When you switch to a whole, local foods diet, sometimes it means giving up a certain measure of convenience. You might be used to grabbing cartons of vegetable or chicken broth to add to soups, for example. If you’ve never made your own, you may not be aware of how easy it is to make it at home. It’s also cheaper, healthier and more delicious than store-bought varieties!
In addition to its virtues as an ingredient, broth is also excellent on its own when you’re sick or need something simple and warming. Traditional foodies readily extol the health benefits of bone broth, and vegetable broth, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, is a perfect and simple side for lunch or dinner. Or heat a pot to boiling and toss in some rice or whole wheat noodles for an easy soup.
I’m a busy person, so I frequently use a slow cooker to make my broth. This requires virtually no effort and I have found that it delivers good, consistent results. When I have a bit more time, say I’m home all day on a Saturday, I sometimes choose to make broth on the stove top, since this process is a bit quicker and I find that the finished product is slightly more flavorful and rich.
To get you started, here are a few easy “recipes.” Adjust according to your preferences and what you have on hand. I never add salt to my broth so that I have more control over the seasoning in the food I will add it to later, but if you want to salt your broth during cooking, go right ahead.
Chicken or Turkey Broth
Beef or Lamb Broth
I like to make big batches of stock a couple of times a month, then freeze whatever I’m not going to use within 3-4 days. There are a couple of ways that I do this:
1. Pour broth into quart size canning jars and chill overnight. Move to the freezer and freeze for up to three months. Thaw by placing in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Reduce the stock by simmering it on the stove top until it’s 1/4 of its original volume. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, store the cubes in a freezer safe container. To use, pop a couple of cubes into any recipe that calls for broth, and thin with water if necessary.