Friday, 9 November 2012

Homemade Broth and All It's Possibilities

Many recipes call for broth. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, broth is an essential to keep on hand in the kitchen for quick recipes. The thing that has always shocked me is the price of broth at the store. Why do I find it so shocking? Because broth is literally a combination of water and leftovers, the bits that you would otherwise throw away and never think of again. Instead, here is what I do regularly to keep broth in my home and money in my wallet.

If you are a veggie, save all of your veggie ends when you cook meals. The skin off of onions, the stalk of broccoli, the tops of carrots, keep them all! Throw them into a resealable plastic bag and store them in your freezer. If you are a meat eater, save the bones from a chicken, turkey, lamb, whatever. You can use veggie leftovers in your broth as well to enhance the flavour and nutritional value. But bone broth is very nutrient dense so you don't need to. With American Thanksgiving coming up, there is no better time to save those bones and stock your freezer full of delicious broth for winter soups.

When you have free time, or if you need the broth for a recipe quickly, you can take out your frozen bag of goodies and simply add them to 8 cups of water. The more scraps you have, the stronger the broth will be depending on your water to solid ratio. Throw it all in a big pot, add salt and onion if you don't have onion in your scrap mix, and bring to boil. Lower to a simmer and keep it there for anywhere from 30 minutes for veggie all the way to 4-6 hours for bone broth. Adding a touch of apple cider vinegar helps pull the nutrients out of the veggies or bone.

When you are done simmering, you drain the solids, but remember to place another pot below your strainer, after all it is the liquid you are preserving not the solids! You can either use it immediately, as I did today, or you can put it in a tupperware (old yogurt containers work wonders), date it and pop it in your freezer. The next recipe that calls for broth will have delicious, low sodium, cheap broth made from home!

Today I made a batch of veggie broth for a yummy veggie noodle soup. After I finished the broth, I simply added sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, celery and rotini pasta. Simmered on low for about 7 minutes, added marjoram, salt free Mrs. Dash and salt and voila, a delicious, nutritious and easy lunch for me and the toddler.

Besides soup, I use broth to cook noodles for chow mein, or rice, or simply to add a bit of flavour to steamed or boiled veggies.

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