Why make homemade broth when there are commercial gluten-free, dairy-free options available? Homemade means better flavor, increased nutrition and control over the ingredients, including the amount of added sodium. You wouldn’t find MSG or mystery ingredients, like hydrolyzed yeast or unnamed spices, in homemade broth unless you choose to add them.
Once you get into the routine of making your own broth, you can save money by utilizing produce and meat you might ordinarily throw away—thick broccoli stalks, green tops of leeks, mushroom stems, a leftover turkey or chicken carcass or beef bones from dinner.
For quick and easy stock, make it in your crockpot overnight. Store unused stock in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to three days or freeze it in portion-size containers or ice cube trays for up to three months. Refrigerating hot stock will cause it to become cloudy but will not affect its flavor.
MAKES 2 QUARTS
Roasting veggies before simmering them enriches their flavor and yields a browner-colored broth. Roast them in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10 cups water
2 potatoes, red, white or sweet, unpeeled and quartered
2 onions, quartered
2 leeks, washed, roots discarded
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic or 1 small shallot, roughly cut
½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley stems (reserve leaves for other use)
1 kombu stick,* optional
8 whole peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Place all ingredients, except salt, in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for at least 1½ to 2 hours. Longer cooking time makes for richer flavor and nutrition.
2. Remove broth from heat and strain it through a fine sieve into another container, removing solids. Sample broth and add salt, to taste.
Each cup contains 105 calories, 0g total fat, 0 saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g protein.
Chicken, Turkey or Beef Broth
MAKES 3 QUARTS
Mineral-rich chicken, turkey or beef broth is the base for many soups, sauces and gravy. Aside from the wonderful taste, this nutrition-packed liquid is beneficial for steaming vegetables, cooking gluten-free grains, like rice and quinoa, or preparing gluten-free pasta. Add ½ cup broth to 2 cups tomato-based red sauces to boost flavor and nutrition. Broth can be made from raw or cooked bones, although there are more minerals available from raw bones.
12 cups water
3-3½ pounds chicken or turkey pieces, mostly backs and wings (do not use chicken liver) or 6 pounds beef bones, about half with meat left on bones
2 yellow or white onions, quartered
1 leek, including green part, washed, roots removed, cut in quarters
6 carrots (unpeeled), cut in large chunks
6 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- Additional vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, broccoli or others, to taste
2 bay leaves
- Handful of parsley stems and/or fresh thyme sprigs
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 kombu stick,* optional
2 tablespoons vinegar (not malt vinegar) or fresh lemon juice for chicken or turkey broth; ¼ cup for beef broth
- Salt, to taste
3-4 dried juniper berries, optional
1. Place the chicken (turkey or beef) and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour enough cold water to cover bones, at least 12 cups. Add bay leaves, parsley/thyme, peppercorns, kombu, vinegar and juniper and slowly bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to low. Cover and gently simmer for 3 to 4 hours (5 to 6 hours for beef broth). As the broth cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface.
3. Remove chicken, turkey or beef pieces and discard. Strain the broth through a fine sieve into another container and discard vegetable solids. Skim off excess fat. Sample broth and add salt, to taste.