There’s nothing better than a nutrient dense broth during the colder months. This is a plant based take on bone broth. As well as a tasty broth, it’s great as the base of ramens, soups and stews.
The big talking point with bone broth is collagen, the stuff that makes connective and supportive tissue throughout the body. As a woman of a certain age, I also have an interest in collagen to maintain youthful skin and hair.
Contrary to popular belief, collagen is not directly absorbed by the body from bone broth. It is produced by the body from a selection of amino acids and vitamin C. Great news for vegans as this is all readily present in seaweed among other things.
There’s a lot of freedom with this broth. You can use any vegetables you like, even juice pulp will work. Equally use whichever herbs you have to hand – sage, thyme, rosemary all have wonderful healing properties, mint also. You could also opt for a more Asian inspired broth with lemon grass and galangal.
The important point with the broth is the inclusion of the following:
1/ Seaweed – this is where the vegan version gets it collagen boosting properties. It also adds a host of minerals, is rich in B vitamins and is a natural source of Iodine. It also gives the broth a rich sea flavour without any fish sauce.
2/ Shiitake Mushrooms – they contain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that nourish the gut and boost the immune system.
3/ Anti-inflammatories – turmeric (alongside black pepper), ginger, leafy greens and herbs give the broth anti inflammatory properties.
4/ Prebiotics – garlic, leeks, shallots, seaweed, all promote good gut bacteria and short-chain-fatty-acids that nourish the cells lining the gut.
No Bones About It Vegan Broth
2 Shallots, chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
½ Cup of Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped (fresh or dried)
1 Leek, finely sliced
1 Carrot, finely chopped
2-3 Celery Sticks, finely chopped
1 cup of greens (eg spinach or kale), finely chopped – if using kale remove the stalks. You can cook up the stalks, but keep them whole so they’ll be easy to find and remove before serving
2-3 inch piece of ginger, chopped
½ inch of fresh turmeric (or 1 – 2 teaspoons of powdered turmeric)
1 chilli, chopped (de-seeded if you have a sensitive stomach)
60-90g seaweed, chopped (Nori, Wakame, Kombu – whatever you can get)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch or coriander, leaves and stems, chopped
1 bunch of parsley, leaves chopped
1 ½ vegan stock cube
Generous serving of black pepper
Soy or tamari to taste
Juice of 1 large lime
2 Tbsp Miso
2 litres (8-10 cups) filtered water
Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
In a large pan, heat some oil of your choice – add the shallots and fry gently for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and shiitake mushrooms and fry for a few minutes more. Then add the vegetables, seaweed, herbs, soy or tamari, and black pepper. Saute gently for a few minutes.
Add the water and stock cubes and bring to a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add more water as needed.
At this point you can strain and just keep the broth. Or you can choose to scoop out anything you don’t want and keep the rest in so it’s more like a soup.
Turn off the heat, stir in the miso and lime. Season to taste. Of course you have the option to add in any herbs or potions of your choosing at this point – I’m a fan of Naturya Organic Mushroom blend. I also sometimes add powdered Turkey Tail mushroom.
The broth will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You can also freeze it. It makes a great ramen broth – I like to add star anise or Chinese five spice if I’m using it for a ramen.