add the vegetables and bay leaf and cook for 2 hours on low, lid on, checking every hour and removing any scum, smashing and pulverizing the bones even more.  Many reciepes show adding the veggies at the beginning, like I do for a normal chicken broth, but this method is all about the bones first. Make sure when you do the first read thru, you make note of this.  Cooking the veggies too long gives the broth a bitter taste. So on the second read thru (hello!), you are excited to get to this point!

Now, after about 2 hours, remove the lid and start the reduction phase (up to 4 hours). This is where your house will smell of the good stuff!  So let everyone know there will be amazing smells and be thankful that you don't have a fully open concept home!

The reduction is actually the trickest part.  The more you reduce, the more dense and gelled your broth will become.  This step is evaporating the water, not the minerals, gelatin and collagen.  I prefer to reduce by at least a 1/3.  Some broths you may be able to reduce by 1/2, so you will have to use your best judgement.

After the desired liquid amount is reached, strain twice with a fine mesh strainer to remove large particles (the tiny ones will sink once chilled). If there any large bone chinks not disolved, you can chill and freeze those for one more use.   Place the warm liquid back in the slowcooker, unplug and leave the lid off to let the broth cool for a few hours. Once it reaches room temp put into a container with a lid (large juice pitcher works great) and then chill overnight.
The bone broth is done correctlty when the results are gelled, kinda like runny jello!  If it has not gelled, you can put the broth into a stockpot and reduce further as this means you did jot reduce enough.  But if its kinda gelly and looks a little yucky, congrats!  You did it!  You have created a bone broth to be envious of!

How to use.
This reciepe lasted about 4 weeks for us as we would use a cup here and there, adding it into just about every receipe that called for any liquids, cream or butter. 

We store it in a 2 gallon pitcher with a lid so the heavy particlds settled, and top was luscious bone broth.  I couldnt bring myself to drink it straight, but it was added to steamed veggies, soups, meats, rice, potato mashes, used in place of broth (added more water), added to canned chicken noodle soup instead of half the water, used in place of milk for mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower puree.  I really can't say enough about this stuff!

There you have it.  3 day bone broth using a slow cooker.  It sounds daunting, sczry, and a bit, weird.  But the benefits?  Better gut health, stronger nails, hair, glowing skin and less stomach issues.    Of course bone broth can't magically heal all your health issues all on its own, but this is one of the primary builing blocks to acheiving better wellness for yourself.  Give it a try!
The last little bit of bone broth, time for another batch,

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