Making your own stock or broth is incredibly easy. Not only are you putting those veggie scraps to good use, but it costs you virtually nothing since you would have tossed (or hopefully composted) those scraps to begin with!
The best way to save your scraps is to freeze them; once you have a full bag (or two) it’s time to cook them down. Since my diet consists mainly of vegetables I can fill up a gallon zip lock in no time! To make vegetable broth simply empty your bags into a large stock pot full of water and bring it to a boil, then, reduce it to a simmer. I also like to toss in a few bay leaves for good measure! Every so often give the pot a stir. My pot contained a mix of carrot ends, onion skins, garlic, celery leaves, broccoli stalks, cauliflower leaves and stalks, butternut squash peels, peppers and cilantro.
Be mindful to add additional water as the liquid level drops so you don’t burn your stock. After several hours you will have a beautiful pot of broth. Remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool for a bit.
I always strain my stock twice; once through a large colander, then again through cheese cloth. The colander is good for removing the large vegetable matter, the cheese cloth will catch the smaller particles.
It’s during the second strain that I bottle it and then freeze it. I’m going to start canning my stock so I can free up a bit more freezer space, but first I need to check with my local extension office. All of my canning books have instructions for chicken and beef stock, but not veggie. I’m assuming it would be the same procedure, but it is better to be safe than
sorry dead, literally.