Recipes


Ready for soup season? The beginning to any good soup is, of course, broth! Bone broth is a wonderful way of getting minerals and nutrients to your body. Bone broth has minerals, amino acids, and gelatin. These all promote healthy connective tissue and strong bones and teeth. Bone broth also is soothing to your gut and is a non-fibrous way of getting nourishment if your gut feels irritated.

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What is bone broth?

Bone broth is the result of boiling bones (and a few other things) with water to make a delicious liquid! The only difference between bone broth and stock is that bone broth is cooked longer than stock, has a different amino acid profile, and is more watery.

The cool thing about bone broth is that it is made from, well, basically kitchen waste. Here are the main components:

  • Bones of any kind, chewed steak bones, chicken carcasses, chicken necks, soup bones, chicken feet (they add a lot of gelatin, which is great for your gut!)
  • Vegetable scraps such as onion skins, zucchini tops, cores of hot peppers, carrot tops, etc.
  • Water
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt

There are endless add-ins you can throw in the pot to add more minerals and medicinal properties. Here are just a few to get your imagination going:

  • Ginger root
  • Garlic
  • Turmeric fresh or powdered
  • Peppercorns
  • Herbs such a rosemary, thyme, or sage
  • Celery
  • Soy sauce or Coconut Aminos

Broth-Making Methods

  • Crockpot– I use the crock pot because it’s simple and I feel safer about leaving it going when I’m gone or in bed.
  • Stock pot– This is the best method to use if you have a lot of bones and want to make several gallons at a time.
  • Instant pot– This is the quickest method, taking only 3-4 hours.

How to Make Broth

Alright, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty. But trust me, this isn’t hard and you definitely can do it!

 

Put the bones in your pot. Experiment with how many bones you need to make a good tasty broth. I’ve found that one chicken carcass per crockpot full of water is a good ratio. If you are doing a big stock pot, you might want two or three chicken carcasses. This time, I’m using chicken necks.

 

 

Add veggie scraps. I am using onion skins and ginger root.

 

 

Cover with water.

 

 

Add a dash of apple cider vinegar. This helps pull extra minerals from the bones.

 

 

I added turmeric powder and kelp granules for extra minerals.

 

 

Put the lid on and cook:

  • In the crockpot, put on low and leave for 12-24 hours
  • In the stockpot, bring to a boil, then reduce to low for 12-24 hours
  • In the instant pot, cook under high pressure for 2-3 hours, let pressure release naturally at the end.

 

 

Once it’s done, let it cool, pour the broth through a strainer into a large bowl. Taste for saltiness and add salt as needed. It’s always better if your helper is grumpy and tired, too. Just trying to share tricks of the trade, y’all.

 

 

Pour into jars or any container you have. I use half gallon mason jars. Refrigerate for up to a week. Mine is being kept company in my fridge with 20 pounds of pig fat to render into lard and gargantuan onions!

If you freeze it, make sure you have only filled your jars 1/2-3/4 full, otherwise it will expand and you will have a bunch of cracked mason jars. Don’t ask me how I know…

 

How to use bone broth

  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Drink the broth straight from a mug 
  • Chili
  • Make sprouted rice
  • Add it to mashed potatoes instead of milk

 

Hope you enjoyed this! Share your ideas of how to use broth, as well as any other add-ins you put in your broth that makes is super yummy or nutritious! I’d love to hear what other people do.

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Everyone knows how wonderful apple cider vinegar is, and the hype is very founded. It improves health and can have several household uses. I use it a variety of ways, from conditioner to salad dressing!

Here are some benefits of apple cider vinegar:

  • Maintains a healthy blood sugar
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps with acid reflux
  • Has active cultures

 

If you buy raw apple cider vinegar with the “mother”, it is about $6-$10 per quart. That’s not really a bad price, but I’m always up for doing something myself and saving a little money!

 

Ingredients

  • Apple juice or apple cider. Some people say you can’t use pasteurized apple juice, but I have made it with pasteurized juice several times and it works just as well as the raw stuff. Sometimes you can get organic apple juice in a handy glass jug, then you can just ferment it right there in the jug!
  • Raw, unpasteurized apple cider with the “mother”.  This is your starter, which has good bacteria hungry for apple juice!

 

Instructions:

  1. Pour your cider into a glass jar or jug. Make as much or as little as you like!
  2. Add a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar starter’s good bacteria will begin to eat the sugars and convert them into vinegar.
  3. Cover with a cloth and a rubber band.
  4. Let it sit for 2-3 months.

 

After a week of fermenting, it will become bubbly and taste like sparkling cider. You can stop there and enjoy the best sparkling cider you’ve ever had. But you’ll probably feel guilty about that decision when you’re back at the store buying a bottle of ACV.

Then comes what I call the “nail polish remover phase”. I have never drunk nail polish remover, but I can imagine it would taste like this. You will think your project has failed. You will want to give up. But trust me, if you let it go a little while more, you will have vinegar.

It is ready to use when it is super sour and has lost the nail polish remover taste. It does take a long time to ferment, but it requires very little of your time and effort. Gotta love projects like that!

 

 

We have been blessed to be able to forage windfall apples near our house, so we went the extra mile on this apple cider vinegar batch and made our own apple cider. We juiced our free apples to make completely free apple cider vinegar.

Turning our fresh cider into vinegar is a good way to make the cider shelf-stable and enjoyable all year long. I am thankful for my freezer and refrigerator, but I am always interested in finding ways to use them less and less.

 

 

It looked like apples pooped all over my table but let me tell you, that was the best cider I have ever had.

 

 

It was a fun Sunday afternoon activity for us to all do together. It almost felt like an apple party. I have really enjoyed preserving seasonal food more and more every year. It makes me thankful that I don’t have to completely rely on my preservation skills for our all of our wintertime food, and it also makes me admire the women who didn’t have grocery stores or refrigerators.

 

 

Once the cider was made, we poured it into various jugs and jars.

 

 

Instead of using a starter, I’m using the “mother” that has formed most generously from a previous batch. It is similar to a Kombucha SCOBY in that it is made of bacteria and yeast. It has a similar texture and feel as a SCOBY.

 

 

Lastly, I set the jugs on top of my fridge where they will live for several months! (As you can see, I don’t clean the top of my fridge.)

The foam on top is because the juice is unfiltered. I will filter it after it becomes vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is a great project to kick off your fermenting journey with– it is simple and rewarding.

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*UPDATE*

It is now December 13th, and the vinegar is totally done. It took about 3 months to lose its “nail polish remover” taste. It is the most sour thing I have ever tasted in my life! It has a great flavor and is pretty concentrated. I only ended up with a little more than a gallon. I think some of it evaporated as it fermented. This stuff loves to make big freaky white mothers though!

 

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How to Sprout Rice

How to Sprout Rice


Posted By on Aug 17, 2018 in Recipes, Sprouting | 3 comments

I’m excited to share some kitchen magic with you– sprouting rice!

Before the advent of harvesting machinery, grain was scythed and tied into sheaves. Over the next few days the bundles would sit in the field and the morning dew would help the grains germinate. Now in the days of Big Ag, conditions are much more controlled to produce a consistent product and the grain crop is cut, threshed, and shipped off to storage all in one day. This means that if you want to eat sprouted grains, you’ll need to sprout them yourself!

This post contains affiliate links that earn me a commission at no cost to you. Read my disclosure policy HERE.

Why Should I Sprout Rice?

 

  • All grains contain something called phytic acid, which inhibits the body’s absorption of minerals. Soaking removes some of the phytic acid, but sprouting removes nearly all of it. 

 

  • Sprouted grains have more vitamin C, vitamin B, and Carotene.

 

  • Sprouted grains have many enzymes that help our digestion.

 

  • The taste of sprouted brown rice is delightful! It tasted almost cheesy and sweet.

Supplies

All you need is:

  • Brown rice (I use Lundberg brown rice.)

 

 

Note: White rice doesn’t sprout because the outer layer (bran) has been removed.

 

Instructions

Fill your jar halfway full of dry, uncooked rice. I used a half gallon mason jar and added a quart (4 cups) of dry rice.

 

 

Fill the remainder of the jar with water. 

 

 

Cover the jar with a lid (I used a solid one, but you could use your sprouting lid!) and set aside to soak for 12 hours.

 

 

After 12 hours of soaking, drain all of the water into the sink, using the sprouting lid as a strainer.

 

 

Set the jar upside down and at an angle in a bowl, so the extra water can drain as the rice sprouts. 

 

 

Rinse and drain 2-3 times a day and return it to it’s bowl each time. Wait and watch as the germ end of the rice swells and then sends out a exciting little sprout! It always feels like magic. 

You can cook it as soon as the first sprout emerges, but you can also wait several days as the sprouts get longer. It takes about 2 days for the first sprout to emerge, but you can continue to germinate it up to a week if you want to.

 

 

When you’re ready to cook the sprouted rice, pour it into a pot and cover it with water or broth in equal amount to the dry rice you started with. For example, I started with 4 cups of dry rice, so I added 4 cups of broth. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until all of the liquid is gone. Add salt to taste and enjoy! 

 

 

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Lard is a glamorous fat in need of a comeback. She has been sidelined for many years now in our fat-phobic world. We’ve been scared she will make us fat. We now know that saturated fats aren’t the villains they were once thought to be— they actually help with weight loss and lower cholesterol. Common, cheap oils, such as canola and vegetable oil, are oxidized and rancid and contain free radicals, which cause premature aging and cancer.

I have seen the benefits of saturated fats in my own life. When we started the GAPS diet, we began to add coconut oil and lard to everything and I lost 30 lbs in a few short months. I had also struggled with dry hands, feet, and elbows most of my life, but as soon as I started eating lots of good fats, my skin changed for the better. I no longer struggled with dry skin and my skin began to glow (and it still does!).

 

What is lard?

When you heat pig fat, you evaporate the water, leaving behind a delicious, healthy, heat-stable fat. It has been used by a long time by many cultures. Back in 1871, Laura Ingalls Wilder outlines how her mom made lard from the pig they butchered in her book “Little House in the Big Woods”. Back then, they had to build a perfectly hot fire to render but not burn the lard. Ma even saved the brown bits of fat (“cracklings”) for flavoring johnny cake, which was a sort of a corn pancake.

 

Why should I render my own lard?

As it is with many homemade products, you get better quality for a lower price. I have seen lard for sale at health food stores but the price makes me want to run back to Mama Canola Oil as fast as I can. When I bought fat for this batch, I was able to find it for $1/lb. I bought 20 lbs and made 9 quarts of lard. When I compare that price to other high-heat oils I buy (such as avocado and coconut oil), the price is about a quarter of what I pay for them. Also, the fat is a byproduct that otherwise is thrown in the trash. It is a great way of showing honor to the animal and using every little last bit.

 

Where do I find the fat?

  • Butchers are the best place to find animal fat. Many offer fat for a very fair price. I always call before I drive out to buy it just to make sure they have it.

 

  • Don’t decide to obtain fat in the late fall/early winter… many butcher shops use their extra fat to make game sausages as they process the hunting seasons’ catch.

 

Here’s what you need to get started

  • Pig Fat
  • Crockpot

Doesn’t get easier than that!

Try to begin this project in the morning or at the beginning of a long stretch of time when you will be home. It’s no fun to get up in the night to check on your fat. It’s also not fun to wake up in the morning with over-browned oil. (Believe me, I know.) Get out your fat. Cut it into smaller chunks. I cut mine about the size of my hand, but if I had cut it smaller it would have rendered faster.

Fill the crockpot to the top with fat. Turn on the “low” setting.

 

Let the fat render for several hours. If you cut your fat small, it will take as little as 8 hours, but if you cut yours large like I did, it will take more like 24 hours. Check on it from time to time, stir it, and enjoy the happy crackle it gives you as that water releases!

 

 

One it looks like crispy bits floating in liquid fat, it’s time to strain out the solids. (Also known as “cracklings”) I used a large slotted spoon to get out the bigger chunks. NOTE: Don’t throw these out! Save them in a separate container. More about this at the end of the blog post!

 

 

Turn off your crockpot and let the lard cool a bit. Always use caution when working with hot oil! Once it was slightly cooled, Trent used a ladle to scoop the liquid lard, and as you can see, he made a straining contraption with a mesh sieve and a canning jar funnel. You can just use cheesecloth or the smallest mesh strainer you have in your kitchen, no need to go buy something special. Just know that the larger the mesh, the more likely you are to have small chunks in the bottom of your lard jar, which make it less “premium” or pure.

 

 

Once the jars are filled, screw on the lids and set them on the back of your counter to cool.

 

 

Once the jars are at room temperature, move them to the fridge. This keeps them extra fresh as they wait to be used. As they cool, they will lose their amber color and become a creamy white color. Generally, the lower cooking temperature you use, the whiter the lard will be. (See below)

 

 

What should I do with the cracklings?

Put cracklings in a food processor or blender and blend until the pieces are small. Transfer them to airtight containers and keep in the fridge. Then add them to your eggs, refried beans, sautéed veggies, or rice. They add a wonderful rich nutty flavor to savory food. In the picture above, I have added them to my cast iron pan as I am preheating it for scrambled eggs. They taste like bacon bits in the eggs!

 

How to use lard

  • Homemade soap
  • Greasing the pan for eggs and veggies
  • Lotion
  • Oiling moccasins
  • Baking
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