Making Soup Stock: Bone and Vegetable - Nutrition from Kitchen Scraps

Strained Bone Stock with added Shitake and Seaweed for Flavoring and Trace Minerals.

You know those bits that many just throw away (or even better compost) when cooking...broccoli stem peelings, onion skins, chicken bones,....  well if you aren't putting them to good use, now is the time to start.  What I do is keep a gallon ziploc bag or two of each in the freezer going at all times, one for bones, one for vegetable scraps.  Once the bag is full, or sometimes I'll wait for two bags to be full, I make soup stock.  Sometimes I mix the bones and vegetables, but ideally you decoct the bones for as much as 72 hours; the vegetables are best just 24 hours max, so it depends.  The vegetables are mostly just a flavoring agent, something to use as a base or liquid in most any cooking.

Straining the Broth.

The bones on the other hand are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat and I believe no diet should be without the regular intake of bone broth, but especially anyone healing from any type of trauma, dealing with serious illness, or pregnant.  When I eat bone stock I can feel the goodness going throughout my whole body lighting up every cell, literally.  It's power packed with nutrients (amino acids and minerals especially) that enrich your body and make you feel good.

The strained Bone Stock; you can see it has good fat in it too.

To make this glorious golden liquid you just immerse the bones in water after breaking them open to expose the marrow if needed.  For instance, with chicken bones you want to use a mallet to break each long bone.  You can also buy larger soup bones at your local humane butcher (if you don't have one of these, look for one - know your farmer, know your food).  I often do this and just mix whatever bones I have; I even mix in fish bones.  Next add a tablespoon or so of vinegar per gallon of water used; this helps to leach the minerals out of the bones.  You may need to add water as you go, particularly for the longer times, or you can start with a greater amount of water.  Bring all this to a boil, then reduce to simmer with a lid and cook for 24-72 hours.  The longer you cook it, the more minerals you will get out of the bones.  72 hour decocting actually makes the bones mushy like a cooked potato.  Once your cooking time is up, strain it; you do not need to skim the foam off the top (it's high in amino acids).  I then put the cooked bones in my compost pile; I figure the garden will use any minerals left.

In this Vegetable Stock; you can see a Brussel Sprout stalk, Leek ends, Onion peelings, Carrot tops, and  rubbery Celery.

Now what to do with all this rich, luxurious goodness?  I use bone stock as a base for most any type of soup, mixed into any type of vegetable mash, as a broth when cooking meat, and even cook the occasional pasta in it.  It gives any dish a depth of flavor and mouth feel that is hard to beat.  You can also use it as the liquid needed when reheating a dish, or when creating a dish that needs just a bit more liquid to get the texture just right, or in making sauces and marinades.  Keep it for up to a week in the fridge, or freeze it in the right size quantities for your needs.  I have found that it does not work to cook dry beans in (even soaked first); I am guessing the minerals affect the ability of the bean coating to break down because the beans never soften.  So, cook the beans first separately, then mix with the bone stock.

Bone Stock with some type of Bean or Lentil and Garden Greens is a favorite staple dish around here.

For vegetable stock, use the same directions, but keep cook time around 24 hours, no vinegar needed.  You can use it in much the same way as bone stock, though it is more as a flavoring agent.  A great way to make something out of what would be waste otherwise.  Have fun in the kitchen!


No comments:

Post a Comment