Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Goodie: Kitchen Basics Unsalted Broth

Savory, salty sodium. It is what makes food taste so moreish. Sodium is an important electrolyte, crucial to fluid balance of the body as well as muscle contraction (including the heart muscle.) But 90% of Americans eat too much sodium and too much sodium can cause bloating, high blood pressure and put us at risk for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

How much is too much? The recommended value is between 1500 and 2300 mg per day depending on where you fall in the chart demographic. To put that in perspective, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt contains 1120mg of sodium, 1 teaspoon of table salt contains 2132mg of sodium. ONE TEASPOON! My former drug of choice at McDonald's the extra value meal of a Big Mac, large fries and large Coke contains 1410mg of sodium.

The first defense we have at keeping our sodium intake within a healthy range is by reading labels. Foods with no label are best (whole grains, vegetable, fruit, lean meat) but we all need to take help in the kitchen during busy times so I can't stress highly enough how important it is to read the label when choosing packaged/processed foods. I like to make my own stock, but I don't always have time or the gumption so when I saw Kitchen Basics new unsalted cooking broths, I was thrilled to try them. With just 150mg of sodium per 8 ounce serving, Kitchen Basics puts you in control!

I bought the chicken and the beef and made up two wonderful supper soups with them. I used cayenne pepper, black pepper, fresh herbs and a couple of pinches of salt along with the stock and was able to coax out amazing flavor from these meals. Well done, Kitchen Basics!

First up~ Roasted Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup, adapted from a recipe in the October 2010 Everyday Food magazine.

Tip~ I cook up 1 cup long cooking barley, which makes 3 cups. I use one cup for the recipe and put the other two cups in the freezer for breakfast dishes and future soup recipes.

Makes 4 generous servings
Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit

1 pound grass fed sirloin fillet steak, cut into bite sized cubes
1 pound baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, rinsed and halved/quartered
1 pound carrots, bais cut 1/2 inch thick
2 shallots, thinly sliced into half moons

Toss above mixture in a bit of olive oil and fresh, minced herbs (I used oregano), a pinch of cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper and a pinch of salt. Roast in hot oven for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour 1 quart of Kitchen Basics unsalted beef broth into a soup pot and heat to simmering. Add roasted meat and veggies to the broth, along with 1 cup cooked barley, simmer for 10-15 minutes to let the flavors meld. Devour!

Next is Autumn Chicken Stew from September/October 2010 Eating Well magazine. Click for the recipe. This made 6 generous main dish servings. I doubled the veggies but not the chicken. I roasted bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts in a hot oven before dicing the meat and adding it to the stew. Roasting chicken on the bone just gives better flavor and texture than when stewed. I added celery to the onions and used the Stayman-Winesap apples we picked the previous day. And I used Kitchen Basics unsalted chicken broth.

Isn't it pretty? It was a bowl full of warm, autumn harvest goodness. The combination of apples, parsnips and carrots was a sensation. It was excellent leftover, I had it for dinner at work two nights in a row, it was that good.

I was pleasantly surprised at how rich and delicious these broths turned out to be, especially since they have no added salt. Kitchen Basics unsalted cooking broths are a great find and will always have a place in my nutritious and delicious pantry.

*note~this is a completely independent product review, not a paid promotion.

1 comment:

  1. sodim free broth! That would be amazing. I'll have to look for this in my local stores. Thanks for the post!