What’s Really in Your Chicken Stock? Here's the Real Truth!
Believe it or not - most stock cubes, powder and bouillon Beef, Vegetable and Chicken stock don’t contain a large percentage of actual vegetables or meat!
They’re generally only about 3-4% of vegetables, or beef or chicken, with the best ones up to 12%.
The rest is a mixture, depending on the brand, of:
- filler (like corn flour or maize),
- yeast extract (flavour enhancer),
- and sometimes palm oil.
Hard to believe, but true!
Liquid stocks are not much better –
You are paying for a lot of water and consuming so much non-recyclable packaging.
A change was needed! A better healthier option was needed! This I recognised and this is what happened and what we did!!!
The Start of Urban Forger.
Urban Forager (that's us) was born 9 years ago in my kitchen, in part as an answer to the question ‘what shall I be when I grow up’? and the need for a healthier option.
Having worked as a research biologist and a teacher and doing the admin for my partner while our children were small.
I was wondering what to do next.
Then the aha!!! Moment ..the light bulb flashed...
When one of my partner’s staff members sent me a message saying you should sell your preserves.
I thought “OK”. Exactly what I needed.
So, the business was born….
The business started out by collecting people’s unwanted backyard produce and turning it into beautiful preserves like:
- lemon curd,
- passionfruit curd,
- and chutneys.
The name Urban Forager sprang from the notion of foraging in people’s gardens for figs, lemons, plums etc.
Of course, I needed to buy other ingredients to complete the products, but I always purchased organic.
So, I then added a few purely organic lines to my stock using ‘seconds’ from the wholesale market.
These proved extremely popular and before too long I was supplying organic stores across Perth and business grew.
At the same time, I was developing a shelf stable version of my vegetable stock I’d been making for years.
Having a background in biology helped. I also worked with a professor of food science to ensure it was a safe organic product.
The vegetable stock concentrate was so popular it grew to become Urban Forager’s bestselling and most profitable product,
But the amount of time I spent driving around collecting a few kg’s here and a few kgs there of excess produce,
Combined with the enormous range of products we produced, meant we were highly inefficient and not very profitable.
I knew there was a market for meat stock concentrates and that I would have to make some hard decisions and let the other product lines go.
This gave me the time I needed to spend while I worked hard on the stock concentrates
(I still wanted to spend time with my girls 😊 ).
After two rebrands and lots and lots of hard work in small kitchen spaces later.
We moved into a custom-made kitchen, with lots of space required to expand and develop.
We now have an incredible team of kitchen staff, suppliers and customers and I personally feel very, very lucky to know and work with.
So now for you and all health conscious people:
We make a versatile range of organic stock concentrates in a Chicken, Beef and Vegetable variety.
Our stock concentrates are full of simple, real ingredients and nothing else.
The chicken stock contains 21% free range organic chicken;
The beef stock contains 20% free range, grass fed, organic stock from a small family farm in the south west of WA.
The rest is organic vegetables,
- local organic olive oil,
- local organic apple cider vinegar,
- herbs and salt.
Even the Salt is Organic.
We use lake salt from Lake Deborah in the south west, mined by a family business that has been operating for almost 100 years and is 5km from our kitchen.
Being lake salt, you can be confident it does not contain the microplastics that are now sadly found in sea salt.
We use local Australian products from our local community where possible (and where stock supply is available) and we are located in the Fremantle district, Western Australia.
Our organic stock concentrate can easily be made into a liquid stock by dissolving in cold water (hot water is not required).
You can make as little or as much as you need, so there’s no waste either.
So of course, it can be used to make soups, stews and curries that call for liquid stock.
This organic stock concentrate being a paste, means there is so much more you can do with it than just make it into a liquid stock.
You can use in absolutely anything savoury!
You can add to any dish where you would add seasoning.
Some simple usage ideas..
I generally substitute 1 tspn for ½ a teaspoon of salt and then adjust to taste – you can always add more but it’s hard to take it out!
Even though there is far less than ½ a teaspoon of salt in 1 teaspoon of our stock paste, it seems to add a depth of flavour that acts as a substitute for salt, so I find I don’t need as much.
I add beef stock to:
- Bolognese sauce and taco mix;
- Marinades for steak;
- Burger mix for beef burgers.
I find it really good in vegetarian dishes made with earthy ingredients like root veggies.
I must admit I use the chicken stock in everything!
I use it to make:
- gravy by mixing with the pan juices, lemon juice, a pinch of rapadura sugar and if I’m pushed for time, a little cornflour to thicken it.
- I add it to butter, olive oil and garlic in a pan and then quickly fry a whole head of broccoli and some snow peas as a side dish;
- I mix it with olive oil and loads of herbs as a rub over potato wedges;
- It goes into my chicken & brandy pate;
- We have a killer chicken, zucchini & haloumi ball recipe on our website that is a real crowd pleaser and has a little chicken stock in it;
- Of course it takes chicken noodle soup to the next level, and
- We have plenty of customers who use it to make a quick ramen meal.
The vegetable stock is a winner for vegetarians or when you’re looking for a meat free meal.
It can be added to:
- Frittatas, quiche and veggie patties to give extra depth of flavour to the dish;
- Water when cooking rice and couscous;
- Add a spoonful to dips (we have several recipes on the website).
Our stock concentrates make cooking tasty dishes for yourself, for family, and for friends so much easier and tastier.
Knowing it’s a really healthy option makes that delicious flavour hit even better.
We also have delicious recipe cards you might want to look at and use on our website - http://www.urbanforager.com.au
Put good food at the heart of your home this month and discover a jar of Urban Organics Certified Organic Chicken Stock Concentrate in this month’s Toxic-Free July box.