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How To Make Your Own Homemade Vegetable Broth

I guess this isn't technically a "recipe", but I wanted to share with you guys my little process for making homemade vegetable broth.  I haven't been making my own broth for long, but it's so much better than the store bought stuff!  I actually really don't like store bought vegetable broth, and it's often full of things we don't realize are even in there, like sodium, oils, and all sorts of preservatives.  So today I'm going to walk you through how to make your own broth using only vegetables and water.

First off, I keep this large ziplock freezer bag in my freezer, and whenever I have some vegetable scraps from making dinner, they go in my trusty little freezer bag, rather than the garbage.  It's super important that you remember to wash all your veggies before peeling them though, otherwise your broth could end up tasting a bit like dirt.  

A few quick tips about what types of veggies to use...most good broths get their base flavour from a combination of onion, carrots and celery.  These are the veggies I use the most anyways, so it works out pretty perfectly.  After you've got your base flavours, you can add almost any other veggies you want, other than those in the Brassica family, like broccoli & cabbage, as well as turnips.  Vegetables from the Brassica family will give your broth a bitter aftertaste.  I often use potato and sweet potato peelings, but keep in mind that these "starchier" vegetables will make your broth more cloudy, so I wouldn't recommend using too many per batch.  I love to throw in asparagus stems, the ends of my green beans, swiss chard, and really whatever I'm using that day.  For a more detailed list of vegetables to use and vegetables to avoid, here's a great list that breaks it all down for you.

I find I fill up my ziplock bag about once every couple weeks.  Once it's full, here's what I do...

Dump all your frozen veggies into your Instant Pot (if you don't have an Instant Pot, you can use your Croc Pot).  I find the large ziplock bag full of veggies is the perfect amount to fill up my Instant Pot (I have the 8 quart Lux model).

Usually at this point I scan the fridge to see if there's anything else that needs to be used up.  I threw these Swiss Chard stems in that were past their prime.

Fill your Instant Pot (or Croc Pot) up with water to the "Max" line, indicated on the inside of the inner pot.  Keep in mind that the less water you use, the more flavour your broth will have.  I personally like to stretch mine as far as it will go.  When I fill my pot up to the max line I end up with about 18 cups of vegetable broth.  Isn't that awesome?!?

Make sure the valve of your Instant Pot is turned to the sealed position, and select the manual setting for 15 minutes.  Let the pressure naturally release once the cook time is complete.  Most recipes this takes about 40 minutes, but because the pot is so full, it takes mine about an hour and a half to naturally release the pressure when making broth.

If you're using a Croc Pot instead, cook the veggies and water on high for 4 hours.

Once your broth is done cooking, drain your veggies.  I do this by setting a large pot in my sink (so it doesn't make a mess on my counter), with a large colander inside it.  Once the veggies and broth are separated, press as much liquid as you can out of the veggies to maximize your amount of broth.  I usually use a large spatula or wooden spoon to press the liquid out of the veggies.

Your broth should now look something like this, although the colour and clarity may vary from time to time, depending on your veggies.

I like to strain the broth one more time, by transferring it back to my Instant Pot, through a fine mesh strainer to catch any smaller pieces that may remain.

I cover the broth and let it cool for a while at this point so it's a little easier to handle.  Once it's cooled, I separate it into 2 cup portions, in airtight containers, and store it in the freezer to use as I need it.  

And that's it!  Beautiful, rich and healthy vegetable broth.  

Yields about 18 cups (depending on the size of your Instant Pot or Croc Pot).

Use in your favourite soup, or check out my Soups for some yummy recipes to use it with.  I also love cooking rice and quinoa in vegetable broth for extra flavour!


xoxo ~ Lise-Anne {Plum Planted}


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