A simple, little bone broth

I started life in mainland China back in the late 70s.  Luckily, I was born after the major hard times of famine and strife.  Food was still rationed, though.  Meat was especially scarce.  Therefore, every bit of meat was precious, down to the bones.  So my family, and everyone else like us, learned to cook to ensure nothing was wasted, and every thing tasted good. 

Bone broth was a staple in our diet.  Who knew we were ahead of the food trend by, like, decades.  

I still cook using a lot of those old customs. For example, I prefer meats with bones.  It doesn’t matter if I’m preparing chicken, beef, pork or venison.  Bones impart natural flavor to any roast or stew.  After hours of slow roasting, those bones slides right off the meat to be tossed into a pot of cold water for a nice broth.  

Add anise, garlic, slices of onion (green and/or white), and a few slices of ginger to the pot of water and bring the whole thing to a boil.  Then immediately lower the heat and let it simmer for a few hours until it turns a golden brown.  The longer it cooks, the richer the broth.  I’ve cooked broth for a whole day using this method, so the time really depends on how intense you like your broth.  But the stovetop method should yield broth after 2-3 hours.

Once that golden color is achieved, pour the finished product through a strainer into a clean bowl before serving.  

I don’t mind the oil at the top of the broth, but it can be easily skimmed off the top once the broth boils.  Or you can wait till the broth is done, strain it into a container, and let the whole thing chill in the fridge. Remove the layer of white solids from on the top before using the broth however you’d like.

Yes, you can use a slow cooker to make broth.  It may take a day or two, but should yield similar results.  

What happened if you just have a piece of raw bone with very little meat?  First of all, don’t worry about any bits of meat and gristle.  I bake the entire bone on a foiled cookie sheet, with a light drizzle of oil, at 350 F for about 30 minutes.  Then, toss it into the pot of cold water with seasoning as recommended above.  

I just think the flavor is deeper and more robust when the bone is roasted a bit first. 

Bone broth can be enjoyed as is. Or it can be stored, frozen, to be used in soups.

This is how I store frozen soups and broths, to be used later. I’m obviously not the most organized.

It happens to be my favorite braising liquid. 

It takes a few steps to get a great broth, but I love the flavor more than store bought.  I think you will too.

Enjoy!

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Almond Butter

Yesterday I posted about Phat Fudge!  One of the key ingredients in my version is almond butter.  The fat nuts contain is an essential part of the ketogenic diet, but I don’t think I need to explain the health benefits of nuts.

Now buying almond butter is quick and easy, and no doubt having a jar of almond butter that lasts a while feels less wasteful.  Still, what sort of additives do those jars contain to increase shelf life?  And will those additives countermand all the goodness of just almonds?  Just how much harder would it be to make your own?

Almond butter is surprisingly easy to make.  Buy a bag of raw almonds, toast it in the oven and blend it in a food processor until creamy.  Add a tiny bit of oil, if you must, to make the almond butter smoother quicker.

Ingredients:

2 cups of whole raw almonds

1 clean jar for storage

(Optional:  1/2 teaspoon sea salt. 1 tablespoon MCT Oil)

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Pour the toasted almonds into your food processor and let it blend.  Occasionally stop the machine and scrape down the sides.

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Eventually, the almonds will release its own oil turning the crumbles into dough, then into a paste, and finally to butter.  It’ll take somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.

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If you lack patience and want to cut the process time, when the almonds start to clump together pour in a tablespoon of MCT oil or something equally flavorless and healthy.

That’s it!  Enjoy!

For further reading on the benefits of almond butter, I’ve included the links below:

Almond Butter versus Peanut Butter

Should YOU Eat It