Grandma knows best. A recipe.
I can remember being given rich chicken broth as a cure-all for all of my childhood illnesses – from colds and flu’s, to chicken pox, to gastro, to aches and pains and to any general malaise. It was the miracle remedy to bring me back to good health.
And I continued this tradition with my girls, making homemade chicken stock whenever they were unwell. There is something quite ritualistic about the whole process and even today as adults, my girls will ask for it if they are feeling out-of-sorts.
Preparing broth in this way is a universal tradition in many cultures across the world – European, Chinese, Japanese, African, South American, Middle Eastern and Russian – being highly nutritious and restorative, and adding delicious flavours to all styles of cooking.
Sadly in the western world, we have come to rely on supermarket-bought liquid stocks, stock cubes and gravies to flavour our food. Many of these are loaded with refined salt and sugar, maltodextrin, hydrogenated vegetable oils, flavour enhancers such as MSG and artificial colours.
It is so worth making the effort to create your own broths and stocks. You will not only be contributing to your family’s health and wellbeing, but once you do make your own, you will never go back to buying store-bought stock.
There is no comparison to the taste and flavour. And it is so cheap and simple to make. You are literally throwing all of the ingredients into the saucepan, and allowing time to do the work. If you have a slow cooker, all the better.
Here are just some of the reasons you will want to begin making your own broths:
Great for the immune system – contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Since the 12th century, chicken broth has been used as a treatment for colds and asthma.
Supports our digestive system –helps to break down grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and protein by increasing digestive juices to the food particles.
Great for joint pain – contains glucosamine and chondroitin.
Rebuilds the gut – gelatine helps to restore the mucosal lining of the gut.
It’s crucial that you only use grass-fed animals raised organically, free from antibiotics, hormones and grains. If making a fish stock, only use wild caught fish, not farm-fed fish. I then add:
2 sticks of celery
4-5 cloves garlic
handful fresh thyme
handful fresh parsley
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 bay leaf
up to 8 litres of water (depending on the size of your pot)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (this helps to leach out all of the nutrients from the bones)
Allow this to simmer from 6 hours up to 36 hours (if you have a slow cooker). The longer you cook the broth the more nutritious and flavoursome it will be.
Strain the broth, allow it to cool and freeze into containers for later use. These can range in size from ice-cube trays to 1 litre tubs.
I always have home-made broth in my freezer. I use it to make soups, risottos, stews, gravies and to braise my vegetables. If any of my family are unwell or feel that their gut has been compromised in any way, we will sip the broth as a hot drink, with added sea salt, lemon juice, and freshly grated ginger and turmeric. So healing, nourishing, anti-inflammatory and restorative.
Our ancestors did know best
Home-made broth is one of the greatest healing foods we can eat. Your family will gain immeasurable benefits and your cooking will take on a whole new taste and flavour.
How will you incorporate bone broth into your cooking?