• Casey Thomas-Hardesty

Easy and Inexpensive Bone Broth in the Instant Pot

Easy chicken bone broth in glass freezer jars

Bone broth is super trendy these days, and for good reason. It’s nutrient dense, boasts many potential healing properties, and adds such a depth of flavor when used as a base in other dishes. Rich in glycine, collagen, and proline, bone broth has been said to improve everything from leaky gut and digestive issues to joint and immune health.

And you don’t have to spend big $$$ to get it.

What you need – veggies, bones, water, and a little acid. Sounds like a lot of money for some broth. But what if you could make it out of things that you would traditionally toss in the trash or compost pile? My favorite way to make a nutrient dense bone broth is both cost efficient and helps reduce food waste.

Save those veggie scraps - Cutting vegetables for meal prep? Save the trimmings and peels in a bag in the freezer, and use them as your broth vegetables. Carrots, celery, and onion are the traditional vegetables used, but I have also thrown in the tough ends of asparagus, bell pepper caps, radish ends, artichoke peels, and even zucchini tops. The one vegetable I typically don’t include are red beets since they will greatly change the color and flavor of your broth.

Use bone scraps or cheap bone cuts from your local butcher – Because you’re drawing minerals from the bones, it is important to use organic, grass-fed, and pasture raised bones whenever possible. Same with the vegetable scrap bag, I keep a bone scrap bag in the freezer. You can add in the leftover carcass from a whole roasting chicken, wing tips trimmed off before making your homemade chicken wings, and my favorite – chicken feet. I know, chicken feet can be a little intimidating, but the small bones from the feet provide an abundance of collagen and make some of the best broth. You can also use beef bones for broth; you’ll just want to roast them prior to using.

Once you have your stash built up, it’s time to make the broth!

Nutrient dense bone broth ready for freezing

How to make bone broth:

  1. In Instant Pot, toss in bones and vegetables (no need to thaw)

  2. Add 2 splashes of apple cider vinegar

  3. Add filtered water until 1/2 - 3/4” UNDER vegetable and bone mixture. It’s important to not overdo it on the water so not to dilute your broth.

  4. Place lid on Instant Pot, turn valve to seal, and set at high pressure cook for 120 min.

  5. Once the broth is done, allow pressure to slowly release (or use fast release method according to your Instant Pot instructions)

  6. Allow broth to cool slightly before straining liquid from solids

  7. Discard solids (If you want to reduce waste even further - I have blended up the solids in my Vitamix and given to my dog – just make sure you remove any onion or garlic before blending since they can be toxic to dogs)

  8. Refrigerate broth for quick use or freeze for later use in muffin tins or glass Mason jars (don’t go above freeze fill line). Refrigerated broth should be jiggly like almost set jello.

Ways to use bone broth:

  • A warm drink when sick

  • A base for the most delicious soups and stews

  • The liquid to steam vegetables

  • To thin sauces

  • Cook your rice in it

Making bone broth doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Using this method, you can have quality bone broth using what you already have in the kitchen.

Bone broth full of collagen and other gut healing nutrients

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