I like to think Rochester is one of the best places for grocery selection. We have Wegmans, Tops, Walmart Super Centers, Trader Joe’s, Lori’s Natural Foods, numerous small independent grocery stores and Whole Foods is coming soon; so you would really think among them there would be one chicken or vegetable broth that would be IBS and GERD friendly, right? Nope! Trader Joe’s was really the most disappointing. I thought for sure they would come through, but alas they did not. The problem is they all contain garlic powder or onion powder (or, usually, both) or straight up garlic and/or onion. Not to mention some don’t list what their “trace” ingredients are, but you can probably assume they include garlic and onion. Now I don’t believe it’s a huge amount, but for people suffering from severe GERD and/or IBS (as I do), a little is all it takes to cause some pretty unpleasant symptoms.
One of the biggest challenges in eating with these conditions is figuring out how to infuse flavor given all of the restrictions, especially without being able to use the big ticket flavor boosters onion and garlic. The easiest way to add some flavor to dishes would be broth, so not having an acceptable broth was, well, unacceptable. Honestly, after discovering how easy it is to make your own, though, I felt silly for never having done it before (and throwing away money buying the premade stuff).
To make it, all you have to do is wash any visible dirt off the veggies and herbs (no need to peel/chop them, just possible chop some in half to make them fit in the pot), throw them in the pot, cover with water and cook. It really is that simple! Then simply strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth when done and you’ve got yourself a flavor packed broth to be used in all your cooking.