DIARY OF A CHEF AT HOME
a collection of holistic nutrition tips & tricks, plus many of Food on the Table's favourite recipes
We’ve heard that soups heal. But, even after sipping at the fanciest of store-bought concoctions we are often left feeling the same as we did when we started – just fuller. The reason for this non-healing feeling is that most soups on the market are made with desiccated (dried) ingredients devoid of the good stuff along with other non-pronouncables.
The tales of our ancestors tell us that soup could cure many things. And there is good reason to believe our ancestors’ chicken soup could do just that. The answer to the cures? Bone stock. It came to us long ago, when humans lacked the modern convenience of a fridge. Using a whole animal was common place; each part was consumed with care and forethought.
That’s not to say that bone stock can’t be found in the modern kitchen, but it’s been reserved for chefs with the time to simmer bones left over from a butchered roast or a filleted fish. However, I am here to encourage you to take the time and get stocked up. Bone broths are healthy because all of the beautiful nutrients melt into your simmering pot.
The bones of chicken, fish or beef are great, but don’t be afraid to use bones from other less conventional meats, like venison or pheasant. If you’re not a regular meat eater, consider adding a bone broth to your daily routine. It contains high-doses of nutrients that just can’t be found in a strict vegetarian diet.
Magnesium, calcium, potassium and other electrolytes are extracted from the goodies found in a pot of bone stock. All of these are necessary nutrients to get you back on track, when it comes to symptoms like dehydration from the flu or a stomach bug (it’s been going around). A cup of bone broth is like a sports drink, but without all the sugar, faux-flavours and industrialized electrolyte additives.
One of the most supportive ingredients filtered from the bone is gelatin. Gelatin is a water-soluble protein derived from collagen. Yes, collagen. It’s the stuff that makes our lips plump, fills out wrinkles and keeps our nails, hair and ligaments healthy. Replenishing our collagen stores through gelatin can keep us feeling fantastic and moving freely. Collagen also contributes to good digestion and can be healing for
And, it has shown to be beneficial in chronic disorders like diabetes, blood disease and anemia. One of the contributing factors is that gelatin reduces inflammation and restores suppleness to your gut, which allows for nutrients to be absorbed more freely.
Specific to fish broth, nutrients like vitamin D and fatty acids are abundant. A sluggish thyroid can cause a number of symptoms like fatigue, constipation, muscle aches, as well as, pain and weakness associated with cancer. And many of these symptoms can be relieved or reduced with a daily cup of fish broth.
I wanted to share this chicken stock recipe with you. But before you run to the store, do some research and find out where you can get high-quality bones. Butchers often keep bones for bone stock believers, however calling ahead can save you from any disappointment in case the bones are out of stock (haha…stock).
Even if you don’t always buy the highest-quality of meat, make sure that you choose top-notch for the bones. They should be organic, vegetarian-fed and raised without hormones (for more on choosing from the meat department and a list of my favourite butchers join the next “Stocked Up”). In the case of stock, we are looking to get the most nutrients that we possibly can; and conventionally grown animals are often void of the vitamin and minerals due to poor feed, overuse of antibiotics and high-doses of hormones.
2 to 4 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings
2-4 chicken feet, (optional, for higher gelatin content)
4 litres cold water (or enough water to cover bones and veggies)
2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1-2 onions, coarsely chopped
1 bulb of garlic coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 leek, chopped
2” pc kombu seaweed (optional. for added minerals)
Peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh thyme (all optional)
1 bunch of parsley added in last 10 min of cooking
For more amazing recipes that use a bone stock base, join me in class. We just wrapped up a course that focused on fish broth. From that, the group prepared an amazing salmon chowder that was rich and delicious. The greatest thing about the class was that everyone left a little more “Stocked Up”.
My next course is for the veggie lover. Well, if truth be told, it’s an amazing course for the veggie-averse, too! It’s a “Veggie 101”. I’ll introduce you to preparation styles, new veggies and inspirational ideas. Together, we will prepare scrumptious recipes that boost your nutritional content and get you loving veggies more than ever.
One of my great joys in life is cooking! As a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) & food lover I continue to explore the balance between healthy, traditional food preparation and tasty dishes.
Check out my new COOKBOOK! Planting Seeds of Nourishment with over 40 whole-foods based recipes and tons of nutrition info!