I almost always use broth made from bones in order to get the most nutrition. But there may be times when you don't have bones available, or you want some vegetable broth for a meatless or Lenten meal. My friend and neighbor, Jeanne, just emailed me with this great kitchen tip:
Making Vegetable Broth
“Kelly, I am not sure if I ever shared this tip with you. I keep a large ziploc bag in my freezer. Into it I put vegetable scraps, carrot peels, onion skin, broccoli stems, celery hearts, ends of cucumbers, inside membranes of red, green peppers, etc. When the bag is full, I put it in a large pot and cover with water. I simmer for a few hours, and then strain. I then use my vegetable stock for making vegetable soup. Or making rice for stir fry or casseroles. I was just finishing up in the kitchen and added some scraps to the bag and I thought of you!”
Thanks for the great tip, Jeanne! I've also taken her idea and keep carrot, onion or celery scraps separate, too, and I toss those in with bones when making bone broth.
If you don't have the “broth bible” yet, you'll want to get this book!
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To expand on this idea… I do the same, except for using a slightly smaller than shoebox size Ziplock plastic box. Once the box is getting fairly full, I throw the veggie scraps and a chicken carcass into my 7 quart crockpot and fill it up with cold water, a generous splash of vinegar (preferably my home made chive blossom vinegar – which draws the calcium out of the bones) and some Italian seasoning, a few bay leaves and some black peppercorns (in a mesh tea strainer). I leave it running on low either all day while at work or overnight. Then I strain it through a jelly bag (or you could use a sieve lined with coffee filter or cheesecloth). My 7 quart crockpot of chicken broth usually makes just about 9 pints perfectly, which just happens to be one exact full load in my pressure canner. Each pint is of course equivalent to a 16 ounce can for cooking purposes.
That is a fabulous idea – thanks!
Thank you for this tip! I get frustrated about all the organic matter that ends up in the trash (I have a “garbage hound” who loves to follow us to any compost area). I save bread ends in the freezer for bread pudding; I never thought to apply the same idea for veggie ‘leavings’.