How to turn scraps into vegetable broth

how to make vegetable broth

Zero waste and easy

Ok, it really sucks having to throw out scraps and leftover vegetables and we all feel that tingly sensation in our stomach when we are about to empty the carrot peels into the trash can. Especially after growing up in a household when a lot of this kind of food used to be fed to animal instead of thrown out, it feels extra bad when I am about to throw out those perfectly good peels.

For those of you, who share that feeling, there is a solution: Turning those peels into tasty vegetable broth!

vegan vegetable broth

My vegetable scraps will get bad because I don’t have that many!

I get that, that’s completely normal. That is why, you can still collect those scraps one by one as the time goes by. All you have to do is:

  1. Collect all (clean) scraps in a bag as time goes by and you peel things.
  2. Put that bag in the freezer so they don’t get bad.
  3. Use the scraps to turn them into a broth when you feel you have collected enough of them.

How do I make the vegetable broth?

What you need:

  • some vegetable scraps (you decide how many)
  • water
  • salt (optional)
  • spices (optional)
  • bay leaf (optional)

The steps are actually surprisingly simple and the only thing you need is to be staying at home that day so that you can let it cook for a while.

Steps:

  1. Add all the scraps you’ve collected to a huge stove pot and fill the pot with water just enough to cover the vegetable scraps 2.5 cm (or 1 inch) above the line.
  2. If you want you can add some spices to the broth, herbs or any other taste you like, but you can also leave it just as it is.
  3. Cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for around 3 (minimum) to 5 hours on medium heat.
  4. Watch out for water evaporating and if it does, just add a bit extra to it.
  5. When it is done, you need to strain the scraps out of your watery mixture and put in jars (or whatever container you’d like to use). You can also add some salt to the mixture if you want, but it is optional.
  6. You can store for up to a week in the fridge or freeze in the freezer and use for a bit longer than 2 months (I recommend a maximum of 2 months, but I think a bit longer also works).

Why are store bought vegetable broths not so great?

vegan vegetable broth

Store bought vegetable broth (especially the cheaper ones) are usually quite high in sodium. If you have to buy vegetable broth, it is best to look for those labeled “low on sodium”. Eating too much sodium in a day can be particularly damaging to those who have high blood pressure or other types of heart disease.

You can check out some of the best store bought vegetable broths here.

Can you drink vegetable broth?

If the broth is homemade, there should be no risk of drinking it (but is it tasty to drink broth alone?). However, if you are using a store-bought broth, you have to watch out for the sodium. In any case, I kind of don’t see why you would drink broth in the first place, but if you like it, go ahead!

Watch out for strong veggies!

Some foods may be a bit strong for making broth and your broth may turn out with a bit of a bitter taste. Foods in the Brassica family, such as broccoli, are a good example of what NOT to put when making vegetable stock. However, small amounts shouldn’t be a problem and your stock should taste just fine.

What vegetables work well for stock?

There are so many options – basically anything you can think of, probably will work well for your stock. Squash, zucchini, most greens, fennel, lettuce, green beans, pea pods, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, asparagus, dill, thyme, parsley, cilantro, basil and even cucumber peels.

Want to make more homemade alternatives to store bought items? Try making a homemade oat milk next time you’re looking for something to add to your cereal or coffee.

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