Making an incredibly healing broth is not all that hard.
It is also one of the very best things you can do for your gut. If you’ve been anywhere on the internet I’ve sure you’ve already been convinced by Dr. Josh Axe or somebody.
In fact, it can be incredibly easy, and help to heal your gut, the seat of your health!
All you need are:
- a pot,
- bones from a pastured or organic animal,
- something acidic like ACV,
- bonus: aromatics like onion, and veggies or herbs, even scraps.
Here I will make a chicken broth in the Instant Pot.
First, I collected the following:
Bones from a pastured or organic animal, in my case, bones from a whole roast wild/organic duck, some apple cider vinegar, a large sweet onion, herbs scraps (I’ve got celery, parsley and a few odds and ends, like small garlic cloves and mushroom ends).
Next, put in pot. Make sure to cover the bones with water.
If on the stove:
Turn up the heat, set a lid half on the pot, and simmer for hours.
If in an Instant Pot:
Check not to overfill the pot with water. There is a MAX FILL line inside the pot – see image – my says PC Max, for Pressure Cooker Max. Lock the lid and set to Soup/Broth, and let it start.
My Preferences and pro tips:
I like using bones from quality free-range / pastured / organic animal or bird, cause these usually have fewer heavy metals than regular bones.
I also like to use roasted bones. I get a whole bird and either roast it myself or go the lazy route and buy it cooked (Free Bird is a place near me that has rotisserie chicken made from organic, free range birds).
The results when you make a broth from cooked bones are much more tasty.
However, if you want to buy bones just for broth making (lots of vegetarians do this) you have a few neat options.
One, since you are going out of the way to get bones, get at least a pound of the most cartilaginous, knuckleiest pieces, like chicken feet, wings and necks.
These will make the most healing, collagen-rich broths.
Next, roast the bones. Sounds strange to do this step, and it may not give as much flavour to the broth as full-on “roasted with garlic and herbs and salted butter” bones will, but even the simple act on tossing bones in the over for a while with add depth to the broth.
I usually use apple cider vinegar but lemon juice can work too. You need an acid to help to break down the bones, pull out minerals and such.
Good aromatics that will add lots of flavour include garlic, onion, ginger, scallions, leek, turmeric, green onion, parsley, cilantro, basil, and thyme. Do consider the end result.
Keep a stock/broth bag on the go at all times. Save items from the compost – the little pieces of red pepper that are left over from your recipe, stems from all fresh herbs, plus all the extra ones you cannot finish in time, the wilty herbs, and throw them in a bag in the freezer.
This is your literal STOCK PILE. So stock pile it up!
Add the tough outside layers of onions, the parts of the green onion with the roots, and even garlic peels to your stock pile. The outside layer of the onion is where all the quercetin is, and the garlic peel has a lot of the beneficial compounds. When you watch old school cooks making rustic food, they use these parts. If you won’t do the same, at least use these parts in your stock.
And of course, keep all your bones. Good bones can be reused for many batches of broth!
Don’t add cruciferous vegetables.
YES we love to eat these and YES you may have lots of broccoli stems, but NO, do not add these. Once in a while I may use some kale stems, but never use cauliflower, Brussel sprout, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi or other similar veggies – they will ruin the broth.
Other items can sometimes make broth bitter. If in doubt, onion, carrot and celery work.
Don’t season with salt or pepper until the end, if at all. I find great flavour comes from the herbs and onion, and even from the bones or leftover skin from my roasts, and I prefer to add to my final recipe.
Don’t scrape off the jelly. Strain the broth, and then pour into jars to cool in the fridge. If your broth gets a layer of fat on the top, you can scoop it off with a spoon, but don’t scoop of the gel, that’s the elixir of gut healing right there!!
Warning: Long cooking is ideal for broth, but take care. You can cook broths for days on low, but keep adding liquid. If you cook broth in the Pressure Cooker, eventually, the bones may disintegrate. That’s ok, in the sense that you can get lots of nutritious bone marrow. But, it can make the broth dark, and you must avoid bone shards.
Also, when you cook broths for too long, if you have a lot of vegetables (onions, carrots, celery) the overcooked vegetables will swell up and hang on to all the liquid, making you lose half your broth! Be sure to squeeze them out, or just stop cooking sooner.
There you go.
I hope that was helpful!
I am thinking about making a basic “How to Make Soup” recipe video.
If you are out there, let me know in the comments if that would interest you.