Its winter and I couldn’t imagine living without these two favourite items of mine in the fridge. A bone broth and veggie stock concentrate.
It has been well established that there is a direct link between the health of our gut and our brain, our immune system and also our respiratory system. In fact our overall health. Our gut wall is only one cell thick covered in a mucin layer. When we eat too many sugary foods, additives and preservatives, wrong types of fats, experience stress, exposed to environmental toxins and bad bugs can compromise that lining. So to keep it healthy means eating foods closest to nature but also consider making a broth. Broths have been nicknamed “The Jewish Penicillin” for its healing powers of chicken soup. We can all possibly relate to that as my grandma, my mother and now myself all make broth-based soups to help us stay healthy over winter.
Broths contain minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons--stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain. It is a perfect remedy for aches and pains when your feeling off-colour and rundown, sick with a cold or flu, and any digestive complaints.
Chicken stock/broth easiest to get started with.
Use the best bones you can buy - preferably organic/free-range chicken legs and drumsticks, pasture-fed, free-range beef bones. Heavy metals are stored in bones - especially lead. A really good reason to buy the best quality that you can.
If you are using beef bones, they are best sourced from a butcher. An optional step is to brown the bones in the oven before making a broth to get a deeper depth of flavour.
Add to your bones in a stockpot or slow cooker, an unpeeled onion, garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf, peppercorns cover with filtered water. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar helps to bring nutrients out of the bones. Bring to boil and simmer for as long as you are able. If any scum rises to the surface of the pot, scoop off. Simmer all day if you are home, or from getting home from work until bed. You can make a chicken broth in 4-5 hours or a beef broth in 8 or more hours.
Alternatively use a slow cooker and cook on low for 12-24 hrs.
Strain - discard vegetables and pick the meat off bones and keep to add to your soups later.
Keep in a jar at the back of the fridge for 1 week or freeze for 3-6 months.
A Veggie stock paste.
I learnt how to make a veggie stock paste when I purchased a Thermomix a long time ago. This has become one item that I cannot live without. I don’t always have a broth in the fridge, but I do have a veggie stock paste. A perfect vegetarian option to stock that is also nutritious.
No doubt if you are a Thermomix owner and you have forgotten about this little gem it is time to go back and make one. If not, no problems because you can do this easily without one.
Here is how I do it conventionally.
700gms of vegetables - any type and perfect for veggies that are looking a little sad.
Add in all your favourite herbs such as mixed herbs, oregano, rosemary - three of my favourites at the moment.
½ cup of Olive oil
200gms of salt.
Either blend all vegetables, or dice into small pieces place in a saucepan and add oil and salt.
Simmer until vegetables are soft and either use a stick blender or return to blender and blitz until smooth.
You can store this in a jar in the fridge for 3-6 months or alternatively freeze in an icecube tray.
To make stock:
Use 1 Tablespoon of stock paste - 1 litre of water
Nutrition advice, finding foods that suit you and ways to improve your gut health is what I love to do. Let me help you live your best life. Check out my website www.kryslojeknutrition.com and sign up to my newsletter to receive my tips to supporting your immune system.
Krys Lojek, Nutritionist