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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 58
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

Broth Empty
PostSubject: Broth   Broth EmptyThu Mar 14, 2013 5:35 am


Broth is the foundation of the GAPS diet. One of the pillars of all healthy diets worldwide according to Dr Kate Shanahan and it is featured promenently in Nourishing Traditions. It seems to be part of the diets of all people with good health from all cultures. Perhaps that is why we continue to use and crave itís flavor in so many foods. Canned broth and boulion cubes are not a healthy part of any diet but an weak imitation of the real stuff that humans have thrived on for millennia. I have shared how to make bone broth, how to make meat broth, the difference between the two and about making it in the pressure cooker. I have also shared ideas for sneaking it into your families diet. Today Iím going to share another idea for broth.

Dehydrated broth.

I will say right up front that dehydrated broth is not my favorite flavor wise. That would be pressure cooker broth. Nor do I suspect it is the absolute best for gut healing. That is probably meat broth and the resulting pate. Where dehydrated broth shines is in portability and shelf life. It does not need to be refrigerated. And 1 tsp of dehydrated broth (give or take) makes 1 cup of rehydrated broth! This is concentrated stuff! It is perfect for travel and also for emergency storage. I also love having it on hand for the occasions when I just have gotten behind and need some broth to throw in a dish. Putting in that much nutrition with such a small volume of substance is a real win/win.

So now the basics. You will want to start out with a lot of unsalted broth. If you donít know how to make broth start here Bone Broth. This lovely mess is the second run of the bones that I made the dehydrated broth from. I strain out the broth and add more water and let them go another 24-48 hours as long as the bones arenít crumbly yet. I usually get 3 batches of broth (each one smaller than the one before) from beef bones.

This time made meat broth in my 22-Quart Roaster Oven. I filled it up with meaty bones from my last half beef. When the meat was done I picked off the cooked meat and returned the bones to the pot. I continued to cook the bones in the broth overnight. It cooked about 24 hours total. Quite a bit of the moisture evaporated while it cooked and I did not replenish it because I intended to dehydrate it and wanted to get as much of that done the easy was as possible. After 24 hours I strained off the broth and ended up with about 4 qts of broth and fat. About three cups was fat between the two jars. (sorry I did not think to snap a photo of the jars. You will have to use your imagination.)

Once you have made your broth (make it with as little water as possible to make your job easier later on). Strain it and put it into a container in the fridge. You will want to remove the fat from this broth before dehydrating it and that is much easier to do if you chill it for several hours first.

After I had chilled my broth it was simple to scoop off the thick layer of fat on the surface of the dark broth. I was somewhat generous with my scooping. I wanted to get all of the fat out of the broth and I didnít worry about getting a little bit of broth into the fat.

Next I poured the defatted broth into a large wide pot and began to boil it.

I kept an eye on it while it boiled watching for when it would turn thick so that I could be sure to stop it before it burned. I started out with a bit more than 3 qts of defatted very rich broth. This cooked down to less than 1 qt when I could see that the bubbles showed that it was getting much thicker. (photo above) I turned it off at this point and it quickly got a skin on the surface as it cooled. This was a good sign that it was ready to dehydrate. If it boils till it is too thick it will be difficult to spread thin to dehydrate and can quickly burn. Finding the sweet spot where it is quite thick but not so thick that it will burn or clump can be tricky so keep a close eye on it when it gets close. Below you can see it cooled off somewhat.

For dehydrating I use an Excalibur Dehydrator. I havenít ever used any others so I canít tell you how it compares for this process.

Once it had cooled enough to handle it I poured it out onto two Excalibur ParaFlexx Non-Stick Sheets. I spread it as thin as I could and set the Excalibur Food Dehydrator to the highest temperature. The thinner it is the easier it will be to grind it into a powder once dry. It will also dry out much faster.

I was able to spread it about 1/8 of an inch thick. It took 2 trays for that much broth (so about 2 cups per tray). It took nearly 3 days for it to be fully dehydrated. I probably should have tried to spread it even thinner on more trays.

Meanwhile, I added about a qt of water to the pot that I had just removed the broth from as well as the fat I had removed before cooking down the defatted broth. I brought it to a boil and used the rubber spatula to scrape down all of the broth that was still stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. Once I had it all mixed in I could see that it was good rich broth. I poured that into a 2 qt jar and you see what I got here. I just couldnít bear the thought of wasting any of that broth that I had worked so hard to make just because it was stuck to the pot.

Back to the dehydrator. After 24 hours or so I lifted the drying broth. It was like sticky fruit leather and stuck to theParaFlexx Sheet when I tried to lift it off. I was able to pry it off and flip it over to expose the underside and help it dry faster. This step isnít necessary but it should speed up the dehydrating. Every 24 hours or so I would flip it to help the drying. I also felt the center. The edges got hard and brittle first but as long as the center was still flexible like fruit leather I knew I had longer to go. You want the whole thing to be hard and brittle. Some have found that they or their children enjoy ďbroth leatherĒ and certainly you can stop at this point and use it in the manner. Since this broth leather will include some moisture it will not be shelf stable and should be kept in the fridge or freezer to keep it from spoiling. Here is the broth partially dehydrated with a small piece snapped from the brittle edge but still very flexible in the center.

The top side of partially dehydrated broth

Partially dehydrated broth flipped over.

Once it is brittle all the way across you can turn off the dehydrator and let it cool. At this point my 4 year old requested a taste of the brittle dried broth. I agreed to let her taste some and decided to eat some myself so I broke off small pieces. Remember that as far as nutrition goes about 1 tsp of dehydrated broth is the same as a cup of broth. She loved the crunchy treat and asked for more after she finished the first piece. In fact I had to stop letting her eat it for fear she would eat more than I could spare. Her sister also tasted some. She wasnít quite so thrilled with it until I pointed out that the small piece she was holding would count as a cup of broth. Then she easily crunched it down finding it much easier to consume than a cup of hot broth (despite 2.5 years of GAPS and occasionally loving it, most of the time broth is still her nemesis.) I had to set aside the broth till the next day before I could process it further and my 4 year old kept going back asking for more and more pieces of it. I will say that it is delightfully crunchy and it sticks to your teeth a bit like hard candy will if you chew it up. The flavor is very savory and despite not having any salt at all, not bland or unpleasant.

You can see the broken piece laying on top of the rest of the dehydrated broth.

Once it is dry you can then pulverize it into a powder to make ďinstant brothĒ. I broke the broth into pieces small enough to fit into my Vitamix and saved back about 1/4 of them for my children to eat as is. (It is the easiest way by far to get broth into each of them!) I then started the Vitamix and was very impressed with how quickly and easily it converted that hard broth into powder. Last fall I made dehydrated broth and I think that I did not dehydrate it quite long enough to get truly hard and brittle all the way through. I also tried to process it in my Hamilton Beach Food Processor and I wasnít ever able to get many of the thicker chunks to pulverize. That is ok and it works but it takes a lot longer to dissolve those bigger chunks when re-hydrating the broth than if it is in a fine powder. Use whatever machine you have or even simply break up the pieces as best you can by hand or with a mortar and pestle. Just expect to spend a bit more time dissolving it when the time comes to re-hydrate.

I reserved some of the broth as broth chips since I now know that my girls will eat it readily.

The rest that was processed into powder fit into a pint jar. One cup of dehydrated broth will make 24 quarts of re-hydrated broth depending on how rich you want your resulting broth to be. There is nothing to stop you from making it as rich or as thin as you want.

Re-hydrating broth is simple to do. I have often done it in hotel rooms making hot water in the in room coffee maker or from the hot water in the foyer and mixing in the powdered broth and some salt. I can make it as thick as I want (and have less to drink). Also should we be without power as long as we can make hot water we can have broth. If we canít make hot water we can still just take it like a supplement or mixed in our food and keep our nutrition up. I notice a slide in our health when we start neglecting broth and at stressful times like travel and power outages it seems even more crucial that we are getting good nutrition and especially minerals to help us deal with the stress.

I made some dehydrated broth last September and was still using it a couple of weeks ago when my husband mistook the almost empty jar of it beside the stove for the jar we are storing bacon grease in and poured some on top. I kept it in a tightly closed jar to protect it from moisture and it seemed just as fresh as when I made it.

When I dehydrate broth I leave out the salt. I donít know how much I will want in my finished product and I donít want it to be too salty. Also excessive cooking breaks down gelatin so I often add some powdered gelatin. A good rule of thumb is 1 tsp of broth powder, 1/4 tsp of celtic sea salt and 1/4 tsp of unflavored gelatin. Adjust to suit your taste.

Have you ever made dehydrated broth? Does your technique differ from mine? I would love to hear about it in the comments. Now that I have discovered that my children eat this so readily I may be making it more often.

Last edited by Astraea on Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Number of posts : 2738
Age : 58
Location : Arizona, USA
Favorite Quote : Beware the deadly donkey falling from the sky You may choose the way you live, my friend But not the way you die
Registration date : 2007-08-11

Broth Empty
PostSubject: Bone Broth   Broth EmptyThu Mar 14, 2013 5:36 am


If you are considering the GAPS diet or just wanting to know how to preserve or improve your families health, making bone broth is a simple but powerful culinary skill to master.
Chicken Meat broth

In short broth is one of the best foods you can feed your family. It is a multivitamin, a medicine for all kinds of sicknesses, and a delicious food wrapped up in one. It keeps you healthy, gets you even more healthy and helps you recover when sick. Since you control all of what is in your broth you donít have to worry about allergies to hidden ingredients or cheap fillers.

Broth is economical and good for the earth. It uses foods that you would be throwing away anyhow and makes more food out of it. It honors the animals who died to bring you the meat and the labourers who worked to bring you your veggies. It also stretches your food dollar since broth is protein ďsparingĒ that is you will be satisfied with less meat in your soup thanks to the broth it is cooked in.
This is the simple version of how to make broth. There are recipes and techniques that can add complication and may taste better but this tastes pretty good and is simple and basic.

Bone Broth
What you will need.

a large pot or crock pot
bones from an animal with or without meat on them previously cooked or raw (whole chicken, chicken wings, backs, ďsoup bonesĒ, ribs, bones from previously eaten steaks, roasts chickens, etc. I keep these in the freezer till I have enough to make a pot of stock. You can also ask at the meat counter for bones.
water (filtered is best but donít get hung up on the details. Use whatever your family drinks.)
clean veggies, peelings and tops from washed veggies, nothing rotten. (optional.) I also keep these in the freezer till I need them. Classic soup/stock veggies are onion, carrot, and celery but feel free to add anything you have laying around. Onion peel gives chicken stock its nice yellow color. Do not add veggies with a strong bitter or otherwise bad flavor unless you want broth that tastes like that. (*LOD see note below)
vinegar or lemon juice
black peppercorns, cracked or whole (optional)*
a spoon and or ladle
a strainer
containers for your finished broth. It is nice but not necessary for them to be freezer safe.
salt (optional)

Put the bones/meaty bones/whole chicken into the pot or crock pot. Fill with water till everything is covered. Add some vinegar/lemon juice (1-4 tbsp depending on the size of your pot). You want the pot to be mostly full of bones but not overflowing. You do not want a tiny bit of bones and a pot full of water or you will have watery broth. All the bones should be underwater. Let it sit for an hour or so.

Turn the pot on high with the lid off (may need to leave the lid on for a crock pot to get hot). Some foam will rise to the top, skim that. (if you forget it wonít taste as good but isnít ruined). Once it starts simmering and all the foam is skimmed add the veggies and the black pepper (I think it is easier to skim if you wait till this point to add veggies but really it doesnít matter that much). Turn the heat to low, put on the lid and walk away. You want to have it at a low simmer. Just steaming is fine, some small bubbles are also fine. Leave it this way for 12 to 48 hours for chicken, up to 72 hours for beef, lamb,or pork. Check it periodically to see if it needs more water, is still hot but not too hot etc. Lately I have been using my wood stove for broth making. It seems to keep it at the perfect temp.

If you are cooking meaty bones and want that meat to eat, check it after a couple of hours and remove the well cooked meat from the bones and put the bones back in the pot. I find the meat to be tasteless if I let it go the full time. I do think that broth tastes better if there is some raw meat included with the initial bones. Chicken necks work well for this when you are making broth from mostly cooked bones since most people donít bother to eat them and they have plenty of meat to flavor the broth. I have been known to save my chicken necks raw for the eventual broth making.

When your time is up turn it off and get out your strainer and containers. All that stuff in the pot gets strained out and tossed. (Some feed the bones to their dogs, they should be pretty soft and safe for a pet to eat.) If the bones have marrow you can remove the marrow and add that to the broth or not bother. It is very good for you. My youngest just adores the marrow and will eat it straight. The liquid you have left is broth. Add some salt (this is a to taste issue and you can add it now or when you use the broth in a recipe.) The liquid should be pretty clear, depending on how fine your strainer is.

This liquid you can now drink straight, use as a base for soups, or sneak it into lots of things.
Some ideas for how to include broth in your meals are:
Cook any veggies your family eats with this for the liquid instead of water,
put a few tbsp into tomato sauce,
add a few tbsp when sautťing veggies.
Make soup with this as the base (you may want to add some water when making soup since the foods you put in the soup will add richness to it.)
Sometimes I boil the strained liquid till it is reduced so that it takes up less room in the fridge/freezer. Then I need to just add some water to reconstitute. The fat that is on the top of this broth is good for cooking with. If making chicken soup you can get the fat off some chicken broth, melt it in your pot, sautť some onion and garlic in that then add the broth any other veggies and chicken and cook till everything is cooked through. Using premade broth and left overs I can make soup from scratch for lunch in 20 min or less.
I recently discovered that broth with a thick layer of fat on it will stay good in the fridge for literally months. I was given some beef bones a week or so before Thanksgiving that I had no room for in my freezer. I quickly turned them into broth, cooked the broth down till it was about half the volume and put the broth into 2 qt jars in the fridge (again no room in the freezer.) These jars had 1-2 inches of beef fat on the top of them. I was able to use this broth for all of my Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking and didnít need to make more that whole time. I opened up the last jar in mid January and it was still good.

Here is a link that goes into detail all the benefits of broth. Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease
What is your favorite sneaky way to use bone broth? I would love a list of your ideas in the comments section.

* Carrots, celery, and black pepper are high oxalate foods and should probably be avoided in broth making for those who are sensitive to oxalates.
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