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Nutritious Homemade Broth Using Vegetable and Fruit Scraps

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Onion and carrot peels. Veggie Scraps

Make nutritious homemade broth using vegetable and fruit scraps from all your culinary creations. Homemade vegetable broth is a very important kitchen staple to have on hand. Every time you chop up an onion, what do you do with the peel and the ends, what about all those carrot peels? If you aren’t composting them, they are most likely ending up in the trash.

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!

How to Save Your Vegetable and Fruit Scraps to Make Nutritious Homemade Broth Using Vegetable and Fruit Scraps

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 part of my freezer door and add in whatever scraps I have over time.

Vegetable and Fruit Scraps in a freezer bag

You can do this very passively, just toss the scraps in the bag and before you know it the bag is full. When you’ve saved enough it’s time to make broth. You’ll be surprised how fast it fills up. It feels good to not let it go to waste. Below is a list of scraps I like to save.

Strawberry ends add a delightful flavor!

A List of Vegetable and Fruit Scraps to Save for Nutritious Homemade Broth Using Vegetable and Fruit Scraps

Vegetable Scraps

  • Onion peels
  • Carrot peels and ends
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Parsnips peels and ends
  • Green Beans snapped ends
  • Pepper ends and seeds

Fruit Scraps

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

Make sure you rinse any dirt and debris off then store the vegetable and fruit scraps in a freezer bag. Some food items I do not like to 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 just don’t prefer the taste they bring. However, I do recommend adding a lemon. This addition brightens the whole flavor profile of the broth.

Making Broth – Vegetable and Fruit Scraps Into the Pot

vegetable and fruit scraps in a pot with water

Pour the bag of frozen vegetable and fruit scraps into a large stock pot and cover it with water. I use an 8-quart pot, a larger one is fine. Transfer the pot to the stove and add some seasonings. This is the fun part. How do like your broth? Spicey, Unsalted, Gingery? You can use anything you like to add flavor to your homemade broth. Generally, I use salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, and a bay leaf.

Stir in your spices. One teaspoon of each turmeric, salt, and pepper. Half of a teaspoon of ginger. Turmeric and ginger add many additional health benefits.

Cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Tip the lid a little to allow some steam to escape while cooking. You can let it simmer for a least half an hour or up to 2 hours. You really can’t go wrong here. Your house will smell amazing.

When the Vegetable and Fruit Scraps are Finished Cooking

When you are finished simmering the vegetable and fruit scraps, the liquid will be a beautiful color. It is usually a golden amber color but sometimes when I have beet scraps it turns a gorgeous shade of dark pink. Now it’s time to strain out the liquid.

Stock pot of cooked vegetable and fruit scraps

Separate the liquid from the scraps.

Using a fine mesh strainer placed in a large glass or metal container, very carefully and slowly pour the contents of the stock pot. I try and hold the lid on the pot to keep most of the scraps from emptying into the strainer.

straining fruit and vegetable scraps into a measuring cup

Keep a large metal bowl nearby to empty the measuring cup. Be very careful because this liquid is very hot, continue to strain out any of the seeds and peels. Keep out of the reach of children until it cools. Don’t ask me how I know this.

 Metal Bowl of broth

A cheesecloth can also be used to get all the fine particles, but I haven’t found that to be necessary. Straining directly into the large bowl is fine as well, however, working with hot liquid is better done in small quantities.

Storing Nutritious Homemade Broth Using Vegetable and Fruit Scraps

From the bowl, use a ladle and fill up some quart-size jars. You can easily water bath can these or use them within a week. You can also double-bag gallon-size freezer bags and freeze them flat – they won’t take up a lot of storage that way.

Wrapping Up Nutritious Homemade Broth Using Vegetable and Fruit Scraps

One batch of nutritious homemade broth using vegetable and fruit scraps yields approximately 12-16 cups of broth or stock. I usually make broth on the same day I am planning on making some sort of soup or stew using around half of this so I only have to store the unused portion.

This day I was making my healthy low-carb pea soup recipe and used roughly seven (7) cups for that purpose. The remainder was divided into a couple of quart-sized mason jars to go in the refrigerator and a doubled freezer bag containing 5 cups for the freezer. Keeping a supply of homemade vegetable broth in your refrigerator is so useful for soups, stews, and gravy. Use it in place of the water in rice and pasta.

jars of homemade broth

By using vegetable and fruit scraps to make this kitchen staple you can add a healthy and easy ingredient to so many of your recipes. In what ways would you use homemade broth? Let me know in the comments below. And check out my bean and potato soup with ham and bacon made with this broth.

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



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Cuisinart 8 Quart Stock Pot https://amzn.to/3K2n6Sx

Fine Mesh Strainer https://amzn.to/3rkUprn

4 Cup Pyrex Measuring Cup https://amzn.to/3dDFTHO

32oz Mason Jars (I use these for so many things) https://amzn.to/3SnBszw

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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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