Use the stovetop and slow cooker to turn vegetable scraps into a flavorful homemade vegetable broth. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious!
Not only does this practice reduce kitchen waste, but it also creates a delicious base for soups, stews, and sauces. Vegetable broth is a staple in many households as it not only elevates the taste of dishes but using scraps is a cheaper alternative. In this article, we'll explore how to make vegetable broth using kitchen scraps easily at home using the stovetop or the slow cooker.
What vegetables should I use for my broth?
Vegetable broth is excellent for old limp vegetables that have been sitting in your refrigerator way too long, just make sure they don't have any mold on them. When choosing scraps for your broth keep in mind the predominate flavors of vegetable broth. Use a good mix of the three following vegetables. If you don't have enough of a particular one, you can always add fresh veggies.
- Onion ends and skins (don’t use too much of the dark outer papery skin this will make your broth much darker).
- Celery root end, trimmings, and leaves
- Carrot ends and peels
More options: A variety of other vegetables, herbs, and spices can be used, but here are few suggestions.
- Leek ends
- Parsnip trimmings
- Mushrooms stems
- Bell pepper stems and cores
- Leftover bits from using a garlic press
- The stems from cilantro and parsley
- Bay leaves (just use 1 to add a little more flavor)
- Whole black peppercorns
What vegetables should I not use?
Not just any vegetable should be used, some will make the broth bitter or turn it red (beets). Though not a vegetable, but just a heads up that citrus peels will also make the broth bitter.
- Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts.
- Don’t add too many woody herbs
Vegetable broth is a flavorful and nutritious base for many recipes, from soups to stews to sauces. And the best part? You can make it using vegetable scraps that you would normally throw away! Here's how:
- Collect your scraps: Whenever you're cooking with vegetables, save the odds and ends that you would usually discard. This includes things like onion skins, carrot tops and peels, celery leaves and ends, herb stems, mushroom stems, and more.
- Store them in the freezer: Collect enough scraps (about 6-8 cups), and store them in a container or bag in the freezer until you're ready to make broth.
- Stovetop method: To make vegetable broth using scraps, simply place them in a large pot with enough water to cover them and some of the veggies should start to float. Bring to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer covered for about 1-2 hours. Keep it covered to not evaporate too much water.
- Slow cooker method: Add the scraps to the pot, and cover with water, and some of the scraps should start to float. Cook on high for 4 hours or 8 hours on low. Let it cool some before you handling.
- Strain out solids: Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain out all of the solids from the broth. I place a strainer over a large pot or bowl. Press the vegetables to get more liquid out but not too much because you don’t want the vegetables to go through the strainer.
- Then discard the vegetables or add them to your compost. I portion the broth out by ladling it into a glass measuring cup with a spout. Then disperse it into freezer-safe wide-mouth jars. If you're freezing the broth leave roughly 2 inches of room from the top to account for expansion in the freezer. Label, let it cool, and freeze!
- Season as desired: At this point, your vegetable broth is ready to use! You can season it with salt or leave it as is and season it to taste when using it in a recipe. If you add salt before the cooking process, be cautious of any liquid evaporation.
Uses for vegetable broth
Of course, it's great for soups, but it is also great for making: rice, rice casseroles, risotto, gravy, and helping to sauté vegetables in a pan without oil. Try it in white bean and potato soup, plant-based quinoa chili, vegan red lentil chili, or curry butternut squash chickpea soup. It can be used in a variety of recipes instead of water to give it some extra flavor.
The homemade vegetable broth will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 1 week. For longer storage freeze in freezer-safe jars for about 3 months. If you’re freezing the broth leave roughly 2 inches of room from the top to account for expansion in the freezer.
Not only is making vegetable broth from scraps eco-friendly (since you're reducing food waste), but it also saves money since you don't have to buy pre-made broth at the store. Plus, homemade broths are often healthier since they contain fewer preservatives and additives than broths you’d find at the store.Print
Use the stovetop and slow cooker to turn vegetable scraps into a flavorful homemade vegetable broth. It’s cheap, easy, and delicious.
- 1-gallon size bag full of vegetable scraps (onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, mushrooms)
- Enough water to cover the vegetables, they should start to float
- Collect your scraps: Whenever you're cooking with vegetables, save the odds and ends that you would usually discard. This includes things like onion skins, carrot tops and peels, celery leaves and ends, garlic cloves, herb stems, mushroom stems, and more. Store them in the freezer in a gallon-size freezer-safe bag until ready to use.
- Stovetop: Add the vegetables to a pot and cover with enough water, some of the vegetables should start to float and be able to stir freely. Bring to a boil, lower to a gentle simmer, and cook covered for 1 hour (up to 2 hours).
- Slow cooker: Add the vegetables to a pot and cover with enough water, some of the vegetables should start to float. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
- Let it cool before handling.
- Strain: Use a fine mesh strainer and a large pot or bowl to drain the vegetables and catch the broth. Discard the scraps.
- Measure out the vegetable broth into containers.
- Store in the refrigerator or freeze to use later.
This is salt-free, you can add salt during the cooking process, after, or as needed when using it in a recipe. If you add salt before the cooking process, be cautious of any liquid evaporation.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Soup
- Method: stovetop, slow cooker
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: How to make vegetable broth from kitchen scraps, how to make vegetable broth in a slow cooker, money saving vegetable broth