food prep: veggie broth

Planning ahead…

I use a lot of vegetable broth in my cooking.   Have you looked at the ingredients on a box of this stuff??? I tend to buy natural, but even so, there are a lot of ingredients I just cannot pronounce, and if I cannot pronounce them, then  I do not want them in our bodies.

Nothing beats the convenience, though, of pulling out a box of stock from the pantry.   But some recipes take 6 cups of stock, others only 1…and boxes do take up space that could be used to store more beans and grains…..and vegan chocolate chips.

I always want room for more chocolate chips . . . .

Uses for veggie broth

How about….soups…stews…chili… rice…..  a great way to add a little flavor and nutrition…without the chemicals, oil, salt, and sugar.

Methods

Making fresh vegetable broth is easy to do. You can make it on a stovetop in an hour or let it slowly cook overnight in your slow cooker.

You can use vegetable scraps or purchase vegetables or do both. I keep a gallon size ziplock in the freezer and add peelings, tops, veggie parts. When the bag is full,  I make stock. Anything wilted goes straight to the freezer bag.

If I need more stock before that is full, then I simply use fresh veggies I already have.

Homemade vegetable broth

1 to 2 onions                                           1 bay leaf
2 to 3 carrots                                           1 small bunch parsley
3 to 4 celery stalks                                  1 tsp whole peppercorns
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme

Optional Extras: leeks (especially the green parts), fennel, tomatoes, mushrooms, mushroom stems, parsnips….

1. Gather Some Vegetables and Herbs: Onions, carrots, and celery give stock a great base flavor, and you can round these out with any of the other vegetables listed above. You can also make stock using any amount of vegetables that you happen to have on-hand, but it’s good to have a roughly equal portion of each so the resulting stock will have a balanced flavor.  I tend to always have onions, carrots,  and celery….. and love to add in a bay leaf, basil, thyme, dill…whatever I have on hand.

2. Roughly Chop All The Vegetables: Wash any visible dirt off the vegetables and give them a rough chop. You don’t even need to peel them first unless you really want to. Throw all the vegetables in a pot big enough to hold them plus a few extra inches of water.

3. Cover with Water and Simmer: Cover the vegetables with enough water that you can easily stir them in the pot. Less water means that your stock will be more concentrated; more water makes a lighter-flavored stock. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to just under a boil. Once you start to see some bubbling around the edges of the pot and a few wisps of steam on the surface, turn the heat down to medium-low.

4. Cook for One Hour or So: This isn’t an exact science, but one hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with vegetable goodness. If you need to take it off the heat a little early or don’t get to it until a little later, it will be fine. Give it a stir every now and again to circulate the vegetables.

5. Strain and Store: Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Set your strainer over a big bowl and line it with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Pour the stock through. Divide the stock into storage containers, then freeze. I tend to freeze in 1 cup containers.

Want to try a slow cooker?

Then put everything in your slow cooker before bed….add water…and cook on low.  In the morning, strain and freeze…..or use in a recipe!

The more we cook the more comfortable I am with plant-based eating.   We feel healthier and more energized.

I recently co-led a clean-eating group on Facebook, and it occurred to me, that one cannot eat more clean than vegan!

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Author: mduggan10

I have lived in a Victorian-era house, spent several years living on a boat, and now live at the top of a mountain. Throughout his all, I have been a coffee snob, a whole foods snob, and an instructional designer.

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