Don't throw away those vegetable scraps! Use them to make this delicious vegetable broth that can be used in so many recipes. I also use it in lieu of oil when I saute.
In our house I refer to this a liquid gold. Making your own vegetable broth helps you control what goes into your body. Store-bought versions often have a ton of sodium and other unnecessary ingredients. This recipe gives use to vegetable scraps that you normally throw away (hopefully compost).
Save those scraps! They can save you money and give you several jars of delicious and healthy broth.
What to use in your broth:
The vegetable scraps that I use are mushroom stems, the tops and ends of carrots and celery, the ends and skins of onion and garlic, herbs stems, potato and sweet potato skins and pieces, ginger skins, and more.You can also use corn cobs. Just make sure all the corn is completely cut off.
You can use a whole variety of fresh herbs in your broth. Here are some of my recommended use and don't use.
Use: parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary (small amounts), cilantro (small amounts), oregano, basil, chives, and any other mild fresh herb.
Don't use: mint, dill, or any fresh herb that has a unique strong flavor that might alter the flavor of your broth. When in doubt - leave it out.
I do not recommend using crucif
erous vegetables as they can add an unpleasant flavor. Beets are also something I don't add as they can be a bit strong and also affect the color of your broth.
Make sure you are washing the whole vegetable and herb before you use it. This way the pieces you are using in your broth are also clean. I am not a fan of dirt in my broth...but you do you! Keep the scraps in a gallon size bag in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of broth.
I also add a sheet of kombu seaweed to mine. This is optional but it is a wonderful source of iodine and iron. It is full of vitamin and minerals and this is a great way to sneak them in.
3-4 cups vegetable scraps
1 sheet kombu (dried seaweed), optional
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, optional
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp peppercorns
2 dried or fresh bay leaves
1T miso paste, optional
Water - enough to fill the pot
Add everything except the miso paste into a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer on low slightly covered with a lid with enough of a space on one side for some steam to escape. I let mine go for about 2 hours but it could be ready in as soon as an hour. Once it is done let it cool. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve to catch all the smaller bits. If using the miso paste, stir it in now. Waiting until after it is cooked won't kill all the good fermented bacteria in the miso. Store in jars in the fridge or freezer. I keep mine in the freezer until I need it to. Any broth you store in the fridge will last for about a week.
The broth will keep in the freezer for a long time but honestly mine don't last more than 2-3 weeks so this process is a frequent one for me.
Notes: I usually end up with 4 to 5 quart size jars. It depends on how much vegetables you use and how big your pot is.
I don't like to add more than a teaspoon of salt as I like to be able to control how much salt goes into the recipe I am making with the broth.
Use this broth instead of oil to saute with. It adds flavor and limits the amount of oil you consume. Win win!
Don't buy broth that is full of sodium. Make your own and save money too! You are using food that you a;ready have and you get several quarts for little effort.
Have you made your own vegetable broth before? If so, what do you put in yours?