Time to nourish the body (and soul)
Well it seems winter is approaching. It is a time where nourishing comfort food hits the spot. This where a nourishing stock can be really beneficial as the minerals that are contained in the bones and cartilage etc. are drawn out and are easy to assimilate for use in the body. By adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar or an acidic wine it will help the minerals to come out especially calcium, magnesium and potassium. Then by adding vegetables you will gain the benefit of their electrolytes as well. It is such a healing start to any meal. A physician by the name of Dr Francis Pottenger wrote about the benefits of gelatin in broth suggesting that the gelatin is hydrophillic (meaning it attracts liquid) and these hydrophillic colloids aid our digestion. Gelatin (although not a complete protein itself) acts as a protein sparer allowing our body to utilize the complete proteins that are otherwise consumed.This makes a gelatin rich stock or broth a great addition to a diet where someone is unable to have large amounts of meat in their diet. Now we all know when you are feeling low or coming down with a cold chicken soup can be just the tonic to pick us up. Of course by adding the vegetables as well increases the nutrients.
When you're making up a batch it always a great idea (if you have freezer space) to increase the amount so you have plenty ready to go when needed. You can use it to make yummy soups, gravies , delicious stews and casseroles, etc. I even use a bit of stock for a light alternative when starting a stir-fry that way I am not adding oil and you get the flavour boost. The scope is endless what stock you want make beef, lamb, poultry or try using fish for a change. Just use a non-oily type and add the heads and carcasses (about 4). If you want a recipe for fish stock drop me an email and I can send it to you. Apparently a traditional belief is that fish head broth contributes to virility!
The magic of making the stock yourself apart from the wonderful benefits is the amazing flavour you find in each of the different bases you can use.
Here is a basic recipe for chicken stock.
1 whole organic chicken cut into pieces (or equivalent bones and meat)
4 litres of filtered water
large onion chopped coarsely
3 celery ribs chopped
2-3 carrots diced coarsely
i bunch of parsley
2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
If you have a slow cooker you can use this otherwise a large stainless stock pot.(Just remember a slow cooker will take about 4-6 hours)
Add all the ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes, this allows the minerals to be drawn out of the bones. Turn on heat and bring to boil, remove the scum from the surface and turn to simmer. Simmer for about 2-3 hours (you will then be able to pick the meat from the bones to add to a soup or use in a salad). About ten minutes before you turn off the heat add the parsley to add the some more nourishing minerals. If you cook for longer the flavour will become more intense and we would now call it a broth.
*If you have histamine issues I would stick with stock (less cooking time).