“Eat soup first and eat it last, and live to till a hundred years be passed”– French Proverb
- Is homemade broth or stock really worth the trouble?
I will tell you “YES” and explain why. In tomorrow’s post, I will share how to make and freeze it.
First, let’s define terms. Chicken stock is made from the chicken bones boiled in water (and vegetables and seasonings). Chicken broth is made from a higher proportion of meat than bones boiled in water. Chefs use broth or stock as a base for soups and sauces, and a broth or stock can be made from chicken, turkey, fish or beef.
“Of soup and love, the first is best” — Spanish Proverb
Bone broth has been prepared throughout history. Nowadays, as cuts of meats (thighs, boneless breasts, drumsticks, etc.) are available, and as prepared stocks and broths are also on grocery aisles, we’ve moved away from making our own homemade stock. Yet homemade stock is a tradition in many cuisines: French, Chinese, South American, Russian, and Middle Eastern, to name a few. In America, a stock base was used for stews and soups.
“Winter is over when it isn’t cold enough to freeze soup” – Mongolian saying
Homemade stock is nutritious. As the bones cook, and with the addition of cider vinegar, minerals are leached from the bones, creating a liquid that is rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other 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.” (source: Sally Fallon, from “Broth is Beautiful”, author of Nourishing Traditions)
“Troubles are easier to take with soup than without.” –Yiddish saying
Homemade bone broths are rich in gelatin, which is an inexpensive supplementary protein.
“The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.” (source: Sally Fallon, from “Broth is Beautiful”)
Bone broth is said to be helpful in the following illnesses/conditions (source here):
- Joint health
- Cancer patients
- Immune system
- Cold, flu, sore throat
- Digestive problems, including inflammatory bowel disease
“A house without soup is an unlucky soup” — Russian Proverb
Furthermore, making your own chicken stock or broth is inexpensive, has no MSG, and you can control the sodium. In addition, the flavor cannot compare to the boxed or canned broth.
It is true that eating this way takes more time than perhaps most of the people you know. Yet the benefits make it worth it. I used to think it sounded like too much work, but the truth is, once I learned the benefits of making my own stock, and how easy it really is, I realized it wasn’t really that hard or time-consuming. Tomorrow I’ll explain how to make your own stock and freeze it, and share a few pictures from my own bone-broth cooking event. 🙂
“Good broth will resurrect the dead”- South American Proverb
Have you ever made broth or stock? Why or why not?