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As I have been sharing the past couple weeks, I love bone broth and meat stock. These incredibly healing foods have been a critical part of my healing process, and I would not be where I am without them. However, they aren’t always….practical. This is where homemade bouillon comes in!
The concept of bouillon is brilliant: a tiny, portable cube that can be used to instantly make a large quantity of broth. Wonderful! Much better than the hours it takes to produce the homemade stuff. Takes up much less space than those quarts and quarts of bone broth. But even when I hunted down a gluten-free, MSG-free (except not really) bouillon, this is what was in it:
salt, flavor (hydrolyzed corn protein, salt), sugar, Contains 2% or less of silicone dioxide (anticaking agent), natural flavor (autolyzed yeast extract, salt, sugar, whey powder [from milk], lactic acid), chicken fat, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, dehydrated cooked chicken (contains natural flavor), dehydrated parsely, turmeric, onion powder, spice, garlic powder.
That ain’t real, folks.
So what are your choices if you want to stock up on broth? Buy a new chest freezer or eat that ingredient list? Thankfully, there is one more option.
Homemade Bouillon – Condensed, Portable Bone Broth
I first tried this idea out after moving in with my in-laws. We were sharing very little refrigerator and freezer space with them, and I was already taking up my fair share of space with my monthly meat orders. I was also producing a lot of bones as I made so many soups for myself while on GAPS Intro. These bones were making a lot of broth, and I needed to figure out what to do with it.
The concept is so simple: boil down the broth until it is significantly reduced and condensed. Then store it until needed and add hot water to reconstitute. Due to the gelatin in the broth, this “homemade bouillon” will gel quite firmly, making it stable in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months, rather than just several days.
It can be used in any way that you may need broth: making soups, cooking vegetables or legumes, or drinking from a mug. I love that I can bring a pint sized mason jar of this condensed bone broth with me on vacation, and it will provide all the broth I need for the whole trip!
How much you condense your portable bone broth is up to you. I usually go for a 1/16 reduction. This yields a very firm end product with a simple conversion: one tablespoon (plus water) equals a cup of broth. This means that for every quart of broth that I start with, I reduce it down to a quarter of a cup. With time, I learned how to gauge the thickness of the end product so that my thinner broths would yield condensed bone broth of a similar strength to the stronger ones: the broth should be thick and almost syrupy.
If I want to make a mug of broth for myself, I just put a spoonful of my homemade bouillon in a mug, fill it with hot water, and add a little salt. And with the homemade bouillon, you also now have the option of selecting the strength of bone broth that you need.
Note: While I love this method and the way it allows me to store extra broth easily for travel or times when I don’t have any cooking in the crock pot, I recommend always trying to use traditional broth when possible. I never tried this method until I needed it because, frankly, it’s a waste of power and water if you do not have to use the condensed broth. This method also should not be used while on GAPS Intro, when only short cooked broths should be consumed.
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