I just can't help but question myself, how did our ancestors know that some food has healing properties? You know like an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that lemon honey tea will help you to recover faster from a cold.
Chicken stock is one of those wonders. Cooked the right way, it is rich in essential fatty acids and protein. It helps your body build and repair healthy muscle, bone, skin, and blood cells. According to WebMD a hearty bowl of chicken soup may help clear nasal congestions and ease cold symptoms.
Drinking chicken stock might also have a positive impact on your joints. Thanks to collagen which is released during the cooking process.
Is chicken stock gluten-free?
So reading all of the above you might want to know if chicken stock is gluten-free and if is it safe for you if you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or you are following a gluten-free diet for any other reasons.
The short and simple answer is yes! Chicken stock is gluten-free. But like with everything in the gluten-free food world it comes with a BUT! Chicken stock made at home, in your own kitchen using chicken bones and some vegetables only, is 100% gluten-free. The store-bought varieties however might contain gluten and you have to look out for the warning signs.
What is chicken stock?
To put it simply, chicken stock is the liquid you have after cooking chicken bones in it. A good quality chicken stock only has a couple of ingredients, such as chicken bones and a few vegetables.
Ingredients in store-bought chicken stock to look out for.
Ok, now we know that homemade chicken stock or any other stock or bone broth for that reason is absolutely gluten-free. So what about the chicken stock from grocery stores?
This unfortunately can be a bit trickier. But do not fear, with this quick guide, you will be well-equipped when shopping for gluten-free chicken stock.
Look out for yeast extract. It may contain gluten from barley. Unfortunately, manufacturers in the US are not required to disclose the source of yeast extract on the ingredients label. So if you are in the United States, stay away from anything that contains yeast extract unless the chicken stock is labelled as a gluten-free product.
Good news if you are in Australia. According to Coeliac Australia yeast and yeast extract that has been cultured in a barley malt medium, must be declared on the ingredients as Yeast extract (barley malt) which is NOT gluten-free.
The next to look out for are NATURAL FLAVORS. Some of the natural flavours might be derived from wheat or barley. In that case, it will be stated that the product contains wheat or barley in allergen statements. So again, to be sure, look for gluten-free products. And please stay away from anything that contains artificial flavors and artificial colors.
Wheat and rye
And the obvious ones, but still worth mentioning. If you see WHEAT or RYE on the ingredients list, please stay away, these are not gluten-free products and are not safe for you.
So when shopping for gluten-free chicken stock, stay away from yeast extract, flavors, wheat and rye. They are all sources of gluten. The best way is to only buy gluten-free certified products.
There is another way of making sure your chicken stock or chicken broth has gluten-free ingredients only. Do you want to know what it is? Make your own! You will be surprised how easy and budget-friendly it is. You can have your own organic free-range chicken stock absolutely free from gluten in no time.
To cook chicken stock you need chicken frames, which are meatless chicken bones. Two or three of those will make a delicious stock. Ask your butcher if they have some frames, they usually cost only a couple of dollars. And if you can find an organic butcher, you can have organic chicken stock for only a fraction of the cost you would pay at the shop.
What is the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth?
Just a quick word about the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth. They are very similar but have a few differences.
- Stock is cooked with chicken bones for a prolonged period of time and is richer in nutrients.
- The broth, on the other hand, is cooked with meat and has a much shorter cooking time. By the way, there are four different types of broth - chicken, beef, fish, and vegetable broth.
All of them are great and can be used for the same purposes. However stock has more healing properties compared to broth.
How to use it
Thanks to chicken stock's delicious, savoury, robust flavor, it is a very popular base for many dishes across the world. It can be used in soups and stews, curries and sauces. Here are a couple of recipes using chicken stock as a base for you to try:
In the next couple of weeks, I will share with you my chicken stock recipe. It is my mum's and is my favorite recipe. We make it nearly every week and always have some frozen stock in the freezer ready to be used.
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Chicken stock and chicken broth made with natural ingredients are 100% gluten-free. They are not only safe for people with celiac or any gluten-free sensitivities but are health-promoting and should be a part of your weekly diet.
Do you have a favourite gluten-free chicken stock or chicken broth brand? Let us know in the comments below. This will add value to this article and help other people to find a safe product.
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