The Health Benefits of Beef Broth
Beef broth is an essential ingredient in many recipes, like classic French onion soup, and it is full of natural and healthy ingredients. Beef broth is made with beef bones, beef scraps, vegetables, herbs, and water, making it low in fat and calories.
Many cultures use bones, carcasses, meat scraps, and vegetables to make broth. Not only is broth very cheap because you are using ingredients, which would otherwise have been thrown away, but it is incredibly nutritious.
Peasant cultures, which do not consume dairy products like milk, can get their calcium from broth because beef bones are high in it. Simmering the bones for hours draws the nutrients out of them as well as extracting the flavor.
Asian restaurants in the United States are likely to use a powdered base for their Kung Po chicken or sweet and sour soup because it is quicker and easier than making beef broth but in Asian countries like Thailand, China, Korea and Japan, broth is made in steamy backrooms and sold as soup on street corners and from store fronts.
How Beef Broth is Eaten
Beef broth is a healthy and warming drink. Some people do not enjoy drinking something that tastes so savory out of a cup but they are happy to put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon.
In western countries, beef broth is usually added to recipes like onion soup or enhanced with chunks of meat or vegetables and then served with croutons on the top or with bread on the side for dunking. When using beef broth to make French onion soup, the beef broth gives the dish most of its flavor so it is vital to use a high quality beef broth and preferably one you have made yourself.
The way in which beef broth is eaten might differ but the way it is prepared is the same, with the bones being roasted and then simmered for several hours with vegetable and seasonings.
Carbs in Beef Broth
Canned beef broth can be high in carbs but this is just because it contains fillers like flour, sugar, or bulking agents like gums. Canned beef broth is also high in sodium, which is not considered healthy. Homemade beef broth is low in carbohydrates. If you are counting carbs, you might like to omit the crouton from your French onion soup and just have the French onion soup cheese instead.
Low in Fat and High in Minerals
When you make a beef broth recipe, it is important to skim the foamy layer of fat off the top as it simmers. If you refrigerate it when it is cool, you will also be able to remove the solidified fat from the broth because it rises to the top. A little fat is good in beef broth because it adds flavor but too much fat spoils the taste.
Beef broth is a good source of selenium, phosphorus, silicon, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium, iron, niacin and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from tendons and cartilage, like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates. Beef broth is also free of cholesterol.
Beef Broth as Part of a Healthy Diet
Beef broth is rich in vitamins and minerals, and it can be part of a healthy diet. You can use beef broth to make other recipes or enjoy it by itself. Beef broth is one of the key components of French onion soup and the flavor of beef is wonderful with onions, especially the sweet, caramelized onions you have in a French onion soup recipe. A ladleful of beef broth in a stir fry, stew, or another recipe adds a beefy flavor, as well as the vitamins and minerals in the broth itself.
Adding a Beefy Taste to Stir Fries
It is well worth freezing your beef broth in ice cube trays and then emptying the frozen broth cubes into a freezer bag. Broth keeps for months in the freezer and, whenever you want to add some to a recipe, you can grab a broth cube and do just that. If you have made a meat and vegetable stir fry, adding some beef broth adds flavor as well as adding moisture to the dish.
Fat and Carbs in Beef Broth
There are very few carbs in beef broth but there is plenty of taste. Beef broth is also low in fat because you strain the fat off the top when you make it. Fat is often used to give flavor to a dish, which is why lots of foods are sautéed in butter. Meat is often served with some fat left on, and this is for flavor. A little fat in a beef broth is a good thing but too much fat can ruin the flavor of the broth, and the French onion soup you make with it.
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