Hey! Natalie here and welcome back. I'm so glad you're here! Would you do me the honor of saying hello in the comments below and even sharing this recipe if you find it helpful? These are simple and free ways to help us grow. I appreciate you! Thank you.
If you'd like to skip straight to the recipe... look no further.
To keep learning about meat broth and why we're such big fans of it, keep reading :)
Broth Vs. Stock
If you’re like me and you’ve used the terms “Broth” and “Stock” interchangeable for years… welcome to the club. Generally, they can be used interchangeably. Which is confusing. IF you want to know the difference, it’s pretty simple.
Broth refers to a byproduct of boiled meat whereas stock refers to the byproduct of boiled bones.
Stock will contain much more gelatin but is considered harder to digest which is why meath broth is recommended for GAPS Diet
Our (brief) GAPS Diet Journey
GAPS diet is something I have wanted to do for literally years. I’ve heard so many miracle stories that I wanted to give it a try and see if it wouldn’t help some of our body aches and pains. So finally, we took the plunge.
I read the books. I got prepared. I even recruited a couple friend to do GAPS with us. And we started!
My car was broken into and the baby’s diaper and toy bag was stolen and alas… All her little toys… gone. Diapers & diaper bag… gone. My mama heart broke.
I called Tommy tearfully and said “Ok... I really am trying not to cave but this is hard. Can we have yogurt with honey later? And by yogurt with honey I mean I’m making chocolate chip cookies to cope”.
And that’s why we stopped GAPS. I needed emotional support in the form of our beloved and perfect chocolate chip cookies (recipe coming soon).
But here’s the thing… if you’re wanting a more nourishing meal plan for your family… you can’t go wrong making meat broth. You don’t have to go full blown GAPS diet to get more nutrients into each meal. Making meat broth once a week is a great way to slowly and simply and intentionally create more nourishing meals one bowl of rice, soup, or chili at a time.
I now make meat broth at the start of each week and it’s therapeutic to have this as part of my weekly routine. And I love being able to add this powerhouse to rice, soups, legumes & more.
Benefits of Meat Broth (& all the chicken)
I could go on and on about the benefits of meat broth. But I will keep it short and sweet. Meat broth supports gut health by healing the lining of your gut. It saves you from having to buy stock or broth at the store. And it gives you a whole chicken to use for meat in other recipes. ‘Nuff said. It’s good stuff.
How to Make Meat Broth
This is so simple it almost does not need to be said. But alas, this concept once befuddled me… so… onward we press for any others who are prone to overthinking things like myself.
In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot, add one pasture raised chicken, one onion, one carrot, one zucchini or broccoli, several cloves of garlic, about a tablespoon of peppercorns and about a tablespoon of salt. Cover with filtered water, bring to a boil, reduce and simmer on low for at least three hours. You know it’s done when the chicken totally falls off the bone.
Some things to note
Yes, pasture raised chicken is important. If you have your own chickens, great. If you don’t, try to find a local farmer or friend whose farming practices you trust. If you need some ideas, I love my friend Paul’s farm, Primal Pastures, as well as Polyface Farms. Another great resource for finding quality food near you is the Weston A Price foundation and RealMilk.com
When you make broth (or any food for that matter) you’re essentially extracting all the goodness from the bird. Now if that bird was raised poorly… well… now we’re extracting some of that too. So the better the bird, the better quality nutrients for you and your family.
As far as vegetables are concerned. My favorite additions are carrots and broccoli or zucchini. The carrots add a rich sweetness and the broccoli and zucchini offer a rich umami flavor akin to cheese or mushrooms. Again, quality is key. Buy organic if possible, from a local farmer if you can!
Lastly, I find the sooner I use the chicken, the better. I know some quality chickens do have a shelf life of a few days but I just prefer to know I got that meat broth created at peak freshness. It gives me some peace of mind! (Can you tell I’ve been scarred by food poisoning?! Ugh!)
How to Store Meat Broth
I like to store meat broth in a gallon glass jar which I got at our local feed store, here are the most similar I could find online. These hold almost exactly what I can make in my dutch oven which makes the process that much more streamlined and efficient - things I love.
Once I have my big jar set up, it’s time to get to work.
- remove all the vegetables, those go straight down the drain as they no longer have anything to offer. IF you are on GAPs diet however, these can be eaten with your soup.
- remove the chicken. I do this with a spider strainer placing all the parts in a separate plate. I like to use my pie dish as it keeps any liquid in place and prevents the chicken from sliding around and off (ask me how I learned this, lol)
- Through a fine mesh strainer, pour the liquid into the storage vessel of your choice. The strainer will collect things like any tiny bones, peppercorns, and vegetable fibers
- label! I officially now have a rule with myself - always label. it's a good habit. let's not be lazy. get out that tape and sharpie, that label maker, or whatever you use to label and let's save ourselves from that dreaded moment of staring into the abyss of the fridge wondering when we put something up.
How to Use Meat Broth
Meat broth is an excellent substitution for stock in just about any recipe. They taste nearly identical and offer so many gut healing benefits. I like to use our meat broth in soups, legumes & beans, rices, and chili of course.
To see one of my favorite GAPs friendly recipes, butternut squash soup, watch this video and check out this blog post too.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below so I know you’re out there ;)
Meat broth is a staple in the GAPs diet, but it can be made and used on or off GAPs. We love it and hope you do too.
- Stock Pot
- 1 whole quality chicken (the best quality you can afford the better!)
- 1 whole onion
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves
- 1 crown broccoli
- 1 whole carrot
- 1 whole zucchini
- 1 tbsp quality salt
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- filtered water (to the top of the pot)