Meal Prep Tips 3 & 4 and How to Make Bone Broth in the Instant Pot

It's a few days after the Autumnal Equinox and it finally feels a bit like fall. Up until a couple of days ago, the temperatures were in the mid 90s and I was in sundresses. But I was dreaming of sweaters, soup, fire pits, and pumpkin spice muffins! Soup being the number one thing on my mind as well as doing meal prep for a client, I thought I would share one of my tips for prepping meals for the week. Then it led to another tip, and this blog post came together!

I wanted to share what I do in the fall and winter, because I think meal prep can change with the seasons. Spring through fall is a great time to grill out for meal prep, but as the temperatures start to drop and there's a chill in the air, I have a harder time eating entréesalads everyday and I turn to soups and stews.

A few days ago, I shared about roasting a couple of chickens at once. Seems simple . . . and it is! It just takes a little creativity and a few extra herbs and spices. But this isn't about roasting chickens. You can read that post later right here.

So here you go, Meal Prep Tip #3 - Save your roasted bones! After you've devoured the fabulous roasted chicken you just prepared, keep the bones! When you do two chickens at once, you have enough bones for a nice, big batch of broth. I keep the skin also from the herbed chicken, because it gives the broth extra flavor.

Meal Prep Tip #4 - Save your vegetable scraps! You know when you cut up carrots for kids' or your lunches and there are carrot ends and skins, middles of the celery bunch, organic onion skins, garlic pieces too small to cut up? Grab a zip lock bag and save them in the freezer. They're great to add in to broth at the end of the batch. As you can see in the photo above, lots of vegetables are added. I used the white carrots out of my rainbow carrot assortment as my kids aren't as big on the taste, but they make a great addition to the broth!

So, how do I make bone broth in the Instant Pot? I'm all about quick and easy, so this is what I do.

Instant Pot Bone Broth

2 chicken carcasses, from roasted chicken

2 T raw apple cider vinegar

1 - 2 t Real Salt

1 - 2 t peppercorns

Filtered water (usually 6-8 cups depending on number of bones)

Vegetable scraps

1. Place the carcasses in the Instant Pot insert and add ACV, salt, peppercorns and filtered water, until the water covers the bones by and inch or two. At this point you can put the vegetable scraps in or wait (instructions on that follow on number 5).

2. Put on the lid, use the middle release on your lid (you want to keep the steam in as pressure), and set on Soup, 120 minutes. That's it!

3. It will come to pressure, it will release for about 30 seconds and then stop. This is when it's built pressure to cook.

4. When finished, I usually let it release the pressure naturally for another hour unless I'm in a hurry.

5. If you want to add vegetables at this point, you can do a quick release, open the top (remember, there will be steam, so be careful!), add vegetable scraps, and do another soup setting at 30 minutes. I do it this way so the vegetables don't break done so much that the broth isn't clear.

6. Once finished, let the pressure release naturally again. Strain and enjoy in soups or as a morning elixir.

NOTE: Sometimes I don't add vegetables to my first batch (I like a clear, golden broth and it has great flavor from the herbs I used on the roasted chicken). I like to do a second batch for another 120 minutes with the used carcass and vegetables. I use this batch to flavor beans and grains that I cook. Just repeat the instructions above.

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