August 12, 2012

My Thankful Duh Moment!

The hubs and I spend a LOT of money on broth - like way more than we should. When it comes down to it, we don't eat that much chicken that I have enough to use the carcasses (Hmmmm I love that word) to make broth out of. So we end up buying broth in boxes and cans anytime we find them on sale.

Then, about a year ago, I had an A-Ha moment! I had a weekend where I was making, God knows what, and had so much veggie waste it was ridiculous. And let's be honest, since our yard is not really conducive to easy composting, it all goes down the garbage disposal. I figured there had to be something I could do with all of this waste - which it's veggies, so it's not really waste!

So I got out a big storage bag and put in the ends of broccoli, carrots, some mushroom stems, celery heart and leaves and onion ends that were otherwise going to be trashed and tossed the bag of the veggie bits and pieces in my freezer. Slowly but surely, I filled the baggie up when I prepped veggies with the ends and stems and stalks and pieces of what I was using. And before you know it, I had two whole bags of veggie bits and pieces.
Frozen bag of veggies boiled - carrots, broccoli, asparagus, celery, onion, mushrooms
I then took all of those veggie pieces and placed them in a big stock pot, covered with copious amounts of water, added in some fresh onion, garlic cloves, peppercorns, a pinch of salt and some bay leaves and let it boil for a good hour or two. When it was done I was left with this - the most wonderful, glorious, flavorful, rich and cheap/free vegetable broth I've ever had!!

I tossed the soaked mushy veggies at this point and let the broth cool. I then froze the broth in to one cup measurements and froze them. Once they were frozen, I popped them out of the containers and wrapped in parchment paper and stored them stacked in a freezer bag. Now when I need broth, I go to the chest freezer, grab one or two cups out and defrost and voila! Free broth, on hand, all the time!

I highly recommend doing this, if you aren't a composting family. It gives those ends and odd pieces of veggies one last hope before just tossing and gives you a great result in the end. I think this past year alone we've probably saved about 50+ bucks on broth - and I"m not lying when I say that!
Look at that rich, hearty broth that would have otherwise gone down the drain - literally!

It's so easy - just keep a bag going in your freezer of veggie pieces - add anything - I've done tomatoes, onions that were about to go that I salvaged what I could, carrots, celery, spinach on its last leg, mushrooms, you name it. It's always turned out so hearty and rich!

If you try it, let me know how it works for you in your house!

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