Veggie Broth Kitchen Hack

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Ever wonder what you can do with all of those carrot peels and other veggie odds and ends (other than composting)?

Guess what?

You can make a pretty decent veggie broth with them.  And the best part?  It’s almost completely free.  There’s no need to use some perfectly good veggies to make a pot of broth and toss them out afterwards.

This is pretty much a non-recipe, so experiment away!  Less water to more scraps will give you stronger broth; more water will yield a thinner broth.  And there are also many different ways to season it. You could try lemon grass, hot pepper, thyme, rosemary, oregano, or any combination!

Here’s How:

What you need:

  • 1 gallon freezer bag of scraps
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  •  fresh herbs (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 large pot
  • 12-13 cups of water
  • strainer

Step 1: Save

Save your clean, non-moldy veggie scraps in a 1 gallon ziplock bag.  Keep the bag of odds and ends in the freezer.

Having a base of 2 parts onion/shallot scraps to 1 part carrot and 1 part celery is a good starting point.  Carrots, celery, onions, and garlic are almost always used for a good stock.

    • Things to save for broth:
      • Onion, shallot and garlic peels and ends
      • leeks
      • sweet pepper scraps
      • carrot, parsnip peel and ends
      • celery ends, leaves, stalks
      • carrot tops
      • mushroom stems
      • herb stems and trimmings
      • left over hot pepper bits (if you like some heat)
      • fennel
    • Things to not put in
      • brassicas- they’ll make your broth bitter (although you’d probably get away with a small amount)
        • that’s veggies like cauliflower, kale, broccoli, radishes, bok-choi, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage and rutabaga
      • vegetables that are actually fruits- they often have a higher sugar content and could cause your broth to spoil faster.
        • examples would be tomatoes, and cucumbers
      • potatoes- unless you don’t mind cloudy broth
      • anything that is dirty, moldy or otherwise spoilt.

Step 2: Season

Get yourself a large pot.  Add clean, filtered water, then toss in your frozen veggie scraps.  About 12-13 cups of water to 1 full gallon bag of veggie scraps is a good ratio.

Toss in some fresh or dried herbs for flavouring (try fresh parsely and thyme, or 1 or 2 bay leaves,  1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp whole peppercorns). 

If you don’t have many onion,celery, or carrot scraps, you may want to augment your scraps with some chopped onion, celery, or carrot- just to get that 2:1:1 ratio.

Step 3: Simmer

Bring the whole mixture to a boil, then allow to simmer for 1 hour.  Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool.

Step 4: Strain

Strain out all of your scraps.  Use a fine mesh strainer or a cheese cloth.

Step 5: Freeze

For small, easy to use portions- pour the broth into ice cube trays, then freeze.  You could also use yogurt dishes and sturdy zip-lock bags for larger portions.

Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or 3 months in the freezer

That’s it!  You can use this broth for any recipe that calls for vegetable broth. Here are some other uses:

  • cook your quinoa or pasta in it
  • use it to thin out sauces
  • add it to soups

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