How to make Broth from Trash

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It seems like these days I cook everything with vegetable broth. 
I like vegetable broth. Love it in fact. 
Paying for it.... not so much love there.

Seriously, have you ever bought the stuff? It costs around $3.50 for 32 oz... more for organic.  I probably use around 64 ounces a week. I'm all about flavor. If I'm going to exist solely on foods from the Earth, they better taste friggin' incredible. 

Broth is an added layer of yum in anything you might otherwise use just water. I use it to boost flavor in polenta, rice, quinoa, soups, and stews. I use it for wilting greens in and it's great for sauteing when you don't want to use quite so much oil, which I'm not concerned with. I love oil. 

Being the mathematical genius that I am, I did some extremely involved computations and discovered that I'm spending about 28 bucks a month for salty vegetable flavored water. 

Here's what I COULD buy with my $28 instead:
  • Two complete outfits from my favorite thrift shop. 
  • Four bottles of wine. Yes, I like cheap wine... although I can't bring myself to drink the 2 buck Chuck from TJ's
  • One kick ass date night meal for 2 at Pepe's, my new favorite vegetarian Mexican place 

(Are you beginning to get a feel for my priorities?)

A couple months ago, Miss M and I got a hankering to make our own vegetable broth.

<---- That's her chopping veggies, bless her little heart.

We went to the grocery store and bought carrots, celery, fennel, onion, and some fresh herbs.

This plan was super grand in theory.

We cut all them lil' veggers up and boiled away. What we were left with was not a whole lot of broth and a bunch of soggy veggies.  I didn't add it up, but the ticket price on this project was much greater than just buying the damn broth.

Well poop.

I did end up pureeing the soggy veggies, freezing the goo in ice cube trays and using them as a stock base, but it still was not as cost efficient or simple as I was hoping for. I resorted back to boxed broth....

Until, last week when I had veggie revelation. 

Make Broth from Trash! 
I'm a genius. 

Every time I cook I end up with a pile of ends, ribs, seeds, and peels which promptly land in the trash can. Although not particularly edible because of texture issues and what-not, these veggie bits are loaded with flavor. So I started a random vegetable-bit bag in the freezer to collect all of the inedible goodness in. It took me about a week to fill.

This morning was the moment of truth... 
will trash make good broth?

Holy Moses does it! 
Let's play find the frozen vegetable: Ucky dark green leek, ginger bark, onion end, jalapeno rib, tomato core, mushroom stem, cauliflower leaves and core, zucchini-squash-eggplant ends, bell pepper stem... 

Simple. Tasty. Cheap. 
This might just be my new food motto. 

Along with my new life motto:
Truth, Love, and Crunchiness. 

 I'm easily distracted. 

So, I threw all the veggies in a pot. Didn't even bother to defrost. Covered with water, threw in a couple bay leaves, brought to a boil, then reduced heat, covered and simmered for an hour. 

I then scooped out all the chunks and strained into a pitcher which will work brilliantly for easy pouring. 

Isn't it lovely? --------> 

This here pitcher of broth is pretty dark in color because I added a half a cup of Tamari (aged soy sauce) You could just as easily use sea salt . 

It's also pretty spicy from the jalapeno ribs. Great for me because I'm a spice whore. If you should happen to be less promiscuous with the hotness, I would suggest leaving them out. 

So, there ya have it... 
How to make broth from trash. 

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  1. This is an EXCELLENT idea! I can't believe I didn't think of it! We also use TONS of veggie broth, and the store has recently been selling out of our favorite brand often (suck!).

    We compost our veggie bits, but I could totally boil them up first.

    Man, we're going to end up with so many random containers on the countertop...

    1. Doh! Head slap, right?! Why didn't we devise this plan sooner... think of all the veggie bits we could have utilized...

      At least you've been composting yours. Mine just go directly into the trash since I live in an apartment. I did recently hear that you can take your compost into Whole Foods though. (Which of course we don't have in my town... yet.) Do you know if this is true?


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