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How to Make Vegetable Broth with Food Scraps in Minutes

Did you know you can make delicious vegetable broth with the food scraps you were going to throw away? Here's how.

Written by
Kylie Fuller
Published

From soups to casseroles, most holiday recipes call for vegetable broth—it's a true kitchen staple. However, you don't need to stockpile store-bought broth anymore. Now, you can get all the broth you need for free using your old vegetable scraps.

Not only is making your own stock a great way to save money, but it's also a practical and easy method to reduce food waste. In 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency found more food ended up in U.S. landfills than any other waste. And even worse, the U.S. discards more food than any other country in the world. While the world wastes about 1.4 billion tons of food every year, the U.S. discards nearly 40 million tons per year.

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One way food waste is created is simply from buying too much or letting food expire. Instead of buying more groceries than you need, try buying less to decrease the amount of food waste you produce. But overbuying isn't the only way we create food waste. We also throw away food scraps that might seem unusable. Just think about how many scraps are left after peeling carrots or chopping onions.

Instead of throwing out those vegetable peels, why not use them to make your own vegetable broth? Here, we'll walk you through the super simple process of making stock with food destined for the trash.

How to Make Your Own Vegetable Broth

Making your own vegetable broth with food scraps is easier than you think! All it takes is some vegetable scraps, a large pot, and some optional fresh herbs. In three simple steps, you'll have more than enough broth to get you through the holiday season.

1. Collect Your Veggie Scraps

Step one is the easiest, but it takes the most time, depending on how many scraps you have. First, collect your vegetable scraps. Everything from leftover celery stocks to mushroom ends can be used! To save them, store them in the freezer in reusable containers or even hard-to-recycle plastics like condiment jars.

The only scraps you might want to avoid are vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts because they can make your stock bitter. Instead, stick to composting your leftover scraps, like broccoli heads, stalks, and leaves.

2. Simmer Your Scraps

Once you've collected enough scraps to make your broth, dump them into a large pot. Aim to fill about one-third of your pot, but as long as your veggies can be fully submerged, the volume doesn't matter too much.

After submerging your veggies in warm water, you can add any herbs or spices you want to create a richer broth. Bring your mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer uncovered for one hour.

3. Strain, Store, and Use Your Scraps

Lastly, strain your scraps out of the broth. You'll have some scraps that are ready for composting and plenty of fresh, rich veggie broth that's ready for cooking! Save whatever you're not using immediately by putting it in the freezer. Once you're ready to use it, simply defrost it.