Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Broth

I've been fortunate to catch two "butter babies" in the last couple days. I just learned this term from a midwife friend who uses it to describe those babies that just slip out like soft butter (or Earth Balance, as the case may be.) After last night's 4 AM butter baby birth, I was pretty wired when I got home in the wee hours. Tack on the circadian confusion of Daylight Savings Time, and there was no way I was going to sleep. 

What's a sleepy midwife to do? The only reasonable solution is to start messing around in the kitchen. 

Time to make some freezer bag veggie broth. Anyone who cooks with me knows that my savory scraps don't go down the disposal; they go in a freezer bag. See, composting's hard when you live in Baltimore City. There are rats that tamper and rowhouse neighbors' noses to offend. My solution is to save up my broth-worthy scraps (onion peels, carrot tops and peels, odds n ends of herbs, celery bits, and any other parsnip/leek/garlic-type ends.) I collect all of this in a gallon freezer bag, and when the bag's full I make broth! Just empty the bag into a stock pot of water and simmer for a long time. I add a little salt, but I usually do most of my salting when cooking with the broth.

Once the broth has cooked down, I use a mesh strainer to pour it into a bowl and divide it amongst plastic storage containers or jars. Warning about freezing broth in jars: refrigerate first, then freeze with the lid off for a few hours. Physics tells us that liquids expand when frozen. I was never good at physics and have had a glass jar of broth crack in the freezer. That sucked. Oh well...


  1. I don't know why I've beaver thought to do this before! We tried composting the last two years but our 'garden' is just too small. I'm going to try this at the end of the month with all my mofo cooking scraps.

  2. I'm planning to start doing this soon because, although we do compost, we use a lot of broth. Might as well, right?

    Thanks for the tips.