As part of my zero waste February I also decided to make an easy homemade vegetable broth. Making a homemade vegetable broth is simple, quick and a great addition to a zero waste lifestyle. My version of vegetable broth relies solely on vegetable scraps; by doing this you save money and use up vegetables that are still perfectly good, nutritious and delicious. Of course this way does take a little bit longer to prepare as you have to save up scraps but it is worth it in the long run.
Before we start though there are somethings which are important to note. DO NOT add cruciferous vegetables. That means no brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower. You also need to use clean vegetables in your homemade vegetable broth and avoid any moldy vegetable pieces.
What scraps should you collect? Onion, celery and carrots should make up your base. I also added zucchini peel, carrot peel and the ends, garlic skins, peppers and tomatoes. You can also add shallot peels, mushrooms and green onions or leeks. I keep a large freezer proof container in the freezer and throw my scraps in there. Once it is full it is ready for homemade vegetable broth.
Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth Recipe
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves crushed garlic
8 cups vegetable scraps
10 cups water
1 tbsp salt
2 sprigs thyme
4 bay leaves
6 pepper kernels
In a large stock pot heat the olive oil and then add in the crushed garlic and chopped onions. Allow the garlic to brown and the onions to sweat. Add in the vegetables and water bring to a simmer. Add in the salt, thyme, bay leaves and pepper kernels and simmer for 50 minutes.
Once done strain the broth through a sieve into heat proof containers. My recommendation is to do either one or two cup portions depending on your needs. Let cool and then freeze. Of course if you are comfortable with canning you can also can your broth. As you can see below I have reused jam and tomato jars. The leftover scraps from making the broth can then also be composted.
How can you use it? Use your homemade vegetable broth in soups, stews, risotto, rice etc for a wonderful flavour. Have you made this before? Let me know once you have tried.