Make Your Own Veggie Broth–For FREE!

What do you do with all the scraps and peelings from your vegetable prep? Trash bin? Compost pile?MP900177958[1]

What I am going to propose today is nothing new or earth-shattering, but it is a great use of those veggie scraps, and will result in free veggie broth.

You can use all your cast-aways to make your own vegetable broth. It’s easy to do and fast – can’t really argue with that. With Thanksgiving this week, here is a quick way to get that broth you probably need for more than a few recipes.

Truth be told, I do sometimes buy store bought veggie broth, as my usage can exceed my ability to store enough scraps to make my own. But, I always have a freezer bag of zucchini ends, potato peels, bell pepper tops and more just waiting to be filled up and turned from trash to treasure.

Make Your Own Veggie Broth in Three Simple Steps

1. Collect your cuttings, peelings, and otherwise cast-aside vegetable scraps and store them in a one gallon zip-top bag in the freezer. I put pretty much anything that I would eat in this bag of goodness, from onions to winter squash peels to carrots and any fresh herbs or greens that are turning the corner on freshness. I really don’t have a “recipe” for this – I add to it daily and the net result is just whatever I have stored up. You don’t want to put anything that has turned bad in here – that is not a good idea! Wilted and limp is fine, but anything that is rotten is a no! Once you have a full bag, you are good to go.

2. Add about eight (8) cups of water to a stock pot – I usually just eyeball this – along with one full gallon-sized bag of veggie scraps and bring to a boil on the stovetop. You could throw in a pinch of salt here, too, if you so desire. Once this brew is boiling, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. Unlike with chicken broth, there is really no advantage to letting it simmer longer. 20-30 minutes will get’er done.

Looks pretty gross, but the end result is worth it!


3. Strain out all the scraps to reveal your homemade broth. I usually do a double strain. First, I use a colander to get out the large chunks.


Then, I repeat with a mesh sieve to remove all the finer particles.


And that’s it! This is mostly a passive project, and, once you’ve cooked your scrap collection, it can go into that compost bin!


Storage Notes

  • Refrigerator: I usually store an on-hand amount in the refrigerator in one of those “Blender Bottles.” This is nice because it has measurements on the side to know how much you’re using, and the top is set up to allow for easy pouring.
  • Freezer: This freezes really well. I usually put 4 cup portions away in the freezer, being sure to leave at least 1/2 air gap in the container to allow for expansion when the liquid freezes. Pull it out of the freezer two days before you want to use it and it’ll be thawed and ready to go.

Veggie broth has a million (okay, maybe not a million) uses, from soup bases, to making risotto and rice, to seasoning stir-fry dishes. I hope you’ll be inspired to make your own veggie broth. Thanks for reading!

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