Homemade bone broth is now synonymous with health-oriented nutrition. Rich in amino acids (protein), collagen and healthy cholesterol it is an invaluable addition to a diet that targets immunity, physiological recovery (injury, sports trauma, post-operative care), gut flora and any type of inflammatory conditions (RA, Coeliac, leaky gut syndrome).
Not to be confused with stock (which is when pre-cooked bones are boiled down), bone broth is always made by cooking raw bones. This is the only way to access the nutritional benefits of the raw bone-marrow situated in the bone cavities. Cooking already cooked carcasses or bones will produce a beautiful coloured stock but it will not be as rich in nutrients as one cooked from raw bones.
To make I love using beef or chicken bones which I add to plain water along with vegetables and spices and boil for a couple of hours – you can also add chicken meat and noodles to make the most infamous immune-boosting elixir of all, chicken noodle soup! Or another trick is to use fish bones and make a French lobster bisque, to produce broth rich in marine collagen.
If you purchase bone broth, the easiest way to check if it’s high in collagen (hello, youthful and plump skin!) is to see if it produces a jelly-like texture and wobble upon refrigeration. The more jelly-like the texture, the higher the collagen content.
Miso soup is the ultimate liquid probiotic. This Japanese soup, which is typically served for breakfast in Japan, is made with fermented soy bean paste (miso) that creates its unique cloudy texture. It is 100% suitable for strict vegans as the recipe exclusively uses plants only and since soy beans are naturally high in plant-based protein, it is one of the best alternatives to meat.
Additionally, the fermentation process of these beans produces a paste that is naturally high in probiotic bacteria – a good bacteria that should populate a healthy gut. If soya is well tolerated, this is an invaluable addition for anyone on post-antibiotic gut rebuilding diets, or for anyone struggling with digestive disorders particularly inflammatory colon conditions. Want to make your miso soup a complete vegan meal? Then just add a few cubes of silken tofu, some sautéed mushrooms, rehydrated seaweed to your miso soup and have it with a side of steamy edamame sprinkled with sea salt. A perfectly nutritious, plant-based, gut-friendly meal.
A humble tomato soup has been around for centuries and luckily it’s not going away anytime soon. Bursting with vitamin C, Magnesium and Lycopene, all very potent cancer preventative nutrients, it makes a humble tomato go a very long way. In particular, cooked tomatoes are higher in Lycopene than their raw counterparts. Lycopene is a member of carotenoid family and is closely associated with lowering oesophageal, skin and prostate cancers. Lycopene in tomatoes inhibits pro-inflammatory factors, making it a perfect antioxidant to be used in anti-aging nutritional programmes for the management of oxidative stress. It is also an invaluable ingredient in protection against photo-aging (sun damage) and cardiovascular diseases: no wonder Mediterranean diets heavily feature tomato-based dishes like soups, sauces and salads rich in this delicious fruit (which it is!). Team your tomato soup with a high quality sourdough bread for an extra probiotic boost and a small sprinkle of freshly grated cheese to counteract its slightly tart flavour. Delicious any time of the year.
Interestingly, in France onion soup is historically consumed as a hangover cure. Unsurprisingly so because its not only bursting with dietetic fibre, which binds excess alcohol, toxins, synthetic hormones and fat molecules in the digestive system, but it is also a great way to re-hydrate the system due to the fact that for the most part French onion soup is just bone broth and fibre. What’s not to like?! As a part of the Allium family (garlic, chives, shallots, scallions) onions have long been associated with enormous health benefits. They are a fantastic source of vitamin C, vitamins B6 and B9, Potassium ad Iron, and are commonly known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. What is probably the most interesting fact is that their typical pungent smell is attributed to a high content of a chemical called Sulphur – a very potent anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory methylating factor, which is a rather smelly nutrient assisting our liver’s ability to cleanse itself of heavy metals, toxins and synthetic hormones. Furthermore, Sulphur in the allium family can work in an anti-clotting capacity and help prevent a wide variety of cardiovascular conditions by lowering excess cholesterol and triglycerides. Just skip the huge cheese crouton that is typically placed on top of the French onion soup and go for a whole-wheat or sourdough toast instead!
Carrot & Coriander
Another vegetarian dish that has enormous nutritional benefits. We all know that carrots are naturally high in beta-carotene, which in a nutrient vital not only for eye health and melanin (skin pigment) production, but is also imperative for healthy endocrine and thyroid function and hormone synthesis (reproduction). Beta-carotene in carrots is used by the body as a co-factor in regulation of our central nervous system and emotional health, which is very useful for the very stressed amongst us due to its protective effect on the adrenal glands that produce the hormones Cortisol and Adrenalin. Lastly, fibre in carrots is imperative for healthy intestinal flora due to its cholesterol binding function. The best way to activate beta-carotene is to combine carrots with a healthy fat source: a small drizzle of olive oil over a delicious bowl of carrot soup will do the trick as vitamin E and mono-unsaturated fats in olive oil will quicken absorption of beta-carotene!
For more recipes or to book a consultation, contact Kamilla Schaffner