Broth, Bouillion or Stock: Know the Difference

Posted in Kitchen Staples

There you are in your kitchen, having a rare Martha Stewart moment where you decide that you’re going to start cooking up more homemade meals – and you’ll do so using all-natural ingredients. You pull out your old cookbooks. You determine your menu. You methodically start creating your list of needed ingredients.

Stock or broth seems to be a popular ingredient. Whether it’s made from chicken, beef or vegetables it’s going to be a staple in your newfound made-from-scratch, no preservatives, all-natural meal plan.

One trip to the grocery store and your fantasy of cooking nothing but healthy meals is crushed. You quickly realize that most popular brands of broth are packed with more junk ingredients and sodium than the fast food meal you wolfed down the day before!

Case in point: Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Broth

campbells_broth

Nutrition facts: 2.5 servings per can; serving size: ½ cup 30 cals, 2g of fat, 770mg sodium.

INGREDIENTS: Chicken Stock, Chicken Fat, Salt, Utilized Yeast, Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten, Corn Oil, Flavoring & Hydrolyzed Soy & Corn Protein.


Decoding the Fine Print

Hmmm, it surely looks like Campbell’s Condensed Chicken Broth is made from more than just chicken.

Let’s start with the monosodium glutamate (MSG). The flavor-enhancing substance, which is thought to be addictive, is found in several ingredients listed on the label: utilized yeast, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, and hydrolyzed soy & corn protein.

Besides the MSG additives, there’s also added fat and sugar (dextrose). But wait… there’s more! One 10-ounce can of this curious concoction contains more than 60% of a day’s worth of sodium! Loaded with MSG, fat and sodium, this is more like poison than broth.

But, don’t despair; your dreams of healthy homemade meals aren’t gone with the broth. Just relax, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What Would Martha Do?”


Reality Check

We think that when it comes to cooking delicious homespun meals, Martha would agree stock is far superior to broth or bouillon. But what’s the difference you ask?

Broth: When chicken, beef or even fish is cooked, there is often water left over. Commercial manufacturers add MSG and salt to this meat byproduct and call it broth.

Bouillon: Dehydrated broth that is higher in sugar and sodium—yikes!

Stock: Concentrated liquid made by slowly cooking meat, vegetables and herbs for several hours. When properly made, it will add flavor to any dish without adding junk ingredients.

Okay, stock is clearly the way to go. But who’s got time to make their own? Not us! So, we had our food sleuths troll the grocery store aisles in search of a healthy pre-packaged stock that tastes great and saves you from slaving over a hot stove!


BestBrands for Stock

Our search for the best prepackaged stock led us to Kitchen Basics Natural (all varieties – vegetable, chicken, beef, seafood, clam, ham, pork, and turkey); it’s our hands-down BestBrand for stock!

Sample this Example: Kitchen Basics Natural Chicken Stock

kitchen_basics_natural

Amount per serving: Calories: 20 from Fat: 0; Sodium 480 mg: Protein 3g

Ingredients: Chicken stock, chicken flavor, sea salt, honey, vegetable stocks (carrot, onion, mushroom, celery), bay, thyme, pepper.

Kitchen Basics slow cooks their stock for hours, allowing all the natural ingredients—like meats, vegetables, herbs with a dab of sea salt and honey—to gradually release their yummy flavors. They don’t use any chemicals or added junk ingredients, and their stock contains half the sodium of most other brands. Folks, this stock is worth its weight in gold.

Now that you’re armed with Kitchen Basics’ super-stock, flip open that cookbook and get cookin’!

Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.

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In Our Opinion: The information contained in the eBrandAid e-newsletters is strictly based on the opinions of the eBrand Doctors. We have created a set of guidelines that we believe will help shoppers to better understand and decode food labels on products found in most grocery stores. Our mission is to help shoppers find the healthier brands that have the least amount of chemicals and other junk ingredients.

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