How to make vegetable broth with scraps to reduce food waste

Food waste is a major dilemma in today’s world, and throwing
out even vegetable scraps contributes to the problem. Not to
mention that throwing out unwanted food is also a huge waste of
money. Here’s one small way to do your part —make your own vegetable (or
meat) broths and stocks from scratch.

chopped garlic, carrots, tomato, celery, onion and bay leaf in a pot

It’s surprisingly easy to make broth and relies on bits and
pieces of veggies, meats and even
odds and ends like cheese rinds, all of which would otherwise be
thrown in the landfill. Plus, you’ll save money and create a much
more flavorful broth than you can find at the store. Each time, the
broth will taste slightly different, too, depending on the
combination of scraps you have on hand. Get ready to make
flavorful, comforting recipes with this tutorial on how to make
your own broth to reduce food waste.


Related: Your guide to preserving, storing and canning food

The first step is to find a large, freezer-safe container to
store your scraps until you build up enough to produce a rich
broth. Of course, much of the internet will say to throw it in
plastic resealable bag, but
here at Inhabitat, we strongly encourage finding a glass jar or
silicone resealable bag instead.

The hardest part of the process is remembering to save those
stems and peelings for the broth. If you are accustomed to tossing
unwanted bits, like pepper stems or onion skins, straight into the
garbage can or compost bin, it will
take a conscious effort to train your brain and hands to grab up
those scraps and throw them into the freezer container. The freezer
will preserve the scraps until you are ready to make a broth.

vegetables on a cutting board beside a knife and vegetable peeler

Another good candidate for your scrap container? Veggies that
are on their last leg at the end of the week. If you didn’t
finish those carrots and celery, chop them into smaller pieces, and
toss them in the freezer. Wilting
herbs
, cheese rinds and meat bones are also fair game,
depending on your dietary needs and what you have available.

After a few weeks (or less depending on how many people are in
your home!), you will be left with a full container packed with
flavorful bits and pieces. It’s time to get cooking! Break out a
stockpot and start
sauteing
 those frozen vegetable scraps with oil and salt. Cook
for just a few minutes before adding several cups of water (about
10 cups should do, but add more if you have more scraps and a
larger stockpot). Then, simmer away!

Simmer those scraps in water for 30 minutes to an hour; then be
sure to let it cool slightly. Don’t forget to taste the broth —
add more herbs, salt or even nutritional yeast if it needs a flavor
boost. Next, remove the vegetable bits for composting. Strain the
broth into another pot to make sure all of the scraps have been
removed. Once the broth has completely cooled, pour it into
airtight containers — glass jars work well — and
store in the freezer for up to a month.

brothy soup in a white and red bowl near fresh vegetables

Then, anytime you want to make an easy soup for dinner (we
recommend these vegan
slow cooker soup
 recipes) or even more complex, brothy meals,
you can grab your own flavorful, zero-waste broth as the base.

Images via
Monika Schröder
,
Hebi. B
, Rita
E.
and Snow Pea
& Bok Choi

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
How to make vegetable broth with scraps to reduce food
waste