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Cheap and Easy Homemade Vegetable Broth


Photo: _nur

You know all these cans of vegetable broth lined up on the supermarket shelves? — a quick way to start a soup, or make a sauce, or juice up a simple casserole, sure enough. But while the convenience factor is tempting, I’ve never actually broken down and bought a can.

Why?

Because some things are thrifty, and some things are easy, but to go out and buy something in a can makes no sense to me (or my wallet) when you can get the same thing cheaper and just as easily, right in your own kitchen. Bonus, no extra packaging waste to burden poor Mother Nature!

Here’s the thing: You already know that the best way to cook vegetables is to use as little water as possible, right? That keeps all the vitamins and other nutritional goodies from getting washed away. Roasting, stir-frying, steaming — these are all great ways to cook your veggies.

But sometimes, you’ve just gotta boil. Mashed potatoes, just for one example. Or to cook carrots that will be mushy enough to make a batch of Becca’s Uber-fabulous Carrot Souffle, for another example…

So here’s what I do — a kitchen tip I picked up from my ultra-frugal mother, and her mother before her.

Make you own vegetable broth!

Instead of draining away the water you use to boil the vegetables, simply save it in a plastic container and pop it in the freezer. Save your vegetable cooking water for a few meals’ worth — any vegetables will do, the cooking water can pretty much all go in together — and you’ve got yourself a stash of vegetable broth to pull out, thaw, and cook with the next time you want to make wonderful homemade soup or a casserole dish.

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6 comments… add one

  • Amanda Nicole 2008/11/21, 5:23 pm

    This is such a simple solution, I feel stupid for not thinking of it. As a vegetarian who loves to mess around in the kitchen, this is something I’m definitely going to get into the habit of doing. Also, no added salt like in the bought stuff!

  • Becca 2008/11/21, 2:28 pm

    Ooooh, you did like that recipe, didn’t you?

  • jameshigham 2008/11/23, 11:45 am

    Gosh, I could do with some of that right now.

  • Heather (How to be a Woman..?) 2008/11/24, 8:22 pm

    It’s so easy! I feel stupid for ever buying that!

  • Adam Snider 2008/11/25, 7:31 pm

    Wow! So easy!

    I’m making an effort to only eat homemade soup, instead of buying the over-priced, high-sodium, canned stuff, so this tip will help in my soup-making endeavours.

    Another good use for veggie water is to fertilize plants. I generally water my plants with veggie water, and I’ve not yet needed to purchase “real” fertilizer.

  • Pinhole 2008/11/27, 11:42 am

    An especially useful post for this time of year. Feasting can be ecstasy and misery all rolled into one. Thank goodness we can save some for later. And give some away.

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