On Your Health

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The Benefits of Vegetable Broth, aka "Magic Mineral Broth"

Today we have a special guest post from Kellye Elliott, business development manager at INTEGRIS Cancer Institute.

I am pleasantly surprised by how many people seemed interested in my last blog post about bone broth. I wanted my readers to know I continue to enjoy my weekly ritual of brewing a pot in my slow cooker. Doing so seems to add warmth to the house and an aroma that reminds me of winter. I do experiment with different types of bones and add different veggies and herbs depending on what’s available in my fridge.

I am drinking a full cup each day and I've also added it to soups and sautés. Alas, so far my family only participates when the broth is “hidden” in recipes, but I will continue encouraging them to add it to their daily routine. As for me, maybe the benefits are starting to work -- just today I got a compliment that my hair looks shiny!

With all the interest in this subject, I've been looking online at different stories on bone broth and learned this ritual has become very popular across the country. In New York this health trend is popping up all over the city in the form of "broth bars" and "broth shops." Most establishments begin with a broth and offer add-ins and elixirs like seaweed, spices and herbs to add flavor and increase the health benefits. Is anyone out there interested in opening a broth bar in OKC? I would love to go! I am trying to encourage our chef here at Perks cafeteria at the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute to add bone broth to our Tuesday Integrative Medicine menu.

Check out this follow-up blog post from Juli Johnson, an APRN and our Integrative Medicine practitioner at INTEGRIS,  answers some of the many questions about broth that came in via social media. One question I will answer today is how someone who is not a meat eater can still garner the health benefits of broth.

I have just the soup for you, which comes highly recommended from Juli Johnson. It is a recipe first created by well-known chef Rebecca Katz. She calls it "Magic Mineral Broth" and says it is her Rosetta Stone of soup.

Although it's true the collagen and gelatin (which are good for healthy skin and nails) found in bone broth are missing from this vegetarian version, this recipe meets a myriad of nutritional needs and is full of magnesium, potassium and numerous trace minerals. This recipe is especially nourishing for those in cancer therapy, which often depletes those minerals. Drinking it allows the body to refresh and restore itself. Just like the gelatin in bone broth contributes to healing the stomach lining and digestive tract, there are some great plant-based sources found in this recipe that also do this, such as kombu. Juli said these vegetable broths boost immunity and are very hydrating. She says vegetable mineral broth is loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vital minerals found in the vegetables, herbs and spices that work together to help keep the disease switch turned OFF.

This does sound like magic to me, but I definitely think it is worth a try!  I might need to purchase another crock-pot so I can keep magic mineral broth on hand, alongside my mason jars of bone broth. Here is Rebecca Katz as she prepares the broth she calls “cancer fighting, immune boosting, and sniffle-healing comfort in a cup."

Magic Mineral Broth Ingredients

Makes 6 quarts

6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 8-inch strip of kombu
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
2 bay leaves
8 quarts cold, filtered water
1 teaspoon sea salt


Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with the water to 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil.

Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours. As the broth 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.

Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath), then add salt to taste.

Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.

Prep time: 10 minutes · Cook time: 2 to 4 hours

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for 4 months.

Per Serving: Calories: 45; Total Fat: 0 g (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated);

Carbohydrates: 11 g; Protein: 1 g; Fiber: 2 g; Sodium: 140 mg

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Kellye Elliott, M.S., CCC-SLP, has been with INTEGRIS since 2008. She began her career as a speech language pathologist in 1991. Prior to her position at the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute, Kellye worked at INTEGRIS as a clinic manager and in marketing and sales.