Gluten Free Bone Broth

by | Recipes

Do you use beef or chicken stock or broth?
Have you ever tried making your own?
Have you ever tasted the difference between a store bought stock and a homemade stock?

I use grocery store stocks from time to time, but I am a firm believer in making my own. There are so many benefits to making your own: it tastes amazing, you know what’s in it, you have control of the sodium content and other ingredients, and there are no preservatives.  By using leftover bones and vegetables to make something delicious, healthy, and useful instead of discarding as waste, you also reduce your ecological footprint! Creating homemade stock was one of the first recipes that I created for Vedam’s Gluten Free & Fabulous! Recipes From A Southern Gay Househusband.

I’m planning a post on how to prepare a traditional vegetable stock, but today, I want to introduce you to a variation of traditional stock that may be new to some of you: Gluten Free Bone Broth. To make stock, you basically simmer leftover bones and vegetables on low heat for at least one (1) hour. Sometimes, you add other things such as onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper and other spices, and sometimes you don’t, depending on how you plan on using the stock. Bone broth is made similarly to other stocks, but there are a few big differences. Conventional chicken, beef or vegetable stock only simmers long enough to flavor the water, while bone broth may be cooked for hours and hours. Stock can be used to cook rice, quinoa, beans, etc., and it is also used as a starter for soups or stews. Bone broth can be used just like a broth or stock when cooking; however, there are so many other benefits. Some resources recommend drinking a cup of warm bone broth everyday. I am not going into the reported health benefits of bone broth, because you can Google that for yourself. I will tell you that it is reported to be good for arthritis and other types of pain, inflammation, leaky gut, and much more! Do your own research on its benefits. I’m here to explain how to prepare it, because if nothing else, it’s delicious, and easily made gluten free (traditional bone broth is not gluten free because most soy sauces and some spice blends are not gluten free).

It’s Prep Time

Let’s start with preparation. You can get bones from your local butcher, or you can do as I did, simply saving bones from our meals. Some of the bones were raw chicken bones (from cutting up whole chickens, etc.) and others were leftover cooked bones (like when we had baked chicken). I also used pork and beef rib bones, and bones from pot roasts and steaks. I started freezing them in a 2 gallon ziplock freezer bag, and once I had at least 3 pounds of bones, I was ready to begin making bone broth! I have read that you can also use fish bones, lobster shells, shrimp shells, etc., but I haven’t yet.

Now, regarding vegetables: most recipes call for onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bay leaves, but I usually have mushrooms, green onions, fresh parsley and other fresh vegetables and herbs in my refrigerator, so I use them as well. If you have vegetables or fresh herbs about to go bad in the fridge, freeze with the bones to use for the bone broth. One last thing regarding the vegetables: most stock recipes tell you to wash, peel and cut the vegetables. I just wash and cut into smaller pieces. When I make my vegetable stock, I use EVERYTHING… the green parts and the skins of the carrots; I use the peel of the onion and garlic. I USE IT ALL, and so I decided to do the same with bone broth, and it’s great there as well!

Now that you have the bones and vegetables, you need fresh or dried herbs. I simply use the herbs that I enjoy for their taste and/or their health benefits (for example, turmeric). Along with those fresh or dried herbs, most recipes call for soy sauce, and since most soy sauces are not gluten free, I use Tamari; you could also use Bragg’s Amino Acids. I also add about a tablespoon or two of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar added to the bone broth helps leach the minerals and vitamins from the bones.

Now, we have to cook our bone broth, but we will get to that in a minute…

Before we go there, I want to talk about after the bone broth has cooked… (I know this seems odd jumping to this stage, but as you continue to read, it will all make lots of sense!)

So… Once the bone broth has cooked…

DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR BONES! Yes, that’s right; once your bone broth has cooked, pour it into a large bowl. I do this using a colander in the bowl to separate the bones and leftover vegetables from the broth. Place the bone broth into the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Now remember, do not throw away your bones; separate the bones from the other scraps, put them back into a freezer ziplock bag, and place them into the freezer. When that bag becomes full, you are ready to make yourself another batch of bone broth. You can continue to reuse the bones, adding new bones as you have them. They are still good and nutritious until they have cooked down to nothing. They still contain lots of calcium, vitamins, minerals, collagen (and life) in them.

Time To Cook

Now about cook time…well…if you haven’t already guessed, there are lots of variables with time, method, appliance used, etc. Cook time ultimately comes down to your purpose for your broth: is it going to be used as any typical stock for rice or soup, etc., or is it going to be used to drink for health purposes, or a combination of all of the above? If you are using it for stock, cook it in the same manner as stock – on top of the stove or in the oven for one (1) to eight (8) hours. If it is going to be used for health reasons, you want to cook this low and slow in either a crockpot or a pressure cooker. When using a crockpot or a pressure cooker, the longer you cook your broth, the better. The low and slow heat of the crock pot, or the intense cook time of the pressure cooker will leach the vitamins and minerals from the bones, and your bone broth will go from a liquid golden translucent tan color to a deep, golden opaque brown color. The darker the broth, the more nutritious it is also.

Since I cook my bone broth in a pressure cooker, I will give those directions; I am sure once you read these directions, you will be able to transfer this knowledge to a crock pot. Add the bones, vegetables, herbs, spices, etc, and enough water to fill the pressure cooker to the “fill” line. Place the top on securely, begin to heat, and once under pressure cook for between one (1) hour and six (6) hours. Always follow manufacturers’ directions regarding your pressure cooker, but like with other methods, the longer this cooks, the better. I usually allow four (4) hours in my pressure cooker. I know that seems like a long time in a pressure cooker, however compared to a 48 stint in the crock pot, 4 hours really isn’t that bad!

One more thing about cook time and using bone broth for health purposes: the longer the bone broth cooks, the thicker and more congealed the broth will be when chilled. This is what you want!!! No matter how thick or congealed the broth is when chilled, when the broth is heated, it returns to a completely liquid state.

Now let’s get back to the chilled bone broth…it’s time to decide how you are going to store your bone broth. There are a few different ways to do it. When the bone broth cools completely, a layer of fat will rise to the top. Prior to using your broth, you will discard that layer of fat; however, sometimes in storing your bone broth, that layer of fat is beneficial and not discarded until you are about to use the broth. (I have begun to read that some people save this fat and use it. I have not tried that yet; however, when and if I do, I will update this post at that time. 

If you are going to freeze your broth for use later, a convenient way is to place your bone broth into silicon ice trays and freeze it. If you are choosing this method, the fat needs to be removed from the broth before freezing. Place the bone broth into the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely. Skim off the fat while chilled and discard. Then reheat your bone broth back to a liquid state, and pour the broth into the ice trays. Once frozen, remove from ice trays, place desired number of frozen bone broth blocks into a ziplock freezer bag, label, date them, and place them back into the freezer. You can expect this to remain good for up to one (1) year.

Bone broth will remain good in the fridge for a couple of weeks if the layer of fat is left on it until it is ready to be used. If you remove the layer of fat on the bone broth, it will remain good for a few days. For myself, I find it easiest if I remove the layer of fat first, then I pour some of the bone broth into the silicon ice trays and leave some out in the fridge. This way I have a few days’ broth to drink, and the other is frozen and ready when I need it.

Almost done, but wait, you have those scraps of vegetables and meat after straining the broth and returning bones to the freezer.

Thinking again about our ecological footprint, I figured out a way to use this as well rather than waste it. Some of you know that I have been making Leo’s dog food by scratch for about 5 years. I began making his food because of allergies, and it has evolved over the years. Now, when I have them, the cooked remains from the bone broth get added to Leo’s food! If you do this, just be sure to use vegetables, spices, and herbs safe for your dog as well.

I know this post has been a very long one, but as you can see, there are lots of variables to this one recipe. There is no set cook time, there is not just one appliance that you have to use to cook it, etc. Your ingredients can also change… use what you like, and omit what you don’t. If I didn’t mention a vegetable that you think would enhance this broth, then by all means, add it, and contact me, and tell me what you did and why and how it turned out… I would love to hear. So, I am going to close for now, and begin to make dinner. Tonight we are having pan seared fish, rice and sautéed glazed carrots. Going to be using the bone broth to cook my rice as well as adding about two tbsp of broth in my carrots. I am hungry as I am writing this. Talk to you later… PEACE!

Gluten Free Bone Broth

Ingredients:

The ingredient list is simply a guideline. If there is something that you want to add or subtract from this list, go for it, except for the Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which add concentrated flavor, and the Apple Cider Vinegar which helps leach the vitamins and minerals from the bones.

2.5 – 4 lbs. Bones

2 Onions

4 Carrots

6 – 8 Mushrooms

4 – 6 stalks Celery

2 – 6 Green Onions

Fresh Parsley or other fresh herbs

3 Bay Leaves

1 small whole Garlic clove

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 tsp Vedam’s Seasoning Blend

1 tsp Thyme

1 tsp Sage

1 tsp Basil

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp Tumeric

1 tbsp Olive Oil

2 tbsp Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

4 – 8 cups of Water (amount of water is determined by vessel in which you are cooking the bone broth; and make sure that you do not go above “fill” line if using an electric pressure cooker.)

Directions:

  1. If the bones are not already cooked, you may want to pan sear them first to add more flavor, but this step is completely up to you. If you proceed with this step, place about a tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom of pressure cooker, or dutch oven, etc, and brown bones on medium hight heat, stirring and turning the bones frequently.
  2. Begin by putting all ingredients into cooking vessel, and top with water.
  3. Seal with lid and cook on high heat anywhere from 2 – 4 hours if using a pressure cooker or 8 – 48 hours if cooking on top of stove, or in the oven, or in a crockpot. If you are cooking on or in the stove, periodically check and maintain level of water (very important!)
  4. Once cooked, pour liquid into a large pot using a colander to collect bones and vegetables. Reserve the bones to be used again by placing them into a freezer ziplock bag and placing into the freezer.
  5. Now is the time to decide how you are going to save and package your bone broth. You can review the options I provided in the post above and decide how to store your broth.
  6. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Bone Broth

Ingredients
  

  • 2.5 - 4 lbs. Bones
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Carrots
  • 6 - 8 Mushrooms
  • 4 - 6 stalks Celery
  • 2 - 6 Green Onions
  • Fresh Parsley or other fresh herbs
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1 small whole Garlic clove
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Vedam’s Seasoning Blend
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 - 8 cups of Water amount of water is determined by vessel in which you are cooking the bone broth; and make sure that you do not go above “fill” line if using an electric pressure cooker.

Instructions
 

  • If the bones are not already cooked, you may want to pan sear them first to add more flavor, but this step is completely up to you. If you proceed with this step, place about a tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom of pressure cooker, or dutch oven, etc, and brown bones on medium hight heat, stirring and turning the bones frequently.
  • Begin by putting all ingredients into cooking vessel, and top with water.
  • Seal with lid and cook on high heat anywhere from 2 - 4 hours if using a pressure cooker or 8 - 48 hours if cooking on top of stove, or in the oven, or in a crockpot. If you are cooking on or in the stove, periodically check and maintain level of water (very important!)
  • Once cooked, pour liquid into a large pot using a colander to collect bones and vegetables. Reserve the bones to be used again by placing them into a freezer ziplock bag and placing into the freezer.
  • Now is the time to decide how you are going to save and package your bone broth. You can review the options I provided in the post above and decide how to store your broth.
  • Enjoy!

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