The benefits of a bone broth can be replicated in a vegan broth equivalent that utilises vegetables and other plant materials to provide similar nutrients and has its own wealth of benefits. As with a bone broth the nutrient quality and density of your broth will depend upon the quality of the ingredients you use.
Collagen cannot be found in the plant world, it can, however, be made in our bodies if they are provided with the right nutrients. Foods that are ideal for this are seaweeds, celery, soybeans, kale, beets and spinach.
A major function of gelatine within a bone broth is to support the healing of the gut wall. By decreasing heat and aiding immune balance in the gut and by providing the right nutrients, this function can also be obtained from a vegan diet. Foods such as turmeric, seaweed, aloe vera and slippery elm can support this.
Glycine and proline have many benefits as mentioned in previous blogs. Plant-based sources of glycine are spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, pumpkin, spirulina, watercress, legumes, soy products and tamari sauce. Whilst proline can be found in asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, watercress, brewer’s yeast, soy products, legumes and seaweeds.
Glutamine found in bone broths can be replaced in vegan broths by using plant-rich sources such as spinach, parsley, cabbage and beets. These however are richest in glutamine when eaten raw.
Other plant foods that advantageous to a vegan broth:
- Seaweeds:High in minerals, particularly iron, calcium, magnesium and iodine and seaweeds are natural detoxifiers for the body.
- Wakame: thought to boost collagen. Contains folate, B12 and omega 3s.
- Kelp: High in iodine. Contains fucoxanthin, thought to aid weight management and fucoidan which may support normal blood flow.
- Kombu: contains amino acids that breakdown the starches of legumes, iodine which is supportive to the thyroid and fucoidan which can help maintain healthy joints.
- Shiitake mushrooms:A source of vitamin D, zinc and B vitamins. Contains all essential amino acids. Contains antioxidants and is a prebiotic. Supports strong healthy immune defences and reduces heated and compromised immune issues in the body. May support adrenal function.
- Miso paste: Is a fermented soy product which may strengthen digestion, support a healthy immune response and rally energy.
- Coconut oil:A healthy fat which increases the absorption and bioavailability of other nutrients.
- Turmeric & Ginger:Herbs that reduce heat created by immune issues and injury within the body.
- Agar: derived from red algae. It is high in calcium and manganese which aid bone health. It may aid digestion especially for those with constipation, may aid satiety and therefore may support weight management.
The minerals found in a bone broth can also be found in a vegan broth. These are found in the vegetables, seaweeds, spices and nutritional yeasts that are added to the broth.
The other benefit to vegan broths are their alkalinity. Our recent western lifestyles and dietary choices tend make us more acidic and foods high in alkalining plant foods can counterbalance this.
12 cups of filtered water
1 piece of turmeric
2Tbs apple cider vinegar/lemon juice
3Tbs miso paste
Several large cupfuls of green leafies (silverbeet, chard, kale, cavolo nero)
1 smashed garlic bulb
1 large quartered red onion (leave skin on)
1 chilli pepper roughly chopped (with seeds)
1 knob of ginger roughly chopped
3-4 cups of mixed chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, leeks, broccoli, kumara, yam, celeriac etc)
1 pack of dried shiitake mushrooms
30g dried wakame/dulse/karengo
1 stick of kombu (for added minerals)
2Tbs agar (this is a red seaweed)
1 tsp peppercorns
2tsp turmeric (powder or roughly chopped root)
1 bunch herbs of choice
1/4c nutritional yeast (optional)
1tsp maca powder per 500ml of liquid (optional)
1Tbs of Tamari (optional)
- Place all the vegetables and spices into a large stock pot and cover with water
- Heat slowly. Bring to a boil and the reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Simmer for at least an hour. A low and slow cook time allows the nutrients to be extracted fully.
- After cooking and as it cools strain the broth and pour into a sealed glass jar to refrigerate.* it should keep for up to five days.**
*after straining the broth can be transferred to smaller containers and frozen for later use.
**you may wish to keep the broth on a low heat throughout the day and scoop out the liquid as required. You may add more water to it from time to time and keep it going. Turn the stock pot off at night and back on in the morning. This can be continued for up to four to five days.
Natalee Durrant – Naturopath and Medical Herbalist