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This Thanksgiving, turn turkey left overs into protein!


You too can make a delicious protein supplement from your leftover fixings. Here’s how…

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Canadians and Germans alike celebrated the Thanksgiving holidays about a month ago, and our American friends just did the same. More than a celebration of the final harvest before the icy grip of winter takes hold, Thanksgiving is time to share a traditional feast with those we hold dear.

But what to do with all those leftover bits and pieces from the oven-roasted turkey? Here is a simple way to make a nutritious and delicious protein supplement from turkey scraps that are usually destined for the dumpster. By boiling any and all unwanted turkey parts, you can make a gelatine-rich broth used to boost the protein levels in any meal: an ideal element for muscle building diets that require a high protein intake. This broth is great for your workout you will need to burn off those calories from your holiday feast.

What you need to make protein-rich broth

Making broth is easy; even the most inexperienced cook can do it! All you need is:

1) Turkey scraps and parts that are not eaten: bones, cartilage, fat, and soggy pieces of skin.
2) Large pot with lid, or pressure cooker (a pressure cooker works best; ask around to borrow one if you do not have your own)
3) Strainer
4) Several small plastic containers for storing the broth
5) Optional: common seasonings, such as bay leaves, black pepper, thyme, rosemary and sage

Collect all remaining turkey scraps and place them in a large pot or pressure cooker; this includes all parts after removing the meat from the carcass and leftover scraps on plates and serving trays. (Suppress any “yuck factor” you might have about using scraps from other people’s plates; everything will be boiled and therefore rid of germs). Fill the pot with water and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and let simmer for an hour. For pressure cookers, add water until an inch from the rim, cover and boil for 30 minutes at the highest pressure setting (typically labelled the “meat” setting). If you like, you can add seasoning to the mixture before boiling by adding a generous pinch of black pepper, a couple bay leaves, and half a table spoon of rosemary, sage, and/or thyme. Let the mixture cool and then pass through a strainer. Pour the strained broth into small plastic containers and store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for three months; reused 500 ml yogurt containers are ideal because they hold an individual serving of broth needed for most meals.

A thin layer of fat will form on top of your protein broth. If unwanted, simply scrape off the fatty layer with a spoon once the broth has cooled. Keep in mind, though, the fat is delicious for cooking; treat yourself and try frying eggs with it. You won’t be disappointed.

What to do with your homemade protein supplement

Use your broth as a protein supplement and add it to any meal you want to enrich. Your taste buds will also benefit from the savoury flavours of roasted turkey.

To get started, replace water with your broth when preparing wild rice or vegetables. Root vegetables, such as celery root, carrots and turnips, are in season and very tasty when simmered in the broth. For an extra boost, mix it in with some protein-rich lentils and beans.


PUMP! would like to wish the happiest and most bountiful Thanksgiving celebrations to all our friends, and families.

We would like to hear from our readers:

Do you have any smart ideas on lesser-known, homemade protein sources?

How did your turkey broth turn out and what delicious meals did you make with it?

Please tell us in the comments section below.

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