WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR OWN BROTH AND BOUILLON CUBES

It continues to amaze me that many low-carb gurus, including some of my personal heroes, recommend using purchased bouillon cubes or powders. Dr. Westman, Dr. Phinney, Dr. Volek, Dr. Attia, and others promote their use as a source of extra salt to ease the transition to a low-carb diet and prevent symptoms of what is called the “Atkins flu,” caused by the ion imbalance that occurs when your body loses minerals along with excess water during the induction phase. (Stored sugar causes water retention.)

Not only do these products contain nasty ingredients, they are totally lacking in any of the good ones that you would get from real bouillon made from meat and bones. Here’s what’s in Wyler’s beef bouillon cubes:

Salt, hydrolyzed soy protein, sugar, monosodium glutamate, water, beef fat, onion powder, dextrose, corn maltodextrin, hydrolyzed corn gluten, beef stock, natural beef flavor, hydrolyzed corn protein, soybean oil, hydrolyzed torula and brewers yeast protein, garlic powder, caramel color, beef extract, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavors, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, lactic acid, silicon dioxide, calcium lactate (milk), tricalcium phosphate, propyl galiate, artificial beef flavor, tocopherol, butter fat, BHA, citric acid.

The list includes three kinds of sugar and, although I don’t know what a lot of the chemicals are, I recognize at least nine euphemisms for MSG. Three soy products are listed and one is a partially hydrogenated oil. Beef stock doesn’t show up until number 11. It also contains gluten. Sound yummy? You could just add ½ teaspoon of salt a day to your food to correct an ion imbalance, but if you want  the additional benefits of bone broth, you will have to make your own. It takes a while but it’s really easy.

My recipe for Broth and Bouillon Cubes is here.

My Pot au Feu recipe makes a tasty beef stock that can also be used as a soup or a drink: Pot-au-Feu

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker, wwwcarbwars.blogspot.com

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11 Comments:

  1. Yes, if I had all the time in the world, I would grow everything and make everything. Dr. Westman made this program available and Knorr's works for me. I do what I can, I think it's about progress and not perfection. If I had to wait to get everything right, I would still be overweight. I think you should encourage people as you also tell them everything you eat is not good for you. People need to know they can do this and be able to start, not wait until they can make everything in the best of situations. Knorr's worked for my issues and I have 134 lbs down, even with all of the terrible foods I read about. I am still the healthiest I have ever been in my life.

  2. Anonymous, I agree that we don't have to be perfect, but I still don't see why it is better to have even a small amount of a horrible food when just 1/2 teaspoon of salt will do the same thing without toxic ingredients.

    I doubt that the doctors I mentioned have read the ingredients on processed bouillon. I can't imagine that they would endorse it if they had. (Dr. Eades recommends drinking pickle juice–naturally fermented pickles and sauerkraut, like Bubbies' brand, might be another alternative.)

    Congratulations on your success and thanks for the comment!

  3. Dear Judy: decades ago (more than 4)in my single days I experimented with many time-consuming recipes, among them making my own demi-glace. It was Julia Childs' recipe and a very long process but a worthwhile experiment with a delicious product as a result. I've never done it again, but the demi-glace was so delicious that after it gelled I ate it all, about one cup. It's too bad there isn't a quicker method that is reliable just as good (that I' aware of).

  4. Anonymous: it's easier for restaurants to make demi-glace since they have a constant supply of meat trimmings and bones to use. I wish some enterprising business person would recognize the potential market for bone broth and stock. It would probably be expensive though and perhaps there is not enough money to be made from the manufacture of real food.

  5. You are so right about stocks and don't get me started on those cubes! We just need to look for the best ingredients if we can't make it ourselves!

  6. Hi, Judy.

    You're one of MY heroes, and I so appreciate both your scientific method and your "cookly" POV, both.

    I'm going to think of ways to bring broth making into my life, busy as it is (as with others here), and thanks so much for both the reminder and the 'recipe'.

    Signed: Jude (proud to be a Geek and a Cook).

  7. Hi Jude. Thank you for the kind words; You made my day!

    I love Greek food! I've been to Greece 3 times. Some of my pictures from one trip are here: http://carbwars.blogspot.com/2009/10/in-search-of-perfect-human-diet.html

  8. I use HerbOx Sodium Free Granulated Bouillon, Beef or Chicken, that come in a red box or blue box, with eight foil packs…

    Nutritional Information
    Serving Size 3.5 g
    Serving per Container: N/A
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 10
    Total Fat N/A
    Saturated Fat N/A
    Cholesterol: N/A
    Sodium N/A
    Total Carbs: 2 g
    Fiber: N/A
    Protein N/A
    Ingredients: with Other Natural Flavors Ingredients: Sugar, Potassium Chloride, Onion Powder, Maltodextrin, Monoammonium Glutamate, Gelatin, Beef Fat, Autolyzed Yeast, Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Caramel Color, Spice, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, Dextrose, Flavoring.

    No Allergens present
    Herb-Ox Beef Granulated Sodium Free

    Nutritional Information
    Serving Size 3.5 g
    Serving per Container: N/A
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories: 10
    Total Fat N/A
    Saturated Fat N/A
    Cholesterol: N/A
    Sodium N/A
    Total Carbs: 2 g
    Fiber: N/A
    Protein N/A
    Ingredients: with Other Natural Flavors Ingredients: Sugar, Potassium Chloride, Onion Powder, Maltodextrin, Monoammonium Glutamate, Gelatin, Dextrose, Chicken Fat, Contains 2% or less of Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking Agent), Oleoresin of Turmeric (Color), Dehydrated Parsley, Natural Flavoring, Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate.

    No Allergens present
    Herb-Ox Chicken Granulated Sodium Free

    I like the Homestyle Knorr Stocks that came out; however, the Chicken is the only one that has 25% less sodium… We make a five quart pot of soup, so we don't want tons of salt… There are four tubs in each container, and each tub equals three and one half cups of stock… I would like to use that instead, as I was never a cube fan because of the high sodium… This HerbOX by Hormel was the ONLY brand I could find in a cube converted in a granulated foil pack, that has no sodium…

    No I won't make my own stock, I buy Homestyle by Knorr; however, this particular soup wants four beef bouillon cubes, and I found HerbOx by Hormel…

    Well, everything you eat has something in it that is not good; so, you tried to keep those things toned way down… I guess in this particular soup, I probably could leave out the HerbOx… The soup calls for ONLY one cube…

    However, the soup wants the Lipton Dry Onion Soup Mix packet for seasoning…

    However, when you make your own Lipton Dry Onion Soup Mix, the recipe is two and one half tablespoons dry minced onion, one teaspoon of onion powder, four beef bouillon cubes, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper… Lipton's Soup is high with sodium, and this leaves out the high salt…

    So I just put in the four HerbOx total and not five for the one in the soup…

    I guess the soup can fair without any HerbOx, and alter the make shift recipe of the Lipton Dry Soup Mix, with just the minced onion and onion powder 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper… Or just use one HerbOx in a five quart dutch oven…

  9. Hi Lillian. Thanks for the additional info. I don't think this brand sounds any better than the one I mentioned. It lists sugar first instead of salt and it still has lots of MSG and chemicals and none of the nutrients in real broth or stock. I'd classify it as a "food-like substance."

  10. I feel the same way – those docs are my obesity fighting hero’s. I know in the course of a day I could drink enough bullion to kick me out of keto. I have a very low carb tolerance (20-30 g if I get enough exercise that day). I’m still going to try to find dry cubes that I can safely have bc I need something I can keep in the office, the gym bag, etc Love your blog!!

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