Stock is unique in its ability to sooth our gut lining, more so than broth in that it includes more joints and bones from the animal. If you were particularly adventurous, chicken feet and fish heads also contain a wealth of gut healing nutrients that can be added to a stock without compromising flavor. According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, “stocks provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and they have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.”
Whether you are on the GAPS diet or not, if you have symptoms that impact your quality of life and are interested in diet intervention, drinking stock should be your first step. We all can’t afford to go and have a colonoscopy and biopsy to determine whether or not we have intestinal permeability, aka “Leaky Gut”, and we don’t want to (ouch)! So we evaluate the symptoms we have and try and trace them back to the root cause. Most problematic symptoms, like bloating, diarhhea, rashes, fatique, cramps, constipation and more, arise from issues in the gut. So let’s treat the gut first! Pepto can only coat the pain where a nutritious stock can actively reduce inflammation. In the end, it can only help your health.
If you are on GAPS, then there isn’t a doubt of whether or not to drink stock, it is the cornerstone of the diet. For those of you who are still on the fence, and for those just beginning, stock is super simple to make. Here is my go to stock recipe that isn’t to heavy, which a beef stock can be, or fishy. It is also free of chicken feet for the squeamish, though I highly recommend adding them. When you get to stage three, add a bunch of fresh thyme, it is delicious!
1 Whole Chicken or 2-3 Chicken Carcasses (with little bits of meat still on)
You can also add a chicken carcass to a whole chicken for extra flavor and nutrition
Chicken Neck and Organs from the whole chickens
2 Grass Fed Beef Bones, preferably joints and/or bones with marrow
4-5 Organic Carrots, roughly chopped
1-2 Organic Yellow or Red Onions, quartered
3 Celery Stalks, roughly chopped
5 Cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother
1 Tbsp Peppercorns
2-3 Tbsp Sea Salt (Redmond and Celtic have the lowest concentrations of pollutants such as microplastics)
Place everything into a 12-14 quart soup pot. Move to the stove and turn burner to high until the stock begins to boil. Scoop off any foam. Reduce to a low simmer (my stove does this a tick or two above the low setting) and cover. Simmer for three hours. Turn burner off and let cool for at least an hour. Set strainer over a large bowl or second soup pot. Pour soup over strainer, picking out any meat if you want to reserve it to add to a soup later, like my Veggie Chicken Noodle, or eat it on the side.
For me, this takes several repetitions as my straining basket cannot fit all the meat and bones in one go. My mixing bowl isn’t large enough to fit all the broth either if my second soup pot is in use. So I make sure to have my gallon or half gallon jars on the counter when I strain my soup. I first pour enough of the soup and meat/bones/veggies to work with out into the basket without over filling the basket or bowl. Next I set my straining basket back on top of the stock pot, and pour the liquid I have strained into the jars. Lastly, I dump the strained ingredients I didn’t want to reserve in a grocery bag that has been doubled (so you can tie it up to prevent trash odors and prevent leakage when you transfer it to the trashcan) and then repeat. Whew!
I know that was a very specific process I shared with you but after making this stock for years, it turns out to be the least messy process. You can store the stock in jars in the fridge for up to a week. Always reheat on the stove, season to taste, and enjoy!