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Don’t Throw That Away! (and Recipe for Homemade Bone Broth)

This post is #3 in the Budgeting for Real Food series.  Be sure to subscribe by RSS feed or email so you don’t miss out on the rest of the series.  


One major obstacle to eating healthy for many people is money.  High quality food is expensive.  Low quality food is cheap.  When you need to spend less on food, you buy the cheap stuff.


For those of us with tiny food budgets, the situation is not hopeless.  We are not doomed to packaged soups and saltine crackers.  There are ways to still eat the high quality foods you want and your body needs.  There are some super high quality foods that are very low cost and, in one particular case, virtually free.


My number 1 “must do” for eating well on a tight budget is to never, ever throw away something that can still be used.  


I take this recommendation to a whole new level in that I even use what others consider garbage.  Now before you high tail it out of here at that egregious suggestion, let me clarify by explaining how I make one of the most nutritious foods in our diet, one of our main staples in fact, completely from food scraps.


A carcass from a roasted chicken or turkey gets thrown into the trash in many homes.  Oh, the tragedy!  That carcass can be thrown into a stock pot of water with some veggie scraps (see below) and simmered into a beautifully nourishing and delicious broth that will put any store bought broth to shame.


Scraps from chopping vegetables are usually destined for the trash in many homes.  No, don’t do it! Save those ugly tops of your carrots and bottoms of your celery and onion skins.  Those are valuable additions to your homemade broth.  Throw them in with the carcass and let them add nutrients and flavor to your broth.


Bone broth (or stock) has been a staple food for cultures all across the world for centuries upon centuries.  Traditional wisdom valued bone broth as a healing remedy and it was used to help heal the sick as well as being used in everyday cooking to add a depth of flavor that is unmatched.


Modern science has been able to verify the important properties in traditionally-made bone broth that have given this liquid such a laudable reputation.  Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and many other minerals, glucosamine, chondroiton, gelatin…these are all found bone broth along with many other necessary nutrients.  Sally Fallon, in Broth is Beautiful, gives a great history of bone broth and all its amazing benefits as well as some great recipes.   Be sure to check it out for some great recipes for chicken, fish and beef stock.


Here is my super simple recipe for homemade bone broth:


Chicken (or Turkey) Bone Broth

Note:  There are many ways to make bone broth…this is just the most simple way that I have found. And you know how I love simplicity!



1 chicken carcass

Carrot, celery and  onion scraps (1 to 2 cups)

Filtered water

Vinegar (helps to draw minerals out of the bones.  You will not taste it in the finished broth.)



Place chicken carcass in a large stock pot and fill with enough water to completely submerge the carcass.  Add a splash of vinegar (maybe 1/4 cup) to the pot and let sit for an hour.  Toss in vegetables and bring water to a boil.  Skim off any foam that rises to the top.  Turn down the heat and simmer on low for 24 hours.

That’s it!  It is incredibly easy and takes hardly any time.  Your house smells wonderful during the time that it simmers too.

Once it is done, let it cool and transfer to the refrigerator or freezer.  The fat will rise to the top when it is cool.  You can skim the fat off if you prefer, or leave it in.  I prefer to leave the fat in as it make the broth taste even more rich and lovely.


My budget LOVES homemade bone broth and my family does too.


This can be done with either a chicken or turkey carcass.  For any family, this homemade broth is an important health food.  And it’s versatility is seemingly endless.  It can be used to make any number of soups, sauces and gravies.  It can be used instead of water to cook rice, beans, or any grain that has to absorb liquid (I’m thinking quinoa, millet, barley).  It can be used to add flavor to mashed potatoes.  It can be added to casseroles that need some moisture.  Like I said, bone broth is a staple food in our house and hardly a day goes by that it isn’t used in some form or fashion.


And best of all…it’s practically free!  Using the carcass and the veggie scraps that were destined for the garbage and transforming them into this amazing nourishment for your family is a great feeling.  I can’t think of anything more budget friendly than this homemade bone broth.


Do you make bone broth in your home?  I’d love to hear your variations to this recipe.  


This post is making it’s way around blogland in several blog carnivals this week.  You can see it at all of the following:  Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Pennywise Platter at Nourishing Gormet, Simple Lives Thursdays at GNOWFLGINS and Your Green Resource at A Delightful Home.  Take some time to check out all the great resources shared.  



8 Responses to Don’t Throw That Away! (and Recipe for Homemade Bone Broth)

  1. can I do the 24 hour part in my crock pot?? I dont feel safe leaving my stove on all night.

  2. We don’t make bone broth because we don’t eat meat other than fish (and while I know you can make fish bone broth, I can imagine how that would make the house smell, and anyway it would take us years to save enough bones at the rate we eat fish), but I do try to wring maximum value out of our food. I recently discovered a delicious way to cook cauliflower leaves.

    • I’ve never made fish stock, so I don’t know how smelly it is. I’m planning to make it soon…maybe I’ll do a post on my experience with it. You can go to a fish market get whole fish carcasses (with heads).
      I never thought of eating cauliflower leaves before….mine never come with more than a few leaves. Interesting idea.

  3. […] you read my “Don’t Throw That Away” post a couple days ago and want to learn more about broth?  The Nourishing Gourmet posted […]

  4. Whenever we have lamb chops or chicken drums, I always save the bones for stock.

    I’m going to be hosting a blog carnival specifically for soups, stocks (including great tips like this!) and chowders, starting this Sunday. I would love it if you would come over and post this recipe. Here’s a link with more info.


    I hope to see you there!

  5. […] 3:  Make a wonderfully nourishing and delicious bone broth with the carcass, and use the broth as a rich base for a soup.  Add leftover roasted vegetables to […]

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