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Easy Nourishing Bone Broth

I make this easy nourishing bone broth in my instant pot, and it's ready in just a few hours! It's such a great flu fighter, because it's packed with nutrients. You can add the broth to most dinner recipes, and lots of the time I'll just drink it warmed up in a cup after a workout. It's delicious heart-warming recovery rehydration!


Bone broth is loaded with protein, collagen, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. It's great for joints, gut health, immune benefits, inexpensive to make... the list goes on!



Easy Instant Pot Bone Broth

It’s flu season, yuck. When I filmed this recipe, Ryan and I had actually just returned from Spartan Trifecta World Championships weekend in Greece! We’d raced for three consecutive days, were very jet lagged from 24-hour days of travel and the time changes, and of course we got sick. I make bone broth a lot because it’s way healthier than store-bought chicken broth, and much cheaper to make than to buy, but this time I made it purely so I could sip on it all week! It’s so delicious and heart-warming. One day I even boiled some noodles in it… I don’t live with mom anymore (a good thing, at 30 years old!), but I still wanted her chicken noodle soup to warm my throat and tummy. A key to getting over a flu is to drink tons of fluids, and it must help when what you’re drinking is packed with nutrients. So, I thought I’d share the recipe!



Bone broth is SUPER easy to make. I pressure cook it in my instant pot, and it’s ready in no time! Below, I included an instant pot recipe, slow cooker recipe, and stove top recipe. They’re all easy; you just toss everything in a pot and leave it to cook. I like the pressure cooker just so it’s done in a few hours, and there’s some research claiming that the pressure cooker actually helps extract even more nutrients from the bones than regular methods if you don’t over-cook it.

 

My favourite thing about it is it’s cheap to make! I ended up with five mason jars of broth from this recipe, and calculated that the ingredients cost me under $10. At my store, ONE jar of real bone broth (not chicken broth) costs $6, and it looks watered down. Plus, I know what ingredients are going in to it… most of the meat Ryan and I buy we try to get local or organic. Not always, because sometimes the prices just aren’t reasonable, but at least I know the bones aren’t coming from an over-processed factory farm where the poor chickens are being pumped with growth hormones.


Easy Pressure Cooker Bone Broth

Nutrition:

Bone broth Is packed with nutrients! When the bones are cooked for a long time, they release their natural collagen and gelatin. Collagen is great for hair, skin, nails, and JOINTS – yay for us athletes! Ryan and I get a lot of questions about what supplements we take that we find make the biggest difference for us as athletes. I always tell people collagen… I really do find my joints feel so much more supple and less achy when I take collagen. Bone broth is also good for gut health, and has tons of immune benefits for flu season. Plus, it provides amino acids, which help recovery from workouts! It’s got protein, collagen, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. Give it a Google to read about all the health benefits, I could write this list for days!



What the difference between bone broth and regular broth?


 Regular broth, like the chicken broth or beef broth you’ll find in tetra packs at the grocery store, only needs to cook for an hour or so. Even if you make it at home, you put everything in a pot and boil it for a short period of time just to extract some flavour from the meat and vegetables. Bone broth cooks for at least 12 hours (16-18 Is best, not longer than 24). This helps to really extract the nutrients from the bones, breaking down the collagen in to gelatine and amino acids, and providing all the health benefits I list above. It’s much more concentrated, as more flavour and nutritional benefits than regular broth!


Ways to use it:


  • Add it to a mug and drink it up!

  • Use it as a base for soups and sauces

  • Use it in place of water for most recipes.


Some of my recipes that call for chicken stock, and I’d use this bone broth in instead, are my Coconut Saucy Thai Peanut Noodles, Chunky Southwest Corn Chowder, Sundried Tomato and Goat Cheese Pasta, and Homemade Butter Chicken.


Favorite Nutritious Bone Broth Recipe

Tips:


  1. Always start with cold water. This helps to keep the broth clear instead of cloudy. The amount of water use and length of simmering time will determine the intensity of the broth.

  2. Avoid the temptation to add to much “other stuff.” I love to add some vegetables, herbs and spices for additional nutrients and flavour, but we really want the main flavour to be from the bones we’re using. You want it to taste like beef or chicken, not like a mouthful of star anise or nutmeg!

  3. I included my favourite herbs and spices to use in this recipe. People also make bone broth with cinnamon sticks, star anise, garlic, nutmeg, mushrooms, or lemon. Some people swear that adding a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar helps to extract the nutrients from the bones. I’ve tried it with and without, and haven’t found it really makes a difference, so I don’t bother.

  4. I go over how to freeze the bone broth after you make it below. I like to pull it out of the freezer to use in recipes as I need it, and it will keep for months when frozen!

  5. If you add vegetables like I do, you can make a delicious soup from them afterwards so that nothing goes to waste! Once the broth is done cooking, you can strain it, and transfer all the vegetables to your blender with a scoop of the bone broth. Add just enough to cover the veggies. Blend it for a nutritious and delicious soup… it’s actually sooo good!

  6. I freeze bones after we eat dinners, then use them to make the bone broth. Right now, I have a chicken carcass in the freezer, some rib bones, and some pork shoulder bones I found on sale at the store that I’m going to use to make my next batch.


Post Workout Recovery Drink rehydrating with bone broth

How to make it:


You really only need bones and water, but I like to throw in a few herbs, spices and veggies for added flavour!

What bone should I use? You can use any kind of bones! I mentioned above that I usually just freeze any bones we have after meals, like chicken carcasses or rib bones. My grocery store will package up off cuts and bones from their butcher, and I’ll buy those when I find them on sale. I can get 2lbs for $3. I like to use a mixture of bone for the best flavour. Chicken, beef or turkey is great. Knuckles, joints, chicken feet and marrow bones provide some of the best collagen, which will make your broth rich and delicious. Oxtail, shank, and short ribs are also great.


  • You’ll need about 4lbs of bones total

  • Onion

  • Carrot

  • Celery

  • Salt – add salt! Don’t expect it to taste like a restaurant soup if you don’t add salt. You’ll need a solid tablespoon of it.

  • Pepper

  • Parsley and thyme, garlic, bay leaf, or whatever herbs you want to add.

  • Apple cider vinegar is optional. Some people use it because they believe it helps coax the nutrients out of the bones. It’s optional but not necessary.



Sachet vs straining:


Professional kitchens like to wrap their herbs and spices in something called a sachet. You place all your herbs, spices and peppercorns in butcher’s cloth, and tie it closed in to a little bundle using butcher’s twine. Then, it’s easy to remove once you’re done. Personally, I’m going to strain my broth once it’s finished cooking anyways, to remove the bones and veggies, so this is just an additional unnecessary step. The herbs and spices will get strained out with everything else, leaving a nice clear broth.


Blanching and roasting the bones: (directions for how to do this in the recipe below)


I would recommend doing this if you use beef bones. If you’re using the bones or trimmings from leftovers, like a chicken or turkey you’ve already roasted, you don’t need to. When I was in culinary school, if we made chicken broth we could just rinse it and stick it in the pot. However, beef bones will release blood and contain impurities when they’re boiled. We were always taught to first blanch them, then roast them, before making the broth. It also massively improves the flavour. You can choose to blanch OR roast them, you technically don’t have to do both. When I filmed this recipe, I did both just to show people how. I try to do this, but I’ll totally admit that if I’m short on time, I’ll just toss them straight in the pot and skip these steps! Some people have commented that doing this removed nutrients from the bones that you want in your bone broth, but just to bring them to a boil or give them a quick roast isn’t enough time to actually remove any nutrients.


Best Flavorful bone broth recipe

 

Easy Nourishing Bone Broth


Servings: Makes about 5 mason jars

Prep time: 5 min to 45 minutes, depending on if you decide to blanch/roast the bones (I go over this below)

Simmer time: 3 hours to 24 hours, depending on the cooking method you decide to use (I go over this below)

Total time: 3.25 hours to 25 hours






INGREDIENTS


You’ll notice the ingredients aren’t exact. I didn’t weigh them or measure them in cups, because it’s really not rocket science… as long as you add lots of bones, any additional veggies and herbs you add will just add additional flavour and nutrients. I’ve also made this with mushrooms I needed to use up, cinnamon sticks, and all sorts of variations on spices. It’s always come out great… just don’t forget the tip above to avoid adding too much additional “stuff.”


  • 4lb bones. Meat scraps, too, if you have them.

  • 3 sticks of celery

  • 1 very large carrot

  • 3 small onions or 1 very large onion

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 8 peppercorns or 1tsp ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of salt (yes, it seems like a lot, but trust me! This will elevate your broth from yummy but plain to DELICIOUS)

  • 8 cups water, approximately. If I use my instant pot or slow cooker, I’ll add water to the fill line but not above.


DIRECTIONS


Optional – Blanch and/or roast your bones. I talk about the pros of doing this above, and when I do it vs. don’t!


To blanch your bones – Place your bones in an extra-large pot. Cover them with cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer 15-20min. Drain and rinse the bones with cold water (you’ll see how much nasty stuff comes off them!).


To roast your bones – Heat your oven to 450. Place your bones on a baking sheet. If you want, you can spread some tomato paste over them for additional flavour, which is what we did in culinary school. Bake them for 20 minutes. Optionally, you can also add the veggies you’ll use when making your bone broth, and roast those as well which will add extra yummy flavour to your broth.


Stove top method

Add all your ingredients in an extra-large pot. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat to low. After about 30 minutes, you can occasionally skim any foam off the top with a large slotted spoon. Boil for at least 12 hours, up to 24.

 

Slow cooker method

Add all your ingredients in a large slow cooker, adding water to the maximum fill line. Set to “slow cook,” and let it do its thing for 12-24 hours.

 

Instant pot method

Add all your ingredients to your instant pot. Cover with water to the max fill line. Set the instant pot for 3-4h on high pressure, with the lid on “sealed”. Let it naturally release the pressure once it’s finished.

 

Strain the broth. Once the broth is finished cooking, set a fine mesh strainer over another large pot. I even like to line the strainer with cheese cloth, so that it comes out really clear, but you could just strain it a few times. Pour the broth over the strainer, so that the broth falls through in to the pot below but the veggies and bones are caught in the strainer.

 

If you add vegetables like I do, you can make a delicious soup from them afterwards so that nothing goes to waste! Once the broth is done cooking, you can strain it, and transfer all the vegetables to your blender with a scoop of the bone broth. Add just enough to cover the veggies. Blend it for a nutritious and delicious soup… it’s actually sooo good!

 

Skim the fat off the top (optional). I like to let the whole pot cool in the fridge overnight. The next day, skim off the fat and discard. It might look very gelatinous, especially if you’ve used bones like marrow bones that contain a lot of collagen! Some types of bones gelatinize more than others, like beef. If it’s not, don’t worry, it’s still nutritious and delicious!

 

Storing your broth:

If you plan to use the broth right away, you can just store it in a large container in your fridge for up to five days. I like to freeze it in portion sizes, so I can use it in recipes as needed. Ice cube trays or moulds are great for this. Use a ladle to spoon the broth in to the ice cube trays, freeze them, then transfer the frozen cubes to zip lock bags. Typically, I just ladle my broth in to glass mason jars. Leave about ½ inch of space at the top of the jars, because liquid expands when frozen and it can explode. Freeze these gently, because glass can break! I’ll pull out the jars as needed and let them defrost on the counter, or unscrew the lid and microwave until defrosted. The broth will keep in the freezer for up to six months.






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