Wednesday, April 18, 2012

take stock

The weather is cooling. It is time to make stock. If you haven't done this before, after you do you'll wonder why you haven't. Read any wholefoods cookbook and there will be a section dedicated to the healing and nourishing power of homemade bone stock.

Wholefood chef Jude Blereau writes about stock in her excellent book Wholefood for Children:

"Bone stocks have been used by just about all traditional cultures for nourishment and healing - Dr Alfred Vogel, one of the early organic, wholefood and natural food advocates, describes their use in Europe for healing; in New York, chicken soup is known as Jewish penicillin (chicken fat contains palmitoleic acid - a powerful immune-boosting monosaturated fat); and throughout Asia, fish stock is believed to be the restorer of chi (life force), and is also a rich source of iodine."

Stock is nutrient dense and very easy to digest. One of the most nutritionally beneficial qualities of bone stock is gelatin. Gelatin is a natural anti-inflammatory and soothing to the digestive tract, it also assists in maintaining healthy joints.

The basic foundation of bone stock involves bones and water, plus chopped onion, carrot, celery and herbs of your choice such as parsley, thyme, bay leaf and whole black peppercorns. Adding a splash of vinegar or wine (I mean splash!) to the pot draws the nutrients out of the bones during the slow cooking process.

This is how I make my chicken stock:

2 organic chicken carcasses (and yes it does make a difference whether they are organic or not)
1 medium brown onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
2 sticks celery with leaves chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
filtered water

Place all ingredients in a large heavy based pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 6-12 hours. The longer the better. You will need to add more water during the cooking process.
Once your stock is made and cooled you can freeze it in one cup portions to have on hand for soups, casseroles, risotto or as a healing, cleansing broth to drink on its own with some seasoning. Drinking a warm cup of this is an instant pick me up.

To make vegetable stock omit bones and to give stock more depth of flavour use fresh or dried mushrooms such as shitake and reduce the cooking time to 1 or 2 hours.

Do you have a variation on this stock recipe? What do you like to create with homemade stock?


  1. Oh Nikki, organic chicken stock is so important in our home. Poet just ate some carrots, cauliflower and pasta pieces cooked in homemade stock. I love to see her gobbling up al that goodness x

  2. Hi Jodi, thanks for stopping by lovely to have you here. Yay Poet taking in the goodness. It is one of those make your heart sing moments to watch your children enjoy nourishing food. So many mums talk to me about their children not eating vegetables, I always enjoy hearing about the ones who are. Homemade stock, vegies and some pasta is a good combo.


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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