I am a kitchen witch at heart. I spend a lot of time there preparing and cooking nourishing food for myself and my family. My kitchen is has floor to ceiling open shelves with my whole pantry on visual show- jars of grains and pulses, nuts and fruits, preserves from the produce of our garden, honey from our bees, bunches of dried herbs and beautiful vessels to cook in. It is a visual and sensory delight- This is where the home cooking alchemy takes place.
Autumn is a particularly favourite time in the kitchen getting my cauldron out to make warm and nourishing foods for the cooler months ahead. One of the frequent things brewed over this time is Broth!
Broth is the left over liquid of the vegetables, plants, bones and meats that have simmered over time. This is an ancient remedy and food source used by people from many cultures. Broth has become an integral part of my families diet and one I recommend to many of my clients in practice. It is medicinal, restorative and highly nutritional through its rich proteins and trace minerals. It's the Sea-sol, the Blood and Bone for your inner garden, a pre-digested easy to absorb, full nutrient drink. Broth benefits the digestive system (healing and strengthening the gut lining if using bones as these are rich in collagen), immune system fortifying and great for the convalescent person, You can make broth plant based or with both plant and animal. The recipe below allows you to choose what type of broth you wish to make.
For a 3-4L water batch I use… (if you want to make a smaller batch then use half the quantity)
* 2 organic chicken carcasses and feet if available. or 1.5-2Kg beef bones (grass fed or organic using knuckles, long bones and bones with marrow) * If using animal.
*3 large carrots, cut in half or thirds
*3 medium onions, cut in quarters
*3 large celery sticks, cut in thirds
*Quarter cup of Apple cider vinegar- this pulls the minerals out of the bones and helps break down the proteins. If making plant only broth, use 1 tablespoon.
*Medicinal mushrooms like shitake- a good hand full and reishi -about 5 strips
*A small handful of Astragalus (for immune and kidney support) and or Withania root (for Adrenal restorative support)
*3-4 bay leaves
*8 peppercorns and 5 All spice berries and 2 Star Anise
* A good piece of ginger sliced up
* 4-5 cloves of garlic
* Seaweeds - a handful of Arame, 1-2 strips of Wakame and or a tablespoon of dried Golden Kelp
* A bouquet of herbs (whatever you have- parsley, rosemary, oregano, dill, sage, marjoram, thyme) tied with a string for easy collection when straining off.
If using Beef bones- put them on a tray and stick them in a hot oven for half an hour or so roast them a bit. This is a bit smelly but it gives a nice flavour to the broth. In your stock pot roast the garlic, onions and ginger for a few minutes then add the bones and fill with water. Add the roots, spices and seaweeds and allow the liquid to reach almost boiling before turning it down to a low simmer. Clear away any scum that rises to the surface. After several hours, add the vegetables. Add the bouquet of herbs about 1 hour before end of simmering time.
If using a chicken carcass- put some coconut oil in a big stock pot and brown the chicken for a few minutes before adding the onions, garlic and ginger to braise for a minute and then add roots, spices, medicinal mushrooms and seaweeds. Fill up with water and bring to an almost boil before turning it down to a low simmer. Clear away any scum that rises to the surface. After several hours, add the vegetables. Add the bouquet of herbs about 1 hour before end of simmering time.
For the plant based broth option- roast the onions, garlic and ginger with a bit of coconut oil in your thick bottomed stock pot. Add the roots, spices, medicinal mushrooms and seaweeds. Fill up with water and bring to an almost boil before turning it down to a low simmer. Simmer for about 4 hours and add the vegetables for the last hour. Add the bouquet of herbs about half an hour before end of simmering time.
For all broth options
Allow to cool, strain off all ingredients and fill up in glass jars and refrigerate for up to 9 days or in tupperware containers in the freezer for up to 6 months. The oils and fats in the meat broth will rise and harden in the fridge, making a good preserving seal. Poke a fork to break it a little when you would like to serve some.
Drink as a warm broth, add some sea salt and fresh chopped parsley.
Use to cook rice by absorption method and as a foundation to soups and stews.
Enjoy and be nourished and enriched by this deeply nutritious medicinal beverage.