My family eats A LOT of fresh vegetables. I am very thankful for that as I know some parents really struggle to get their kids to eat their veggies. Because we go through so many veggies I was throwing peels away left and right.
After a while I finally started making a compost pile in our backyard. Then all of the sudden it hit me, I could be making my own vegetable broth for (practically) FREE with these scraps instead of paying for store-bought stock!!!
Have you priced a box of stock lately? Yikes! At least $2 a box!!! We eat a lot of soup so this saves us quite a bit on our food budget.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that I’m a pretty frugal person, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to figure this out. It was definitely a “duh” moment for me! 😉 Lest you think I’ve got this frugal thing down, I’m still discovering new ways to save money in the kitchen all the time.
Not only is homemade vegetable broth cheaper than buying store-bought, it tastes so much better and you get to control all the ingredients. It is so simple to make your own and takes no more than 10 minutes of actual hands-on time.
I love that I’m stocking my freezer with broth for all the soups I’m going to be making this fall and winter. It can last in the freezer for six months.
Here’s how to make the broth:
Start by saving all your vegetables peels/scraps in a gallon size ziplock bag in your freezer. Once it is full to the top (this usually takes my family about one or two weeks) put all the peels into your slow cooker.
Fill the slow cooker to the top with water and add the spices. Give it a good stir. Put on the lid and cook on low for 6-8 hours. You can cook it on high for 4 hours, but the flavor is better when you do it on low.
Look at the difference of color! All those lovely nutrients are now in your broth!
When the cooking time is up, remove the lid and remove the larger chunks of vegetables and discard them the trash or in your compost pile. Place a pasta strainer over a large bowl and slowly pour the broth into the strainer. This should catch anything you were unable to remove.
Ladle your broth in freezer containers. I tried storing it in ziplock bags but that was a complete mess. These plastic containers have worked the best by far. They stack well in the freezer and the lids stay on nice and tight. I use them for freezing leftover spaghetti sauce, soups and even cheese. Just remember to leave a bit of headspace in your container because the liquid will expand as it freezes. I learned that one the hard way too. 😉
Once the broth has cooled completely, place it in the freezer. It is good for 6 months.
Homemade Vegetable Broth
- gallon Ziplock Bag (for storing your veggies in the freezer)
- various vegetable scraps ~ I use mainly carrots, celery, radishes, onion, garlic, broccoli and cauliflower stems and potato peels
- 1 t. salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- bay leaf
- 1/2 t. onion powder
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- Start by saving your vegetable peels in a gallon ziplock bag in your freezer. Once the bag is full, place all the peels in your slow cooker.
- Fill the slow cooker to the top with water and add the spices. Give it a good stir.
- Put the lid on and cook on low 6-8 hours. You can cook it on high for 4 hours, but the flavor is better if you do it on low.
- Remove the lid and remove as many large chunks of vegetables as you can. Place a pasta strainer over a large bowl and slowly pour the broth into the strainer. This will help catch any remaining chunks of vegetables.
- Ladle your broth into freezer storage containers. Let the broth cool completely before placing it in your freezer.