How to Score Free Broth for Life

I suppose this could be about money. Sure, it’s a way to stretch your food dollars which, for me, was why I started doing this years and years ago. Today, I still like saving money, but it’s more than that. 

It’s about not being wasteful. It’s about feeling connected to my ancestors. This is how everyone used to live. It’s simpler times, and somewhere in my heart, I find a lot of peace in living like this.

So, here it is: 

Save the veggies scraps. Things you normally would have tossed. The onion ends. The stringier celery. The squash seeds. The leftover pieces you put back in the fridge, pretending you’ll use it later. We both know they’ll end up in compost or the trash, so admit it up front.

Put them in a freezer bag. 

Keep a gallon bag in the freezer and continually add those scraps for later.

I always have a gallon ziploc bag in wait in the freezer. I throw those completely nutritious, but not so pretty or usable pieces into the bag instead of into the trash. Sometimes it’s full in a few days, sometimes it takes weeks. It doesn’t matter how long you wait, it’s what you do with it when it’s full.

Each batch will be a little different, but always delicious. Go with your gut each time in what herbs or spices you feel you may need to add.

Dump all those frozen pieces into a stock pot. There is no recipe. You cover them to the brim with water and get simmering. I may throw extra herbs in, or I might not. It’s often just things in the fridge I see may go bad before I get to them, so I make them useful now.

Just simmer. Hours if you feel like it. Add more water as it evaporates, if you need. 

There’s no right or wrong way to this, but mine is usually one afternoon of simmering.

Turn it off, let it cool.

Now the messy part. Scoop all the solid parts out. Throw them into the compost or feed them to the chickens.

The glorious liquid you have left is your free broth. All the goodness from your own food, no added garbage. One of my favorite benefits, you can control the amount of salt!

Now what do you do with it?

This can get messy. I filter it right in the sink.

I take another large pot, put a fine strainer on top and give the whole batch a really good filtering. I take my final product and I freeze it. Sometimes I use freezer bags. I fill them up, seal them well and lay them flat to freeze for easier storage. Sometimes I freeze in Mason jars. First, put them in the fridge with no lids to cool. Once cooled down and still with no lids, move them to the freezer. You can put your lids one once they’ve completely frozen so the expansion has taken place. (I’ve sometimes had some jars crack, so you may want to start with freezer bags until you are more comfortable with this process.)

Now, whenever you want veggie broth, you’ve got it ready.

I don’t always do veggie broth. Sometimes I add bones. I sometimes have a meat scrap bag going for meat broth. Sometimes, I combine them into one broth.

Here’s a combo of herbs from the garden I grabbed before the frost hit and some turkey scraps.

I like having them handy for quick meals. A jar of broth, some rice or pasta and whatever we have leftover in the fridge makes a nice soup. 

Again, there’s no wrong way. Whatever your do, it’s your choice. And free. For life!

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6. broth with vegetable scraps