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This homemade vegetable broth from vegetable scraps is not only a cost-effective option but also “Less Waste” (more on that shortly). Plus, you know exactly what’s in your vegetable broth. Low in salt? Fat-free? Without sugar? All of these can be easily done with this vegetable broth. And honestly, I think we all like to know what’s in our food! By the way, the broth is super easy and cooked without much effort and keeps airtight in the fridge for a few days without any problems. Well, have I convinced you? Then let’s get started right away!
Home-cooked vegetable broth from vegetable scraps
Just as I sit here typing these lines, an icy breeze blows outside, the frost settles and if you even dare to stick your head out of the window for a moment, your nose becomes an icicle within a few minutes. In other words, it’s *** cold! So here I sit next to my steaming cup of tea and actually wouldn’t mind a hot hearty vegetable bouillon with “sliced pancakes aka Flädle”. Bouillon is, by the way, the Swiss term for broth. It tastes best when home-cooked, like everything else. That may be the reason, why I cook broth myself, you may ask?
Nope, here`s where I have to disappoint you!
Clearly another plus, the so-called icing on the cake, but not the main reason. Okay, actually there are even two!
So every week I stood in front of an overflowing compost bin and asked myself, do I really have to throw away all these vegetable scraps? Couldn’t they still serve a last rearing purpose in the kitchen? You have to be able to use them for something right? An Internet search and 10 sustainability articles later… The vegetable broth it should be.
The second reason may sound familiar to you. You are standing in front of the supermarket shelf. Tens of brands of broth with their bright colors jump into your eye. With difficulty, you read through the ingredients… Maltodextrin, flavorings, sugar, palm fat, coloring, preservatives, and suspicious e-substances, none of which you are familiar with anyway. Frustrated, you give up after the third package. Actually, you just want simple vegetable broth made from vegetables! Without such fancy-schmancy stuff!
And if the first point hasn’t convinced you already, I’m sure the second one will. Because don’t we all like to know what we allow into our bodies.
Broth from vegetable waste
I need a little overcoming when I type the word vegetable waste here. Somehow the word waste has something disgusting, dirty attached to it. But in the case of vegetable waste, the term is wrongly off-putting. From high-quality vegetables and their waste, you can still get out so much good.
So today we actually cook a broth from vegetable waste that would actually end up on the compost. Far too bad! Why not first coax the very last drop of flavor out of the vegetable waste. Plus, you’re also casually acting as a Less Wastler and Food Waste avoider. Ok, strictly speaking, the leftover vegetables end up on the compost after cooking, where they are waste by definition. But at least you’ve used your vegetables to the maximum.
How to make vegan vegetable broth from vegetable scraps
Special skills are actually not required for the preparation of this broth. What you should bring along, however, is a pinch of patience. After all, you probably won’t accumulate a mountain of leftover vegetables overnight. Unless you’re cooking for a large family.
Pretty sure you’ll also have to experiment a bit with vegetables to find out what you like and don’t like.
However, the principle is and always remains constantly the same:
- You collect all of your leftover vegetables and other vegetable scraps (=everything you don’t use for cooking).
- You put these leftovers in a freezer bag, a Tupperware, or whatever you use for freezing.
- You put the whole thing in your freezer. When the container is full, cook the broth according to the recipe noted below.
I always use freezer bags of 1l and fill two of them before I cook the broth.
As I said, you have to find out for yourself which vegetables you like. However, I’m happy to share my recommendations with you.
These leftover vegetables belong in a homemade broth:
- Carrots: peel, stalk & green (if available)
- Leek: stalk & green
- Onion: stalk & peel (adding onion peel will darken the broth, if that bothers you, leave it out)
- Garlic: peel
- Celeriac: peel & stalk
- Celery: stalk & green
- Parsley root: peel & stalk
- parsnip: peel & stalk
- any herbs: stalk (possibly no coriander, tarragon, dill because very intense aroma)
- pumpkin: peel
- mushrooms: stalks
- rutabaga: peel & stalk
- Tomatoes (please no stalks)
- Peppers (but beware of the relatively intense aroma, not everyone likes it)
It is very important that the vegetable scraps are of organic quality. Especially in the peel pesticides are deposited and you do not want them in your broth. Therefore, always buy organic or Demeter quality! And of course, it’s the mix that makes it. So don’t expect a taste explosion if you only cook two vegetables into broth. Really try to mix several of the above-mentioned varieties.
And if it’s not already clear anyway: don’t use leftover vegetables that have mold spots or are otherwise no longer good in any way.
These leftover vegetables do not belong in a homemade broth:
- Potato peel (tastes really disgusting and penetrating)
- Jerusalem artichoke peel (tastes too strong)
- Cabbage (here the spirits argue, I personally like it and it does not bother me that the broth tastes a little bit like cabbage. However, the majority of people do not like it).
- Onion: peel (in case you don’t like the dark color of the broth).
- asparagus (very intense aroma, I personally like it)
- beet (because of the color, I personally don’t like the taste either)
These ingredients will enhance your homemade vegetable broth:
- Mushrooms / dried mushrooms: Mushrooms have a delicious umami flavor and it is highly recommended to add 1-2 mushrooms, e.g. in dried form, to your broth.
- Garlic: 1-2 whole cloves of garlic should not be missing in the broth.
- Fresh herbs (esp. parsley, lovage, rosemary & thyme): add a few stalks of fresh herbs to your broth for a delicious aroma. Juniper berries or bay leaves can also be delicious depending on your taste.
- Salt & pepper: This is not a must, but for me personally indispensable.
- Oil: I fry the scraps briefly in a little oil before boiling to achieve a more intense roasted flavor. Is not mandatory, but from my point of view much tastier.
Less Waste Tips Vegetable Broth
Actually, you are already completely Less Waste with the recipe. But there is one tip:
- buy the vegetables unpacked at the weekly market. Then you are Less Waste from A – Z.
Alternatives to the products used
As I said, with this recipe you have to try out what you personally like. From my point of view, however, a mixture of different vegetable scraps is absolutely necessary. This way you get a full package of flavors in your broth. The fewer vegetables you choose, the greater the risk that you will end up with an indefinable liquid that tastes like nothing.
I personally like asparagus or cabbage notes very much, others do rather less. To begin with, I would therefore recommend that you freeze the varieties mentioned above as critical (cabbage, asparagus, beet, peppers) in a separate container. The tasty aromatics you have them all together. Then you can make a smaller batch the first time with only the guaranteed-tasting vegetables and a second batch with the ingredients that take a little getting used to mixed with the tasty ones.
That way you’ll quickly realize what’s your thing and what’s not.
Only, please keep your hands off potatoes! I still have a trauma from it.
Meal Prep Tips
Actually, this section is superfluous. Because homemade vegetable broth is a Meal Prep recipe par excellence. After all, you have to prepare it in advance, don`t you?
As a quick thinker, I’m sure you noticed something, how do you manage the following issue; it takes time to collect vegetable waste, but I need vegetable broth now or the bag is full, respectively the vegetable broth is cooked and I don’t need that much broth or any broth at all?
The following procedure is highly recommended: collect your vegetable waste in peace. As said, 2 bags of 1-liter volume are perfect. In the beginning, maybe 3 bags to keep the critical vegetables separately. Until you have enough, keep using stock cubes or powder. When you finally collect enough leftover vegetables, cook your broth, especially if you have another dish planned that week that needs broth.
If not, or if there is broth leftover, you freeze it as ice cubes and put it in a container. Then you’ll always have vegetable broth handy in the freezer.
Fresh, the broth can be kept only 3-4 days well sealed in the refrigerator.
Why you should try this homemade vegetable broth made from vegetable scraps:
- prepared only from vegetable scraps
- less waste
- easy to prepare
- prepared without active time
- oil-free (if you like just leave out oil)
- low in salt (if you like just leave out salt)
- made from purely natural ingredients
- without other additives and preservatives
More basics to make at home:
- vegan yogurt
- oat milk and cream
- almond milk
- pizza sauce
- turmeric latte spice blend
- vegan whipped cream
If you are trying this vegetable broth made from vegetable scraps, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.
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Vegetable Broth made from Vegetable Scraps
- 2 bags vegetable scraps* organic
- 1 garlic cloves organic
- 1 bunch fresh herbs mixed* organic
- 2 dried porcini mushrooms organic
- 2 tbsp olive oil organic
- 2 l water
- 1 tsp salt organic
- black pepper organic, to taste
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add vegetable scraps and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Deglaze with water. Add herbs, garlic clove and porcini mushrooms, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
- Drain broth through a fine sieve and collect. If you like, you can also filter through a gauze or cotton cloth. Discard leftover vegetables in compost.
- Pour broth back into pan and boil down to desired consistency & amount.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper and other spices depending on preferences.
- Pour broth into sealable jars & store in refrigerator. Alternatively, freeze as ice cubes.