The Benefits of Broth

Many of you will know that I am a big fan of broth! Calcium rich and full of nutrients and easily absorbed protein, bone broths and stocks offer brilliant nutrition for everyone from babies to elderly folk.

The protein and minerals in bone broths are also very useful at healing leaky gut and soothing inflammation.  This recipe below uses chicken frames (carcasses), but you can also cook a whole chicken then pull off the meat and return the bones to the pot and cook for a lot longer.

So whether you are making soups, stirfries, casseroles or slow cooked dishes, include some broth for nutritional goodness and flavour.

You can easily make a vegetarian version of this broth by omitting the animal bones and replacing with extra nutritious and mineral rich vegetables such as kale, seaweed and shiitake mushrooms. Adding whole potatoes with their skins will also add extra potassium to your veggie stock.

 

Recipe

Ingredients
  • Free range chicken frames or necks or meaty beef bones
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 sticks of celery
  • 1 lemon
  • fresh herbs (variety such as parsley, thyme and sage)
  • Water

Method
Add free range chicken carcasses or beef bones to a large stock pot, add a roughly chopped carrot, celery & onion juice of one lemon and a handful of fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme and oregano) plus a bay leaf.

Cover with cold water and allow to stand for about 30 minutes. Then bring to the boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer gently for at least 4 hours and preferably for 8 hours or longer. I often transfer to my slow cooker and leave overnight. The longer the cooking time the more minerals and gelatine are extracted and the richer the flavour.  You will know you have a good gelatinous rick stock when you refrigerate it and it goes jelly-like. In the winter months it is great to have a pot on the go for a quick warming snack or to use in cooking.

Allow stock to cool and then strain and use in soups, risottos, casseroles and sauces. The stock can be kept in fridge for 5 days or frozen for 3 months. I like to freeze some in ice trays so I can use a cube of stock in sauces and stirfries when only a small amount is needed. You can also vary the flavour and make an Asian inspired version with lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilli, ginger and coriander.

The flavour is so wonderful that once you have made your own stock it is hard to go back to stock cubes or packaged liquid stocks!