Veggie (or whatever) Broth

Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Tags: pantry instant pot staples
A watercolor illustration of a plastic bag full of colorful shapes intended to be veggie scraps. There are things that look like red onion bits, celery strands, pepper tops, etc. At the bottom it says 'FREEZE YOUR' and to the right along the side of the bag it says 'VEGGIES'

inspired by ? I really don’t remember, sorry.

Ingredients (for 8-10 cups)

(oops, another no-recipe recipe. honestly, almost all of this is flexible except the fact you need about half a gallon bag of scraps and/or bones and three quarts water)

Directions

  1. Dump all the ingredients in an Instant Pot, making sure you don’t go past the max fill line for pressure cooking.
  2. Cook on high for 40 minutes.
  3. Manually release pressure.
  4. Let it cool if you have the time, as the next step will be a whole lot less hazardous that way.
  5. The goal of the next step is to separate the spent solids from the broth. I usually take a ladle and scoop out some of the solids into a sieve over a big bowl, then pour the rest of what’s in the pot on top. You can also just go on and immediately pour everything over the sieve/pot, but I find that this first approach makes it less splashy.
  6. Freeze your broth or put it in a container in the fridge for use within a couple days. I like to freeze mine in the 1 cup sized Super Cubes since the measurements are built in. Once they’re frozen, I transfer them to a gallon freezer bag. If you’re into canning, I’m sure you could keep these in jars on the shelf but I’m not there yet.

Thoughts

Y’all. Just freeze your veggie scraps (and bones, if using). Once you have at least half a gallon (I just keep mine in a gallon sized freezer bag), you can make broth! With a little time and effort you have an essential pantry ingredient that feels free. This is another early-pandemic habit that I cannot see not doing.

I meant to mention this before, all of my recipes that use the Instant Pot can definitely be made without one, it’ll just take longer. Like this, for instance, can just be thrown in a pot on the stove, brought to a boil, then simmered for an hour or two.

This is one of the four things I do with food waste. The number one, these days, is consider if the chickens would like the scraps in question. They eat almost anything except onions, apple cores, and raw potato peels. It’s fun to give them a treat, so often this is what happens with my extras. Next, I consider if it would be good in this above recipe. Honestly, most scraps are! I sometimes end up putting stuff in here that the chickens would like just so I don’t end up with onion broth. Next consideration is the compost, as Vermont requires you to not put food waste in the trash. This is the final home of these scraps after I make and strain the broth. Finally, because I am in the country, all meat/bones go in the trash as to not attract bears or other critters to our yard.

This feels thrifty, environmentally responsible, and healthy (look at the sodium content on store bought broth sometime). It makes me feel like I unlocked some secret prize, but I want to share so others can get a little satisfaction from using “trash” in a new way.