I had been saving all of my vegetable scraps (peels and all), and storing them in a freezer bag. Today, my freezer bag was full and I decided to put them to good use.
Since I just love my pressure cooker, I figured, I might as well give it a try for making broth (I also added the slow cooker method- scroll down). Forty minutes later, I got a wonderful, tasty broth for my homemade soups. Very excited!! I was planning on making a soup today so, it’s perfect!
I didn’t add any salt or anything else in the broth. I figured I’ll make it plain since the scraps already contain herbs, garlic, and onions.
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Why would someone bother to make their homemade broth, you might ask?
- Number one reason for me: You know exactly what’s going in your broth (no preservatives or other little harmful surprises);
- You save so much money (a good organic, vegetable stock can cost up to like $5.99/litre. Homemade stock will cost you a few cents for the electricity, but $0 for the vegetables and herb scraps;
- It’s easy to stock up on broth (I portion mine in thick freezer bags); it’s easy and doesn’t take much room in the freezer (the quality freezer bags can be washed and dried to re-use them);
- Broth is the basis of a delicious soup, rice, beans, stews (when a recipe calls for water, it can be replaced with broth- the flavors are so enhanced, it’s crazy).
Pressure Cooker Broth Method:
This is really easy. I have a 6.5-Quart, Pressure cooker and I filled the pot with the frozen vegetable scraps to the 1/2 full mark (it only used a bit more than half of the frozen veggies in the freezer bag), then I added water (a bit less than the 1/2 mark), I sealed up the pot with the cover and let the cooker heat up on maximum heat until the steam button was up and then I transferred it to an already warmed burner (on a lower heat setting) for 40 minutes and then removed from heat and I let it cool naturally.
*Tip for using the stovetop pressure cooker: always have a timer handy. Once you reach your maximum heat and do the transfer to a low heat burner (which I put on at the same time as my high heat burner so that there is no delay), I start the timer.
All that is left to do is strain out the stock and discard the vegetables from the pot.
The method for straining is simple: place a colander or strainer on top of a large bowl in the sink (large enough to contain all of the liquid stock), and dump the whole thing in the strainer. At this point, discard the vegetables gathered in the strainer by either throwing them out in the garbage or into the compost bin.
Within minutes I had a lovely vegetable scent lingering all over the house. After the pot had cooled and the steam button was down, I snapped the cover off and voila! What a delicious smelling broth! Even though I had omitted herbs and salt, it is still very tasty!
Slow Cooker Broth Method:
- add your veggie scraps until it’s about more than half full;
- fill with water until it’s a bit less than half.
You can at this point, add herbs, salt, pepper (some use a Bay Leaf). I don’t add anything because there are onions, garlic and fresh herb scraps already in my frozen veggie scraps mix.
Cook 10-12 hours on low, or 4-6 hours on high.
I remember reading about doing this and the post suggested to omit any vegetables from the cabbage family such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage itself because it makes your broth bitter. I didn’t omit these vegetables because they’re so filled with vitamins and anti-oxidants. I just had to use them. The end result: A delicious broth, packed with nutrients without any bitter taste.
Maybe if I had had more scraps from the cabbage family, it would have been bitter… Not sure. I’ll need to check it out for next time.
The broth will vary in taste depending on what vegetable scraps are included. I had garlic, onions (yellow, red and green), broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, rutabaga, red and green cabbage, celery, carrots, basil, cilantro, tomatoes.
I loved the end result! The taste was wonderful. I used it to make a “Wild Rice n Chicken Soup! Super delicious!!