Thursday, February 25, 2010

28 Day Real Food Challange: Day 24- Mineral-Rich Stocks & Broth

If you really want to start eating healthier, then make your own homemade stock at home. I know it's easier to buy a can of chicken stock or some bouillon powder or liquid, but this challenge is non-negotiable. Homemade stocks are indispensable easy to make which are made with real ingredients. And using ready made and instant stock is so different from the real thing. First of all, they do contain a lot of Monosodium Glutamate. Monosodium glutamate tricks the brain that whatever you’re eating is the best thing that you’ve ever had, causing you to consume more and more of the product. I've written a post Bringing Back the Real Umami and sad to say, some celebrity chefs are endorsing it. Second, the mineral content of the homemade stock is absolutely superior than the powdered ones. Hands down. Third, making stocks is one of the first lessons they teach you in culinary school because stocks are the foundation of every dish you make. The result of your end product is based on the stock that you've made.

Here's day 24 on Maximizing Mineral Intake with Homemade Broth from Nourished Kitchen.

We've just four more days on the 28-day challenge! Can you believe it? It's gone by pretty quickly. At the end of the challenge, we'll have a nice Q&A, so please
email me any questions you might have.

Today we're continuing on the subject of animal foods by taking a solid look at the value of mineral-rich stocks and broths in your kitchen.

You see, a good stock is the foundation of good cooking, and, in many ways, it is also a foundation of good health. Stocks and broths provide flavor to your foods, and, when prepared optimally, they also offer trace minerals as well as glucosamine chondroitin and represent an excellent source of the amino acid glycine.

We all know that chicken soup is good for nursing a cold, and there's reason behind it: the value of the broth. Recently researchers have been able to analyze why a good chicken soup may prove so powerful for the cold-ridden noses of winter: chicken mitigates the symptoms of colds by inhibiting neutraphil migration.

A good stock is a powerful food - rich in many micronutrients. In our home, we consume it daily and prepare it at least weekly.

Stocks and broths are easy to prepare at home and extremely affordable - as the primary ingredient in stock is bone which is inexpensive to purchase. If you have a good relationship with a local butcher or rancher, you may even be able to acquire the bones for free. (It's even listed as one of my 10 Ten Nutritional Powerhouses).

When preparing a mineral-rich stock, you can improve the flavor by first roasting your bones (or by using the bones of a roasted chicken) first, prior to stewing them. Add aromatic vegetables to the mix, and take great care to avoid brassicas as they will produce a stock with a faintly bitter, and unappealing flavor. Adding a touch of vinegar to the water helps to leach minerals from the bones, ensuring that the final stock is mineral-rich. Lastly, a long cooking time - but not too long - will help to ensure that your broth gels.

When cooled, a properly prepared stock will produce a gel, and this can range from a slightly thickened gelatinous goop that quivers when moved but still pours like a liquid to a solid gelatin that you must scoop out with a spoon. If your stock fails to gel, all isn't lost: afterall, it still offers flavor and trace minerals. With time, and experience, you'll become a fine maker of nutrient-dense broths and stocks.

Remember, enjoying real food is all about maximizing nutrient-density through traditional methods of food preparation and nothing's more traditional than a beautiful pot of broth simmering away on your hearth or stovetop.

Today's assignment is to prepare a mineral-rich stock made from bones, with the ultimate (and lofty) goal of acheiving a good, solid gel. If you're a broth fanatic already, why not take it a step further and prepare a broth from chicken feet?

Day #24 Check List:

Prepare a mineral-rich, natural stock and celebrate its beauty in your kitchen.
Further Reading:

This is some good reading. Check up on the benefits of broths, stocks and soups.
To help you get started in making your own homemade stock at home, play the Basic White Chicken Stock video below (to tease your palate) from Rouxbe Online Cooking school.

Rouxbe Online Cooking School & Video Recipes

Then expand your repertoire in making stocks by checking How to Make Chicken Stock, their other cooking lessons and video techniques. And check out how many dishes you can actually make. You will definitely change your mind about making your own.

Have fun.

Love and light,


  1. There's certainly nothing like homemade stock!

  2. This is a very helpful post. I enjoy making my own stock because of it makes a significant difference in flavor, and it can be applied in myriad recipes.

  3. this is great! I was always wondering how to make a good broth but never got around it. BTW, JOIN my blog photo contest now! :)

  4. Totally agree with you about homemade stock. It's simple, easy and packed with good nutrients. A very informative post again, Divina.

  5. I love homemade stock, it's always good to have it in the fridge. Great post as usual. :-)


Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.