Kitchen Scrap Vegetable Broth By Lacey.Dumler

Usually I post because I’ve made something tasty and I’d like to share it with you. It’s as simple as that. I have no real objectives other than to share what’s going on, and maybe inspire you to cook up a fun dish. Today is a little different though. Today, I have an objective.

I am writing with a motive, and it is this: I want to convince you to make your own vegetable stock.

That seems silly, you might think. What’s the point? Why should I waste perfectly good vegetables, not to mention TIME, when I can easily pick up a tetra-pack box of veggie stock at the store? Or veggie stock cubes? Or a concentrated bouillon paste? Why bother?

Well, there are a few good reasons to bother, and I’m going to share them with you. Here we go.

The case for making your own Vegetable Broth

Reason number one: Vegetable Broth is not just about flavour

We usually think of vegetable stock as a flavour adder, and that it is! But it’s also so much more than that. Boiling vegetables and saving the broth is a means to sequester and consume the nutrients in those veggies. Vegetable broth is incredibly healing and nourishing.

Why? I’ll show you. There’s a lot of advice floating around on the internet about the best way to prepare your vegetables when it comes to maximizing the nutrient content of the finished food. Here’s an example of just such an article: The Healthiest Ways to Cook Veggies and Boost Nutrition. The advice given time and time again (it is supported by scientific inquiry, after all) is not to boil. Why? Because when you a boil a vegetable, the water-soluble vitamins leach into the water.

Shit. All those important vitamins and minerals lost into the water….wait! Lost into the water?! You mean – the veggie broth. Yeah baby. Boil those veggies and then consume the broth. Nothing lost, everything gained.

Following the guide below, you’ll end up with a broth that is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium and manganese. It will also be rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, E, and K. This will support your immune system, and if you’re athletic, it will support your recovery.

That’s great, you might think, but what about all the vegetables you have to boil and throw out? Wouldn’t we be better off EATING them? I mean, we need the energy and fiber contained in the vegetables, right?

Good question. That brings us to point number two.

Reason number 2: Vegetable broth can be part of a waste reduction strategy

Raise your hand if you love wasting food! I didn’t think so.

Making vegetable stock from shiny new vegetables is great, but it’s not practical for a lot of us. Why? Because veggies ain’t free. Also, we need to eat, and it hardly makes sense to toss out perfectly good vegetables when you need the calories they contain. Enter: Your kitchen scraps.

I’m suggesting that you save your kitchen scraps and make broth from them. We’re going to use carrot peels, onion butts, kale stems, parsley stems and so much more. We’re also going to use veggies that aren’t looking their best. Maybe you bought too much of something and now it’s at risk of going bad – throw it in the pot! It won’t be wasted. You’ll sequester much of the nutrient content, then compost what you were about to toss out anyway.

How to Make Kitchen Scrap Vegetable Broth

  1. Get yourself a large ziplock freezer bag, or comparable freezer-safe container.(a good alternative is the Luumi Reusable silicone bag)
  2. Whenever you prep veggies, wash them thoroughly, then toss the scraps in your freezer bag or container.
  3. When the bag is full, make stock.

Your broth will be a little different every time. In this case, I threw in some purple cabbage, which is why the finished product was so dark.

Kitchen Scraps to Use in your Vegetable Broth

  • Onion peels, butts, and skins
  • Garlic skins
  • Carrot tops and peels (carrot greens in small quantities)
  • Beet greens and peels
  • Potato peels
  • Parsley stems
  • Stems from collard greens, kale, swiss chard, or other dark green leafy vegetables
  • The dark green tops of leeks
  • Outer leaves and cores of cabbages (in small quantities)
  • Celery tops and bottoms
  • Mushroom stalks
  • Scallion tops
  • Sweet potato skins
  • Tomato bits and pieces

Fresh Ingredients to Consider adding

These are optional, but will contribute to a richer broth. Kombu, which is a type of seaweed, is worth seeking out to add to your broths (it’s also great to add to a pot of cooking beans). Kombu is high in iron, calcium, electrolytes and iodine.

  • 8 inch strip of kombu
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A few peppercorns
  • A few full cloves of garlic
  • A knob of ginger


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large stockpot.
  2. Add water to cover by 2 inches.
  3. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
  4. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered for about an hour and a half.
  5. As the pot simmers, water will evaporate. If the water level drops too low and your veggies are peaking out, add a bit more water.
  6. Strain the broth through a mesh sieve over a large bowl. Season with a teaspoon or two of salt, if you like. Allow to cool before storing.

Storage tips

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days.
  • Store in the freezer for up to 4 months
    • If storing in mason jars, use wide mouth jars if possible. Cool completely in the fridge before moving to the freezer. Cap lightly to prevent the jars from cracking.
    • Freeze in an ice cube try or silicone muffin cups for individual servings, then transfer them into a freezer bag. In this way, you’ll have small servings available for water sautéing.

Looking for Plant-Based Nutrition Coaching? or Interested in Plant Powered Meal Prep check out or check out Laceys IG for beautiful recipes and ideas @laceymontreal

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