Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Magic broth for those undergoing breast cancer treatment

By Rebecca Katz, from Intent

This broth alone can keep people going, especially when they don’t particularly want to eat. It’s not just a regular vegetable stock. This pot of yum is high in potassium and numerous trace minerals that are often depleted by cancer therapy. Sipping this nutrient-rich stock is like giving your body an internal spa treatment.

A caregiver I know who never cooked tried this recipe for his mother, who was fighting colon cancer at the time. “After I put all the vegetables in the pot and started them simmering, I had to go out of the house for a half-hour to get something for Mom. When I got home and opened the front door, I couldn’t believe how amazing the house smelled. What was even more incredible was that I had created these smells. Before I left to go home, Mom wrote me a small check to cover the cost. I couldn’t understand why she thought she had to pay me for this. Then I looked at the ‘memo’ part on the front of the check. Next to it she wrote these words: ‘Love Soup.’”

Drink it like a tea, or use it as a base for all your favorite soups and rice dishes. Don’t be daunted by the ingredient list. Simply chop the ingredients in chunks and throw them in the pot, roots, skins, and all.

6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled medium yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, both white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 medium red potatoes with skins on, quartered
2 Japanese or regular sweet potatoes with skins on, quartered
1 Garnet yam with skin on, quartered
1 (8-inch) strip of kombu
2 bay leaves
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
1 tablespoon sea salt

Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine all the ingredients, except the salt. Fill the pot to 2 inches below the rim with water, cover, and bring to a boil.

Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for a minimum of 2 hours. As the stock simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. Add the salt and stir.

Strain the stock using a large coarse-mesh strainer (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath). Bring to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

Makes 6 to 7 quarts.

Calories Per Serving: 29; Total Fat: 0 g (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 6 g; Protein: 0 g; Fiber: 0 g; Sodium: 166 mg.

Inner Cook Notes: If you don’t have time to make this broth from scratch, substitute Pacific or Imagine brand vegetable stock, add an equal quantity of water, a piece of kombu, and one potato. Boil for 20 minutes and strain. Magic Mineral Broth can be frozen for up to 6 months in a variety of airtight containers for every use.

Rebecca Katz is the founder of the Inner Cook and senior chef at Commonweal Cancer Help Program in Marin County, California.

My intent is to overcome Breast Cancer

For more breast cancer articles, go to Intent.com.

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