Virtually Free Vegetable Broth!
I make broth often. I love having it on
hand for easy and delicious tasting soups and other recipes. I typically make
chicken broth or
beef broth. My daughter Leanne was in charge of the cooking one night and asked if I had any vegetable broth. I told her no I did not and that got me thinking how easy veggie broth would be to make. What I did not think about right at that moment was how economical it is to make as well.
You can have several cups of vegetable broth sitting in your freezer waiting for the moment you have a recipe that calls for a can of broth for virtually free. I say virtually because, well, you do have to buy the veggies to begin with, but let me show you how it is practically free.
What do you do with your vegetable scraps? You know, the carrot peelings, the ends off the celery, the onion skins, the tomato cores, the outer layer off the cabbage and so forth. Well in my house they either get fed to the goats or they go in the compost pile. Now I have another use for themÖ save them for veggie broth!
I start by keeping a large, gallon size zip lock bag in my freezer. Each time I have vegetable scraps I add them to the bag. When the bag is stuffed with scraps it was time to make broth. You can save more than this if you have a larger size stock pot, mine is 14 quart and I usually aim for about 2 gallon bags of scraps. If you do a lot of cooking it is amazing how quickly the bags will fill up.
You can also add more vegetables to this than just the scraps. Veggie broth is a great use for limp and tired looking veggies that are hiding out in your fridge. Also you can buy veggies just for this purpose. You could buy a few mushrooms, some extra carrots, celery, and garlic, etc. Mushrooms are a nice addition because they tend to make the broth a little darker in color and garlic adds nice flavor. You can also add fresh herbs if you have some, be careful not add to many herbs as they can over power the taste.
When it is time to make broth take a large stock pot (mine is 14 quart but you can use 8 quart and halve the amounts) and add your frozen veggie scraps. Now add water. With two gallon bags of frozen veggie scraps I added about a gallon and a half (24 cups) of water and a tablespoon of salt.
Bring this mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Let it simmer for 4 to 6 hours. If you let it cook too long the broth can be come bitter.
When the broth is done let it cool, strain out the veggies (canít be used for the compost pile at this point but the goats might still enjoy them! :), and put the broth in freezer containers, label, date and freeze. I freeze mine in 4 cup amounts because that works best for my family. If you freeze 2 cups in each container that would be equal to a can of broth in a recipe.
As I mentioned above you can sub this veggie broth in any recipe for calling for a can of broth. You can also use this broth in place of the chicken or beef broth that I call for in my Freezer Cooking with Meal Starters eBook. The flavor of veggie broth is more mild than the chicken or beef broth but will still work as a substitution.
Canít beat the frugalness of getting the every bit of value out of your produce!!!! It is good for the budget and good for your health!
~Picture courtesy of my creative daughter, Sierra Beth!~
The Homestead Kitchen
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