I’m totally committed to my monthly ritual of making home-made stock on the stovetop or slowcooker. Sometimes it’s a flavourful chicken stock or a beef bone broth that I’m cackling over in my kitchen cauldron; other times it’s this flavourful vegetable stock that I’m simmering away. It’s become a ‘must have’ and if I run out I get very upset having to fork out the cash for a product that never tastes the same, or as good.
Making your own bone broths and stocks are two of the best ways to get gut healing gelatin and amino acids (especially glycine and proline) and should be a staple of every omnivore’s cooking arsenal. Not everyone out there enjoys animal-foods in their diet though, which is why you need this recipe for gut healing vegetable stock in your life. It’s rich on flavour and also possesses incredible nutritional benefits.
This stock is based on the mirepoix of French cooking (carrots, celery and onion); an aromatic combo of vegetables that is often used to add flavour to soups, stocks and stews. The real focus of this recipe however is on the gut healing properties of onions, leeks, garlic and mushrooms. Allium genus plants (onions, leeks & garlic) are naturally antibiotic foods and useful particularly in the treatment of leaky gut.
With anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties, the quercetin content of onions makes it an important ingredient in this stock as it decreases intestinal permeability through a ‘sealing’ effect. Garlic is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial across body systems, and has anti-candida and anti-cancer properties. All three vegetables are recommended in the GAPS diet and are also naturally rich in prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
By using mushrooms (particularly shiitake) in your stock you get a wonderful dose of intestinal membrane-healing zinc; they also contain immune boosting polysaccharides. For this batch of stock I’ve used Swiss brown mushrooms (cremini mushrooms) as I’m out of dried shiitake, but they still possess amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits.
Another fantastic bonus of using mushrooms in your stock? The exquisite, earthiness of mushrooms intensifies the longer you cook them, contributing to the more concentrated flavours in this healing and nourishing vegetable stock. Make a big batch on the stove and then freeze in 1-2 cup amounts, or in ice cube trays to start making the best soups and stews of your life!
Note: With any digestive conditions, it is better to follow your own body’s needs when it comes to eating onions, garlic and mushrooms. Some people will react to these foods in active disease, while others will thrive on them.
If you have a FODMAP sensitivity, this recipe is best to include in your diet after you have completed an appropriate elimination diet for at least two months in conjunction with nutritional treatment for intestinal permeability. Onions and garlic can elicit strong reactions in IBS patients, which can be a sign of further digestive distress (including untreated leaky gut syndrome). I recommend this book by Sue Shepherd for anyone starting out with the FODMAP diet protocol, also speak to your naturopath or health practitioner for more information on these conditions.
- Optional Step: Heat coconut oil in a large stock pot, and saute vegetables over medium high heat until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Combine vegetables, apple cider vinegar, water bay leaves and herbs (if using) and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook stock, uncovered, over a low heat for 40-50 minutes.
- After cooking time has elapsed, take stock pot off the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove solids. Pour stock through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a large glass bowl or container, discarding remaining solids. Portion stock into containers of 250 or 500ml volume and allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer.
- Stock may be refrigerated for up to one week, or frozen for up to three months. Ensure there is plenty of head room in storage containers for expansion when frozen.
Using less water gives you a more concentrated vegetable stock, while using more water makes a lighter-flavoured version.
If you currently experiencing symptoms of IBS or Fructose Malabsorption, it would be preferable to start with a lighter-flavoured stock (using the whole 4L of water) and experiment with using half stock and half water in your soups, stews or braised recipes.