Last night’s Food For Life class was an excellent educational experience. We learned about various methods for making homemade broth, including beneficial bone broth, and shared ideas on how to eat healthy under a strict budget. In this post, I want to share what I learned about making broth.
I have been making my own chicken, beef and veggie broth for several years now. Have you ever read the labels on the store-bought broths? They are often filled with chemicals, high sodium, and even sugar!
Homemade broth is super easy and bone broth in particular has many health benefits, including high levels of trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Bone broth is an excellent source of amino acids, gelatin and collagen, which help provide stronger hair/nails, support connective tissue, heal gut issues, and healthy joints. The fat in the broth can also help restore gut health – which helps in the absorption of minerals – and can also be used to support adrenal fatigue.
Making veggie broth is simply a matter of boiling veggies in water, but here are some tips on doing it on a tight budget:
1. Save the cuttings from veggie preparation (ie. Tips cut off from celery, zucchini, carrots, asparagus, etc.) and boil in water to make a veggie broth. Measure 1 cup of veggies for 4 cups of water. Strain veggies and keep the broth.
2. Keep a container in your fridge of veggie broth. When preparing a veggie dish that calls for boiling veggies in water, save the water drained off and add it to the veggie broth in the fridge.
3. Freeze your veggie broth in jars to use at a later date.
Making bone broth is a little more work, but not much. Here is the Chicken Bone Broth recipe provided last night, and it’s pretty the much the same one I have used for the last few years:
2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts, ie. Necks, backs, breastbones, wings, and feet
4 quarts cold, filtered water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
3 celery sticks, chopped coarsely
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt (I always add salt to my broth base, and usually more like a Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
3 bay leaves
Place either raw chicken pieces or a carcass picked clean from a roasted chicken in a crockpot, stockpot, or pressure cooker. Add all other ingredients except parsley and let sit for 30 mins to an hour.
For stock pots – bring to boil, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours
For crockpots – cover and cook on low for 24 hours
For pressure cookers/instant pots – bring up pressure and cook for at least 2 hours. Let pressure release naturally.
For stock and crock pots, add parsley in the last 10 mins of cooking. For pressure cookers, release the pressure then add the parsley and let it wilt as the broth cools.
Once the broth has fully cooled, add it to jars and refrigerate or freeze. I like to scrape the fat off the top before freezing, and I learned yesterday that I can set the fat aside and use it as an oil replacement when cooking foods in a skillet.
**Broth can be used as a soup base or in place of water when cooking grains, veggies, sauces, and gravies.
If you are on a tight budget, buy an uncooked whole chicken (most whole chickens are very inexpensive), roast it, pick the meat off, and then use the carcass for broth. Avoid using raw chicken pieces that can be enjoyed in a meal because once it’s boiled in water, it’s not very tasty.
Some people freeze broth in ice cube trays or plastic ziplock bags. I do not recommend this. When frozen, plastic emits the toxic chemicals it was made from. Even BPA-free plastic is being shown to have other toxic chemicals. To be safe, always freeze your food in glass. You can buy jars of all sizes for freezing at your local grocery store. Prices are inexpensive and jars can be used over and over again.