During this time of year, many of us can feel run down, weary and spread too thin due to increased holiday stress, and year-end financial pressure. Healthy, comforting foods can sometimes be hard to find amongst sugary treats and drinks, which often are showcased at grocery stores and holiday parties. Not many beverages can be as soothing, heart-warming, and nourishing as a cup of homemade broth. Most broths start with a vegetable base, which allows the healing elements of plants to shine. Here are a few benefits and uses to include broth into your diet.
Benefits of Broth
- Versatility. There are many uses of broths, some listed below, making it a great food to keep on hand. You can freeze it if you make a lot at once. Make sure to store and freeze properly, allowing it to completely cool before putting into refrigerator or freezer.
- Alkalinity Boost. Foods that have an alkalizing effect on the body include leafy greens, sea vegetables and mushrooms are commonly found in broth recipes. Benefits of an alkaline diet include improved immune health and lower inflammation, both powerful health tools for combatting holiday stress.
- Add Variety to Diet. Within the many types of broth there are many types of vegetables, spices, herbs, fish and meat. This variety allows you to include a rainbow of healthy foods into one dish that can provide a big health boost in addition to the other foods in your diet.
- Increased absorption of vitamins and minerals. Broth is highly absorbable by the body and extra-important nutrients, such as collagen in bone broth, which provide amino acids, are incredibly critical for maintaining joint and gut health.
How to Use Broth
- As a simple, hydrating beverage. Simmer a cup of your favorite broth and sprinkle anti-inflammatory spices such as turmeric, ginger, cayenne or cinnamon.
- Cooking Vegetables or Meat. Braise, simmer or poach your favorite foods with a variety of broths. If braising tough cuts of meat, which can be delicious, cost-effective and nutrient-dense, it is preferable to cook them in the oven, so meat cooks evenly.
- Making sauces. You can easily turn broth into a delicious sauce by adding spices, meat drippings and pureed veggies.
- Cooking grains. Substituting broth for plain water in recipes boosts both the flavor and nutrient profile of many grains. Choose unrefined, ancient grains when possible and soak before cooking, to improve digestibility.
Interested in making your own? Stay tuned for two simple, delicious recipes!