Fill Your Bowl with Healing - Soup, Stew, Broth & Stock
It’s the time of year where we start to bundle up and enjoy watching the leaves burst into autumnal colours. Fall is a great time to dig out our stock pots and crock pots as soup season moves in.
So what is all the hype around broth and stock for your pets and yourself?!
The names stock and broth are often used interchangeably. Surprisingly there is significant differences between the two. When you hear people speaking about the health benefits of broth they are often speaking of Bone Broth, which is technically not a broth but a stock!
Let's start looking at what the difference is between stock and broth (4)
- Broth is made from fresh meats and/or veggies
- Takes about 30 minutes to make
- Flavourful with a consistency close to water
- Has fewer calories, vitamins, & minerals compared to stock
- Great to use in place of water when cooking
- Made with bones, especially ones rich in marrow (roasted or raw)
- Powerhouse of flavour & nutrition
- Has a jelly type consistency when cooled
- Can be left to simmer anywhere from 6 to 48 hours
- Rich in collagen
- A great hydration & electrolyte boost
- A great opportunity to use turn bones, necks, feet, and heads into a healthy addition to your and your pet’s diet
This is the simplest way of making a meat infused liquid. Take some quality meat, add it to a pot with water to cover the meat. You may want to add some veggies or herbs for flavour. Bring the pot just to the boiling point and then lower to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes and you have a flavourful broth that is great for cooking with and when cooled, added to your pets' meals. It has a nice meaty taste and a thin watery consistency.
There are a couple ways to make stocks, which will give you a rich and thick finished product that will turn to a jelly type consistency when cooled, and back into a liquid when warmed up.
What you will need:
- A selection of roasted or raw bones (organic if you can) such as: marrow bones, necks, feet, heads, etc. Start with really good quality organic meat in order to get the best health benefits for yourself and your pets from your stock
- Fresh, filtered or spring water
- Optional - Apple Cider Vinegar: Some people swear by adding vinegar because it may alter the ph of the water and might help to extract minerals from the bones, while others don’t use it. Either is fine! If you use vinegar, we would recommend using an organic apple cider vinegar. Look for one that says ‘with mother’ on the label. That’s the brown solid bits floating around inside of it that will gather on the bottom of the jar. Give it a shake before using it to mix that up and you can use apple cider vinegar in your stock
- Optional - Fresh veggies & herbs (If using the stock with your dogs avoid onions)
- Stock Pot or Slow Cooker
Step 2: [Optional] Add a tablespoon or two of Apple Cider Vinegar
Step 3: [Optional] Add some healthy veggies (carrots, parsnip, celery, etc.) and/or herbs (parley, oregano, thyme, etc.)
Step 4: Cover the pot, leaving a small spot for steam to escape, and let it simmer for as long as you like - anywhere from 6 to 48 hours. The organic stock we make and sell in our store is simmered for about 8 hours and has a wonderful thick, rich consistency
Step 5: When finished, strain your stock and put into containers for freezing
Now that you have the beautiful stock it can be enjoyed on its own and used in so many great ways for the whole family.
Both cats and dogs can enjoy sharing in the bounty of your pet safe broth or stock. Remember moderation is key! When you give them liquids it is diluting the stomach acids and filling them up, just like if we drank a large amount. Consider how small that little stomach is and give them a suitable amount. For pets, we like using it as a hydration and electrolyte boost during hot summer months (you can serve it cold), as a food topper, or we use it to make stews for our pets.
Storage Tip: Freezing it in ice cube trays creates a convenient way to pull out just a small pet sized amount.
Give Your Pet Fresh Food Treats!
There is an old belief set that is still prevalent to this day - that you should never give human foods and only feed dog or cat food to your pets. This false belief shows you how powerful marketing messages are! There is amazing amounts of science to show that whole fresh foods are way better for our pets than heavily extruded and processed kibble.
Anyone with an interest in whole body health for a pet can easily do an internet search and find loads of data to prove it.
Even just asking yourself the simple question –
'Would your body do better with a heavily extruded product that needs to have a synthetic vitamin premix sprayed on it at the end to meet the basic requirements for life functions? Or would it do better with a variety of fresh whole foods?'
Most people and medical practitioners agree that fresh whole foods are much better for our bodies. Your dogs and cats are mammals just like you. Why should there be such a difference in their need (and desire!) for fresh foods? Common sense tells us that kibble is an unhealthy choice once you look at the basics of how it is made. Per veterinarian Dr. Cathy Alonovi "There is not one ingredient in prescription dog food that is fit for human consumption". It is no wonder we have skyrocketing poor health in our pets today. Small easy steps are often needed to help people move away from this brainwashing around extruded and heavily processed foods. If you feed kibble and aren’t ready to switch that's okay – feel hopeful! You can make small steps today to improve the health of your pets just by adding little bits of safe, healthy leftovers from your own meals to your pet’s bowl. Examples of great fresh offerings are things like veggie trimmings, meat trimmings, eggs, and fish.
Want to step things up a notch?
Try making our Turmeric Chicken Stew for the humans and furry members of your family. It is a fresh and rich tasting dish that is full of healthy and healing ingredients that our body and our pets will love!
This simple stew is anti-inflammatory, immune modulating with the added benefits of any herbs you decide to add. The natural mineral and vitamins in this is excellent. Give some to your cat or dog in moderation. You can top kibble with this, you can add it (cooled) to raw food, or use as a special treat.
Stews are really aromatic and can help tempt your pet when they might need food but are not feeling so well. Maybe they are recovering from illness, or they had dental surgery.
We see a lot of challenges in dogs with a lack of appetite just as they are getting diagnosed with kidney disease, and cooked stews can be a real boon at this time for those dogs. We sometimes recommend stews that are a bit more veg heavy to help get them through that initial timeline while they are working towards balancing out a diet that fits that individual.
For healthy dogs, I like to add stew to my raw fed dog’s diet as a way to change things up once in awhile.
Simple, Fresh Additions Go a Long Way
Even a small bit of fresh makes a big impact – one study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association found when dogs consumed vegetables with their dry commercial dog food at least 3 times a week there was a 70% reduction in the development of bladder cancer (1, 2). We know about using flaxseed to reduce tumour size in human breast cancer patients (3). There is loads of info out there about how foods can help our bodies to work better – when they work better they want to get back into balance and your body will attempt to heal itself.
Thanks so much for reading all the way through. Still have questions about feeding fresh? Feel free to pop into Pet Grocer™ and chat with our staff to learn what fresh offerings will fit in with your lifestyle when it comes to boosting your pet’s bowl.
Looking for a pre-made Bone Broth? At Pet Grocer™ we sell a really great frozen broth made by Primal Pet Foods and we make and have available for you our own homemade frozen stock. Easy to use, just defrost and pour on your pet's meal.
Single Serving Tip: Defrost the whole container, then pour into ice cube trays and refreeze. It is a myth that you can’t defrost and refreeze things. You can defrost and refreeze a few times so long as you are defrosting in the fridge at 4C or less. If your pet has cancer or allergies – be aware that each time you defrost the histamine levels go up. So if you have histamine concerns – stick with the one defrost and refreeze cycle and then portion it so that you only use the amount you need that day.
Some extra interesting links:
Soup recipe for upset stomach
Seasonal pumpkin soup for you and your dog: