We get every last drop of nutrients and use out of every thing. We compost, we regrow, we feed it to the chickens (which is actually part of the composting process, but that's a different post), and now, we make broth:
I read about this recently on another blog (was it yours? I tried to link to the post, but it failed, let me know and I'll happily credit you) and it was one of those forehead smacking moments. I figured it had to be pretty easy to make your own broth, and as it turned out, there was just one minor, super obvious step I was missing.
This is a great way to get even more nutrition and added value out of your veggies, and it can even speed your composting along a little. Plus, if you use even half as much veggie broth as we do, it's a huge money saver.
The first step (the obvious step that somehow just never occurred to me) is to freeze all your random veggie odds and ends. Everything that gets piled up beside the cutting board when you're making dinner (except anything you're going to regrow) - mushroom stumps, carrot greens, onion peels, veggie ends, herb twigs - pretty much anything, even if it's a little dirty - it's going to get boiled and strained anyway. Um, but not fruit. Unless you want fruity broth. Which would be interesting ... Hmmm...
Then, when you have a spare 5 minutes (seriously, it takes no time at all), you just toss it all into the slowcooker with as much water as you can fit, leaving a little room for it all to simmer. Add a touch of salt (you really don't need much, but a little will help the simmering and flavor-releasing process), and turn it on high overnight (all day, 6-8 hours, whatever works for you and your slowcooker).
The next day (or after whatever time period you've settled on), you simply strain and squeeze. I put a cheesecloth "sock" over the top of this bowl, dumped the whole crockpot in, then lifted out the sock and squeezed out every last drop of goodness.
|If you ask me, that is one tasty looking shade of brown.|
And when it's all strained, pour it into some handy re-used jars and freeze or refridgerate, depending on when you intend to use it.
One last word of advice: watch out for sand. I throw everything into my freezer container, like I said, including parts that might be a little dirty like mushroom stumps. This isn't a problem since everything gets boiled, but remember when you're pouring the broth into jars to do so slowly so that any sediment remains settled at the bottom and doesn't go into your jars.
And an additional effortless tip for eating more ethically: Switching out veggie broth for meat broths is imperceptible in most recipes but is lower fat, lower sodium, higher nutrition, and is one less dime in the pocket of the sick, inhumane factory farms.
If you want to get really fancy with it, you can also be more specific about the veggies you use for this - for instance, you could make an amazing all-mushroom broth.
Please let me know if you try this!