Are Bouillon Cubes Healthy?
Quick and full of flavor, bouillon cubes are very useful to make your dishes even more delicious. But, if you stop for a moment to think about how healthy they are, you may want to stop using them.
Nowadays, bouillon cubes are very popular and easy to use; you simply dissolve them in water, to enjoy a bouillon broth. You can also add them to your recipes as a condiment. In this case, you don’t need to add extra salt, as the cubes contain more than enough.
The ingredients of bouillon cubes
All bouillon cubes contain glutamate, a flavoring that’s used to enhance the taste. Consumers seem to enjoy this ingredient, since the broths that result from bouillon cubes, taste really good. However, you shouldn’t use them to replace healthy ingredients.
Monosodium glutamate can cause a condition known as the, ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’. The symptoms of this condition are: headaches, pressure in the temples and a stiff neck.
It can also trick consumers into thinking that the broth contains more chicken than it actually does. Moreover, bouillon cubes stimulate your appetite, so they may promote obesity.
They also contain saturated fats, and even if it’s a small quantity, saturated fats make consuming bouillon cubes quite unhealthy.
Regarding nutrients, they don’t even come close to the amount of nutrients that homemade broths contain. They make very low-calorie broths, with around 11 kcal, per 8.5 fluid ounce serving (dehydrated cubes), and 19 kcal per serving in liquid broths.
Homemade broths provide more energy for your body: the same 8.5 fluid ounce serving contains 22 kcal. As a hydration choice they can be quite useful. They are a good option for people that need a liquid, or weight loss diet.
Bouillon cubes also have low amounts of protein. A homemade broth that boils for several hours, contains double the amount of protein, than broths made from a cube. Because of this, homemade broths provide us with 40 percent more protein, than cube broths. This makes bouillon cubes less healthy.
The major advantage of these cubes is how inexpensive they are. Making one liter of broth, using two cubes, can cost less than 10 cents.
Healthy brands of bouillon cubes
Today, there’s only one bouillon cube brand that makes chicken and beef bouillon cubes without using flavor enhancers. It’s the brand Avecrem and is sold in their 100 percent natural range.
This brand was able to produce a bouillon cube without any additives in the chicken flavor, and with just one additive in the beef flavor. In addition, they make healthier bouillon cubes because they use very little salt -around 39.3 percent, while their traditional chicken stock has a salt content of 54.3 percent.
Homemade broth recipe
As you’ve seen, bouillon cubes aren’t very healthy. Which is why we’ll give you a recipe to make homemade chicken stock, providing you with more nutrients and less additives than bouillon cubes.
- 2.2 pounds of chicken bones and carcasses
- 1 leek
- A large onion
- A large carrot
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 pints of water
- First peel and chop the vegetables. Wash the bones and carcasses and place it all together in a pot, along with the water and the rest of the ingredients. Once it starts to boil, remove the foam and fat that starts to form on the top.
- Boil it on a low heat for five hours (or at least two hours, if you’re using a pressure cooker). If you’re not using a pressure cooker, add more water as and when you need to.
- Strain the stock and once it’s cooled, remove the fat layer from the surface.
- You now have homemade chicken stock.