Wanna save money and reduce waste with homemade broth? Read on to learn how to make vegetable stock from scraps!
During lockdown, I posted a tutorial on Instagram for how I make vegetable stock from frozen scraps. In social media speak, it got “a ton of engagement” – i.e. lots of people expressed their excitement to try the savvy technique. Seeing how popular this simple idea was, I figured I’d share a guide here, too.
What is Vegetable Scrap Broth
The idea here is to save various veggie peels and ends (like onion skins, carrot peels, celery tops, etc.) and freeze them until you have enough to make broth. Then you simply simmer the scraps in water, strain them out, and bam: vegetable broth.
The point of using scraps instead of whole vegetables is to save full veg for scenarios where you’ll actually eat them – versus boiling the heck out of them and just tossing them in the trash.
Why Make Vegetable Stock From Scraps
There are many benefits to adopting this technique in your kitchen…
- Saving money. Broth is mostly water, so when you buy it at the store, you’re mostly paying for the packaging.
- Reducing food waste. This technique repurposes scraps that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Reducing waste-waste. Less packaging to deal with keeps excess cartons out of landfills and oceans.
- It’s healthier. Homemade stock is better for you because it has less sodium and you can control the quality of vegetables you use. (A lot of store-bought broths are made from vegetable concentrates and contain preservatives.)
How to Save Scraps
Whenever I’m preparing a veg-heavy dish (like a soup or stir-fry), I keep an empty quart container near my cutting board, so if I have some scraps that fit the bill, I can save them right then and there. I keep the container in the freezer and add to it whenever I have scraps, until I have enough to make a pot of stock. (You can also use use a freezer zip-top bag.) You can keep frozen vegetable scraps for up to 6 months.
What Vegetables to Use for Scrap Broth
Not all vegetables are created equal as far as scrap broth is concerned. Only use vegetables whose flavor you’d typically want expressed in broth, like…
- Onion skins (yes, even the papery bits!)
- Carrot peels
- Celery tops
- Sweet potato skins
- Parsnip skins
- Leek greens
- Mushroom stems
- Fennel tops
- Herb stems (like parsley, cilantro, dill, etc.)
What Vegetables Not to Use in Scrap Broth
Avoid cruciferous veg – like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale stems – which can give broth a sulfuric taste. White potato peels should be avoided, too, as they will make your broth cloudy. Leave out other nightshades, too – like eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers. Beet skins are too earthy and will color the broth red. Don’t include lettuces, since they won’t contribute any flavor.
The only extra thing I add is salt, which draws flavor out of the veggie scraps. You can also dabble with additional flavors like whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, and peppercorns.
How to Use Scrap Veggie Stock
Vegetable scrap broth is ideal for soups, stews, and risotto, and for cooking lentils, beans, and whole grains. You can keep the broth in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze it immediately for up to 3 months.
More vegetable goodness this way…
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag @thenewbaguette on Instagram with your creation.Print
Making vegetable stock from scraps is a great way to reduce food waste, save money, and keep excess cartons out of landfills. Plus, it’s incredibly easy!
- About 1 quart (4 cups) frozen vegetable scraps* (see note below)
- 2 quarts (8 cups) water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine the scraps, water, and salt in a medium pot. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently with the lid ajar for 1 1/2 hours.
- Strain into another pot or a large bowl, and discard the vegetables. Divide the broth among lidded containers and cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, store in the fridge and use within 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- My go-to scraps are: onion skins, carrot peels, celery tops, sweet potato skins, parsnip skins, leek greens, mushroom stems, fennel tops, herb stems (like parsley, cilantro, dill, etc.).
- Freeze scraps in a takeout-style quart container or freezer zip-top bag. Frozen scraps can be kept for up to 6 months.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 10
Keywords: vegetable, scraps, broth, stock, vegan