If you’re like me, you can’t stand to throw out anything…and I mean anything. It’s the Dutch girl in me! So, when a friend shared with me how her and her husband collect “about to expire” vegetables and make their own broth, I was inspired. I always thought making vegetable broth would be too much work but it’s not. My friend told me they have a bag dedicated in the freezer for the vegetables and when they have a ample supply, they make broth. Nifty, right? Even though I rarely have vegetables that go bad (THANK YOU Blueapple!), I always have scraps—things like asparagus stalks, parsley stems, pepper tops, cucumber peels and squash skins.
Although vegetable choices are pretty limitless, I usually use celery, carrots, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, onion and even wilted salad greens. I skip (or limit) the vegetables I eat from the brassica family, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. I’ve added a little broccoli spears and kale before and although it worked up just fine, I’d keep it to a minimum because it makes the broth more bitter.
I try not to make a big fuss when cooking my broth. Although you can add salt, pepper or other seasonings while cooking, I usually don’t. I typically add my seasonings when putting my recipes together and it’s just another step for me during the broth making process. I’ve added a bay leaf before while it simmered, but didn’t really notice a big enough difference in the taste.
A simple method: Throw scraps in a pan of cold water and simmer on on medium for about 30-60 minutes. Don’t bring to a full boil in order to preserve more nutrients. Let the broth cool on the stovetop and then use a metal strainer to separate the broth from the vegetables. If I’m not using the broth right away, I freeze it. Simple as that. And cheap 🙂