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Homemade broth is an important part of a real, whole, traditional foods diet. Making broth was one of the first things I started doing when we began to transition to real foods. The homemade broth is wonderful for making soups, cooking beans, making sauces, etc. Broth is a protein sparer, which allows you to consume small amounts of meat along with the broth and still maintain excellent health. Lately, we have been making an extra effort to have a cup of broth each day (by itself) along with using it in cooking.
Broth has many benefits for healing guts and providing minerals that our body needs. You can read more about broth and its benefits in this post.
Our goal is at least 1 cup of broth per day, per person (1/2 cup for Christopher – age 3) in addition to the amount we use in cooking. Most days, Joe and I have no problem consuming our cup; we actually look forward to it! The children, not so much. However, we do all really like “Campfire Broth.”
Campfire Broth is simply broth seasoned with smoked sea salt. We add about a small amount of this salt (less than 1/4 teaspoon per cup) to our broth to give it a smokey, campfire flavor. While we love the flavor this salt gives the broth, I should warn you that the smoked sea salt is not cheap. Because of the cost, we really do limit the amount and use just enough for the smokey flavor. If the broth needs additional saltiness, then we add regular sea salt. Update: See link below from Chris (in the comments) to make your own Smoked Salt.
We’ve also been experimenting with other flavored salts in our broth. Redmond’s Seasoned Salt is very good, as is their Onion Salt. We don’t really care for the Garlic Salt flavored broth, but you might like it if you are a garlic fan. Again, since these are a little more expensive, we mix them with regular sea salt as needed.
In order to ensure we always have fresh, hot broth at the ready, we have employed the perpetual broth method… but with a small change. Because I’m somewhat on the lazy side, I still like having a jar of broth in the fridge for my cooking needs. I don’t want to mess with straining a large amount of hot broth while I’m in the middle of a dish. And I am rarely organized enough to take care of that before I start cooking.
What I do is make a batch of broth in my crockpot following these instructions. That batch then gets strained and put in jars for the fridge. I then put the bones back in the crockpot, add fresh water and maybe a glug of vinegar, and that pot becomes my perpetual broth. If I need more broth for cooking, I might strain half of it out again and start over. This seems to work very well with very little loss of flavor. Each week, I empty the crockpot out completely and wash it before starting a fresh batch.
One thing to note: I keep my onion ends and scraps to add to broth. Be aware that adding onions to the perpetual broth does add flavor, but it can also add sweetness. I hold off on adding the onions until near the end of my perpetual broth cycle so that the sweetness is reduced. My system is to start a new batch of broth on Sunday evening and allow that to go until the following Sunday. With that schedule in mind, I don’t add onions until late Thursday or Friday. This seems to work really well and gives a flavor boost toward the end of the cycle without adding too much sweetness. While I do not add other vegetables, you may choose to, keeping in mind that the longer cooking times may affect the flavor.
Is homemade broth a regular part of your diet and cooking routine? What are your tips and tricks for broth?
Smoked Salt photo from Azure Standard