Give Your Broth a Boost

This is the time of year that soup always sounds good. I mean, what’s not to love? Satisfaction, warmth, and deliciousness in every spoonful. Plus, all the necessary elements of a nutritious meal—protein, fats, and carbs—show up in one bowl with ease and speed. You can’t beat that.

However, in order to get everything you desire from your soup, you must start from the beginning…the broth. This is the scrumptious base that all other ingredients swim in, getting yummier and yummier as the soup simmers away on your stovetop. Broth really is a big deal.

Paging through Nourishing Broth, Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel’s definitive cookbook on the topic, you realize that the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing where to begin. From staples like chicken or beef stock to the surprising pig’s feet or allspice broth, this superfood comes in many flavor profiles. It would be crazy not to keep several of them on hand.

While you’ll find all sorts of health benefits in your bowl of homemade broth, you can even give it a boost. In a clever sidebar titled “Souper Tip,” Morell and Daniel point out that though broth itself isn’t a source of good bacteria, it still “provides sustenance for good bacteria in the body.” And we all know how important good bacteria is, right?

So there’s no need to skip broth if you’re focusing on getting your gut flora in order. With some add-ins at the table, your bowl of soup can give you even more nutrition than you thought. Try adding sauerkraut to your bean or cabbage soups. Or a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to your cream of mushroom or spinach soup. (Keep in mind that it’s essential to add these ingredients when the soup is in your bowl so the good bacteria can survive the heat.)

If you find yourself in a situation where you simply must use store-bought broth, don’t sweat it. It happens to the best of us. Just make sure you get a brand listed in this year’s edition of the Weston A. Price Foundation Shopping Guide. Or use their handy Find Real Food app.

Another great way to give your soup a boost is by adding a good quality gelatin powder to bump up the nutrition profile of that convenient box of broth. The brand I use states one tablespoon of gelatin gels one pint of liquid, but you can play around with the amount to suit your taste.

It’s worth pointing out that broth isn’t the only answer when it comes to your soup-making needs. Meat stock is a useful substitution, and sometimes it can be an even better option than broth. Monica Corrado makes this distinction in her blog post “The Dark Side of Bone Broth.” If you’re dealing with an autoimmune disorder or neurological issues, meat stock is the way to go.

The first book in Corrado’s Cooking Techniques for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome series covers meat stock and bone broth in depth. Pick up a copy to find out which one is best for you.

What’s your favorite way to give your broth a boost?

Photo from iStock/Foxys_forest_manufacture

Paula Widish

Paula Widish, author of Trophia: Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health, is a freelance writer and self-healther. She loves nothing more than sharing tidbits of information she discovers with others. (Actually, she loves her family more than that—and probably bacon too.) Paula has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Public Relations and is a Certified Professional Life Coach through International Coach Academy.

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