There is nothing better than when you are feeling under the weather and a loved one places a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup on your lap! This also applies for: bad days, long days, busy days, or sleepless nights… pretty much any time you just need some soul food love. It’s during these times of stress on the body that our immune systems struggle to keep up if we don’t slow down, sleep and eat nutrient dense meals. November is the month to prevent getting sick and increase immune boosting foods in our everyday favourite meals. In this month’s recipes I focus on mineral and nutrient rich bone stock, antioxidant powerhouse turmeric, digestive soothing ginger and your sulphur rich garlic and onion. All of these ingredients together create a flu fighting feast!
Now before you set out to make this pot of joy – some words of caution, all chicken broths are not created equal. There is a sneaky ingredient hiding in your favourite store-bought chicken broth that can over stimulate the immune and nervous systems causing inflammation and the production of histamines. This immune suppressing ingredient is called MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) or processed free glutamic acid. This flavor enhancing ingredient is very common in processed, canned and ready-made foods. The tricky thing is MSG can also be labelled as: yeast extract, flavoring or as spices! Canadian labelling laws allow companies to say “MSG free” or “No MSG Added” and still have free glutamic acid labelled as yeast or yeast extract.
So when picking your chicken broth, choose wisely and even better – learn to make your own chicken bone broth! Homemade bone broth is recently touted as a health supplement. The funny thing is it’s actually a stock, but most people know it as bone broth. The difference between a stock and a broth is a stock uses bones, and a broth is the liquid the meat was cooked in. In this case, we will use the word broth. Homemade bone broth is chalked-full of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium along with easily absorbed nutrients like proteins, collagen and gelatin that contribute to a strong immune, nervous and skeletal systems. I cannot talk about bone broth without mentioning its ability to aid in digestive and muscle repair because of how easy it is to digest and absorb these nutrients. It is no wonder it is an age-old remedy! Enjoy a mug of bone broth during times of stress for its healing properties or to boost immunity when needed. Or better yet, use it to make some Flu-Fighting Chicken Noodle Soup!
Find this and other great articles in the Fernie Fix Magazine!
Homemade Chicken Bone Stock
Makes approx. 16 cups
Carcass from a 3-4lb roasted chicken
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
Sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and sage or 1 tsp each of dried herb
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp or more sea salt
1/2 Tbsp black pepper corns
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot or slow cooker and cover with water and bring to a boil (slow cooker on high and covered until it boils).
Cover and reduce to a low heat simmer for 12-24 hours without stirring.
Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids.
Transfer broth to several glass mason jars to speed cooling. Do not freeze or refrigerate while hot!
Place jars in fridge uncovered for several hours until the stock separates and the fat raises to the top and hardens. Remove fat and discard.
Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for 6 months.
Don’t worry if the broth has a jello-like consistency, this due to the gelatin and collagen in the bones.
Flu-Fighter Chicken Noodle Soup
This soup will fill your house with a mouth-watering flavorful aroma!
1 knob of coconut oil or ghee
1 medium onion, chopped small
3 stalks celery, sliced
3 carrots, diced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried
2 bay leaves
2 Cups kelp noodles*, drained and rinsed or your favourite cooked noodle
8 cups yeast free chicken broth or homemade chicken bone stock
3 cups of cooked chicken, oven roasted is ideal
Handful of finely chopped spinach (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
1 heaping cup of love
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onion, celery, carrots, ginger and garlic and sauté until soft.
Stir in turmeric, thyme, parsley and bay leaves and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 8 cups of stock or bone broth and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add noodles, chicken, bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for another 10-30 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the finely chopped spinach for extra nutrients!
Season to taste and serve with love.
*I highly suggest trying kelp noodles. They are a mineral rich seaweed noodle that is grain free, gluten free and remind me of ramen noodles (Mr. Noodles) when boiled in water. You can find these in Fernie at The Good Earth.