Making your own broth is a big trend right now, particularly bone broth. Preparing vegetable broth can be just as easy, if not simpler! This simple recipe for homemade vegetable broth is lower in sodium than most store-bought broths, has no animal fat or added sugars, and carries some vitamins and minerals from the produce or herbs that you use.
Making vegetable broth is flexible, and is a great way to use up odds and ends of vegetables. Don't have time to cook today? Start by starting a freezer bag with leftovers from vegetable prep, such as onion ends, leftover herbs, carrot peels, broccoli stems, kale stems, squash skins, mushroom stems, celery ends, or any veggie or herb scraps you have.
Easy DIY Vegetable Broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 freezer bag full of veggie scraps
- 12 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional. (½ teaspoon contains 1150 mg of sodium, however this will be divided among all servings.)
- Over time, collect vegetable scraps while you chop and prepare meals. Add herbs or vegetables to the bag if they look like they will go bad soon. Store this bag in the freezer. When the bag is almost full, it's time to make broth!
- Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
- Place all vegetable scraps, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt in the pot.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes.
- Use a colander over a large bowl or a different pot to strain the vegetable scraps. Discard the scraps. (I recommend disposing of them in the outside trash immediately so the smell does not build inside your kitchen).
- Use your broth for a recipe today, or store them in plastic containers in the freezer.
Broth can also be used in soups, stuffings, gravys, rice or quinoa, or sauces.
Don't forget to eat healthy (most of the time)…and live deliciously!!
By Monica Duffy, RD, CD
Registered Dietitian, Franciscan Health Lafayette East