Monday, March 7, 2011

Home-made Veggie Broth

Good veggie broth can be expensive.  And then there is the packaging and distance it has traveled to consider.  There is an easy alternative - make your own!  It's simple to do, and incorporating this into your kitchen life style doesn't take a whole lot of effort.  Here's what I do to keep us stocked in veggie broth all year...

Every time I make anything with stock veggie I (read: patient hubby) picks up all the scraps and puts them into a large bag we keep in the freezer.  When the bag is full (or when 2 bags are full if I have other more pressing things to do), I dump the veggies into my second largest kettle (12 quarts) and fill it to the tippy top with water.  This cooks on the stove until I remember it's there a couple hours later.  If I'm feeling patient and thorough, I will mash up the veggies some and let it simmer for a little while longer.  If I'm too impatient, I skip that step.  When it has cooked long enough to look like vegetable broth, I strain it and put it into pint jars. 

Now, I have a pressure canner (one of the best home canning purchases I've ever made), so I pressure can mine so I can save precious freezer room.  But, if you don't have a pressure canner, you can freeze it in useful sized batches.

These are some of the veggies I regularly save for broth:
green onion tops
leek greens
tomato pieces
parsley stems

Other veggies that can be good in broth:
peppers (but not too many)
turnips (again, not too many)
mushrooms stems

You can spice it up with peppercorns and some bay leaves, if you'd like.  Usually, the ratio of veggies in my stock bag is pretty much spot on.  But, sometimes I have to cut up an extra carrot or celery stock to make it more well rounded.

Making your own stock is a great way to use up some of your food scraps before throwing them into the compost heap.  Aside from the energy you use to cook and can, it's a freebie.  Which is always good.

Do you make your own stock?

1 comment:

Zonnah said...

I do make my own chicken broth working on the veggie broth.