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From Scraps to Savory Elixirs: A Simple Guide to Homemade Vegetable Broth and Canning

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Transforming kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps into liquid gold – that’s the magic of homemade vegetable broth. In this blog post, we’ll embark on a journey to create a flavorful elixir using vegetable and fruit scraps that would otherwise find their way to the compost bin. Not only will we unveil the secrets of a delicious homemade broth, but we’ll also explore the art of canning, allowing you to savor the goodness for months to come. From scraps to savory elixirs: A simple guide to homemade vegetable broth and canning.

Using the peels, leaves, and seeds from those scraps to make broth reduces waste and saves money. Not to mention the health benefits of making homemade broth versus store-bought which can have very high sodium levels. Look at that beautiful golden liquid! Start saving all your leftover vegetable and fruit kitchen scraps. Peel veggies into a bowl or right on the counter to scoop up and save. I keep a large gallon-size freezer bag in the bottom of my freezer door and add whatever scraps I have over time.

Ingredients For Making Homemade Broth

Ziploc bag of From Scraps to Savory Elixirs: A Simple Guide to Homemade Vegetable Broth and Canning.

Step 1: Gather Your Scraps: One of the beauties of making vegetable broth at home is its simplicity. Collect scraps like carrot peels, onion ends, celery leaves, mushroom stems, garlic skins, and any other vegetable or fruit remnants you have on hand. Avoid using strongly flavored scraps like cruciferous vegetables, as they can overpower the broth.

Step 2: Ingredients for Flavor: While scraps form the foundation, adding a few fresh ingredients enhances the broth’s depth. Consider including:

Bowl of seasonings for From Scraps to Savory Elixirs: A Simple Guide to Homemade Vegetable Broth and Canning.
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, and bay leaves.
  • Peppercorns for a hint of warmth.
  • A hunk of ginger.
  • A splash of apple cider vinegar to help extract minerals from the scraps.

Step 3: The Slow Simmer: In a large stock pot, combine your scraps, fresh ingredients, and enough water to cover everything. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Let it bubble away for at least an hour, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify. How much water you add is about the amount you will end up with. 

Stock pot of veggie scraps for homemade broth.

Step 4: Strain and Savor: Once your broth has simmered to perfection, strain out the solids using a fine mesh strainer (and cheesecloth if necessary). The liquid gold that remains is your homemade vegetable broth, rich in flavor and ready to elevate your dishes. Caution – the liquid broth is very hot. Keep out of reach of children.

Step 5: Canning for Longevity: Canning is a wonderful way to preserve your homemade vegetable broth. You can also freeze your own vegetable broth in double freezer bags or ice cube trays ensuring you have a stash ready whenever culinary inspiration strikes.

A List of Vegetable and Fruit Scraps -From Scraps to Savory Elixirs: A Simple Guide to Homemade Vegetable Broth and Canning

Vegetable Scraps

  • Onion skins and peels
  • Carrot peels and ends
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnips peels and ends
  • Green Beans snapped ends
  • Bell peppers- ends and seeds
  • Corn cobs
  • Beets (makes the broth bright pink with a delicious flavor)

Fruit Scraps

  • Zucchini peels and ends
  • Apple peels and cores
  • Peach peels
  • Pear peels
  • Tomato ends
  • Lemon rinds
  • Lime rinds
  • Strawberry ends

Rinse any dirt and debris and store the vegetable and fruit scraps in a freezer bag. Some foods I do not include are broccoli (strong flavor), Cauliflower, and potato peels. Potato peels have a very strong earthy (like dirt) flavor. You certainly can add these, I don’t prefer the taste they bring. However, I do recommend adding a lemon. This addition brightens the whole flavor profile of the broth.

Ingredients for Canning

Homemade vegetable broths are classified as low acid foods and must be pressure canned according to the USDA.

  • Sterilized canning jars with lids
  • Funnel for easy pouring
  • Ladle for filling jars
  • Water bath canner or large stockpot
  • Canning tongs for handling hot jars

Pressure Canning Process:

Ladle, jars and a funnel for canning.
  1. Prepare Your Jars:
    • Ensure jars are clean and sterile. Keep lids and bands in hot water until ready to use.
  2. Fill Jars with Hot Broth:
    • Using a ladle and funnel, carefully fill each jar with your homemade vegetable broth, leaving about 1-inch headspace using the hot pack method.
  3. Remove Air Bubbles:
    • Run a plastic spatula or bubble remover around the inside edge of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles.
  4. Wipe Jar Rims:
    • Ensure the rims of the jars are clean and dry. Place lids on the jars, and screw bands on until fingertip-tight.
  5. Processing Time In The Pressure Canner:
    • Process the jars in a pressure canner for 30 minutes for pints, and for 35 minutes for quarts.
    • Natural release – let the steam release naturally and then carefully remove the lid.
  6. Cool and Store:
    • Once processed, carefully remove the jars with a jar lifter and let them cool. Listen for the satisfying “pop” as the lid seals. Remove the rings and store them in a cool, dark place.
Canned jars of vegetable broth

Check Out These Soup Recipes Using Homemade Stock

The best way to make soup is to use your own broth made from veggie scraps. It is full of delicious nutrition!

Wrapping Up From Scraps to Savory Elixirs: A Simple Guide to Homemade Vegetable Broth and Canning

By turning kitchen scraps into homemade delicious broth, and then preserving it through canning, you’ve not only minimized food waste but also created a flavorful base for countless culinary adventures. The next time you savor a soup, stew, or risotto made with your homemade broth, you’ll relish the satisfaction of transforming humble scraps into a culinary masterpiece. Happy broth-making and canning!

As always I hope you are inspired to try making nutritious homemade broth using vegetable and fruit scraps.



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  1. This is a great way to use up those scraps. Other than throw them on the compost pile I would otherwise have just thrown them in the garbage. I also like having the ability to control what goes in and what doesn’t.

  2. Wow. I just found out that zucchini is a fruit!!! All my life
    I thought it was a vegetable. I never thought of composting like you do. What a great idea.

  3. Wowzah! First, I never knew scraps could look so beautiful as they do simmering on your stove, and this seemingly easy “action” makes me feel homey and earth conscious! You can bet most of our great grandparents did this, right? (Wellllll, maybe not yours! You’re too young!)

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