Use a Keurig to Take Broth on the Road

I’m always looking for ways to make bone broth possible for everyday life. It’s just too tasty to be enjoyed only in soups and stews. About six months ago, I was looking at a six-pack of evil boxed broth at Whole Foods and thought: there must be a better way to have bone broth ready on the go. I usually freeze my drinking broth in glass mugs. That works well for work and home, but not as well for longer trips. I don’t like taking a frozen chicken with me whenever I travel. I’m also profoundly lazy and want to minimize the number of dishes dirtied at nearly any cost. Really.

I keep seeing Keurig and other single brew machines in convenience stores, gas stations, hospitals, and offices. I love mine because I’m a one cup of decaf coffee kind of girl. Yes, I’ve read the blog posts about how evil Keurig machines are; I disagree. I weighed the options and opinions before deciding what is best for me personally. Given that many people interested in broth as medicine are also worried about microwave use, and that few offices boast a real kitchen, broth reheating options are getting more limited. Sure, you can take a sloshy thermos of broth with you everywhere if that’s your thing. Your office peeps will likely mock you if you go out to the parking lot over lunch to reheat your broth over a campfire: “Yup, it’s 11:30. There goes Sue doing her cavewoman thing again! When is she going to start dressing like Raquel Welch?”

So now we’re back at the Keurig. Keurigs do an excellent job of heating water to a perfect broth-enjoying temperature. I checked the temperature on my Keurig Mini, and the water is at a delightful temperature each time: between 190 and 200 F. The Keurig user guides for other models say the machines brew at 192 F.  Gelatin dissolves between 140 and 160 F. This marriage was meant to be. Visit the fine folks at Keurig Hacks to find out how to trick your machine into producing hot water without a pod inside.

You can also use this method at the office if the communal coffee pot has a very hot water spigot. It works with boiling water from anything, of course.

We’re going to make little broth cubes. It’s really simple:

Step 1. Make some bone broth, unless you already have a stash. This is not the time to trot out the not so great batch you have in your freezer, because anything not-quite-right in the broth will be greatly magnified in your broth cubes. I would recommend either a 12 to 24 hour beef broth or a 24 to 36 hour chicken broth. Any flavors in the broth will be concentrated as you make your cubes, so beware of oversalting and overseasoning. I left the fat in the cubes I made, because I leave most of the fat in my bone broth.

Step 2. Decide how many Keurig-friendly broth cubes you want to make. You’ll need 1 cup of broth to make each cube. Let’s pretend you want 8 broth cubes. You’ll need 8 cups of broth.

Step 3. Bring the broth to a boil and reduce the broth in a saucepan over medium high heat down to 1 cup of broth. This takes about 20 minutes on my stove.

Step 4. Add a few teaspoons of high quality gelatin to the reduced broth. Even if your broth gelled when chilled, you want to make sure these cubes set up very firm for easier handling. This is a great time to add extra seasonings or nutrients you might enjoy on the road. Ideas: salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, ginger, or kelp.

Step 5. Divide the reduced broth into 8 individual spots in an ice cube tray, silicone molds, or even Dixie cups. Chill overnight. Run hot water on the bottom of the ice cube tray and invert the tray over parchment or waxed paper. Cubes can be sticky. If so, dust them with herbs, spices, the starch of your choice, or my personal go-to, powdered kelp.

Step 6. Add one cube to a mug or cup. Measure out 8 oz. of water and add it to your Keurig. Get the brewing started.

Step 7. Stir, then drink and be merry.

Step 8. Pat yourself on the back and be glad you didn’t build the campfire in the parking lot. You would have looked really silly in that Raquel Welch outfit anyway.

Storage: Cubes will keep for a few weeks at least in the refrigerator. You can also freeze these cubes for long-term storage.

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