Your goal here is to save all of your vegetable scraps. You can store them in your freezer as you cut up veggies. Any odds, ends, woody stems and stalks and skins can be used.
In a large stockpot, fill 1/3 of the pot with vegetables and the rest of the pot with water. You can also use your slow cooker if you like.
When you choose the vegetables you want to use, think about the taste you like. Too many beets, potatoes or sweet potatoes could alter the taste of the veggie broth. Add a nice mix of vegetables to your pot. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
- Kale or collard stems
- Woody ends of asparagus that you cut off
- Cauliflower or broccoli leaves and stalks
- Something from the onion family – skins or scraps of onions, shallots or garlic, ends of leeks.
- Carrot ends or washed peelings (put in a bath of apple cider vinegar and water to wash off, agitating a bit and soaking for 10 minutes, drain and rinse)
- A beet or two (you don’t even have to cut it, but if you want, cut in half once)
- 1/4 cup fresh skins, odds and ends of ginger (can be in large pieces)
- Odds and ends of cabbage
- Optional: Eggplant scraps (this is a nightshade, so avoid if they bother you. It does have anti-carcinogenic benefits though, so can be helpful)
- Optional: Kombu seaweed (about a 2 inch piece)
- Add all veggies and simmer for no more than 60 minutes (studies show all vitamins and minerals are extracted between 45 – 60 minutes. If you simmer it longer, it may alter the taste in an unusual way)
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl or into quart-sized wide-mouth Ball jars.
- Some people will then discard the vegetables. However, you can use them for fiber, as thickener for soups and stews.
- Either sip the broth as is for a morning or afternoon energizer or, if you want to make a soup, add some leafy greens before consuming the soup (kale, collards, bok choy, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, a couple basil leaves, etc.) and use your favorite spices (sea salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, etc.).
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