When it comes to cooking, I’ll be honest.. I’m just so so. I mean, I can whip up a beautiful risotto, homemade spaghetti with meatballs, or a perfectly salted pot roast, but my meals are very Italian or very Midwest. I’m actually more of a baker.
So, I love learning tips + tricks to lighten up my cooking + become better in the kitchen.
My friend + fellow ecobabe, Michaela Blaney is a whiz in the kitchen. I’m like a little sponge when she shares cooking tips with me. She’s one of those people who, when she invites you to her house for dinner, you drop everything! So recently when she told me about this genius food hack for zero waste, I knew I wanted to bring her on here, so you can learn from her, too.
So without any further ado, take it away, Michaela! You babes are going to love this one…
ZERO WASTE VEGETABLE BROTH
I love cooking. It is like meditating for me. What I don’t love is waste. We as a population waste SO MUCH!
A single girl, living on her own should not be taking out the garbage as much as I do.
So on the pursuit of narrowing my waste + reducing my carbon foot print, the first place I started was in the kitchen… Which is where I started making broth!
When I’m chopping up vegetables + discarding the not-so-pretty parts, I used to throw them in the garbage.
Now, I wash those veggies off + store them in a bag in the freezer instead!
When the bag gets full, I make my broth. Here are some of the things I add to make the perfect veggie broth:
✖️ You know those tiny cloves of garlic toward the center that you never use? Save em, they are perfect for broth flavor.
✖️ Those weird discards from spiralizing zucchinis? Add those also!
✖️ Herbs going bad
✖️ Veggies on the way out
✖️ The ends of onion, celery, carrot (anything really) — even the celery leaves!
✖️ Leftover veggies from dinner
✖️ Random spices
✖️ Peels from ginger
✖️ Fennel fronds
THE LIST IS VIRTUALLY ENDLESS.
I live in an apartment so composting is just not an option - instead, saving the parts and making broth reduces waste in more than one way….
And the benefits are amazing:
✖️ No more waste from the carton that broth usually comes in
✖️ No more gas emitted to make a trip to the store
✖️ No more throwing out half a carton of broth because you don’t use it in time + only need 1 cup
✖️ No more polluting the Earth when these companies make broth products
My recipe + method is very straightforward + different every time. But here are the guidelines:
✖️ 1 large bag of veggie scraps from the freezer
✖️ Add extra aromatics such as garlic, onion, celery, leeks, ginger etc.
✖️ 1 heaping tsp of salt
✖️ Any additional herbs on hand such as thyme, lemongrass, basil etc.
Add all the ingredients to a large pot + immerse in water. Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes, then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours.
Now, this will create a broth concentrate — the flavor is very strong. So store your broth in glass Tupperware + keep ladling out what you need, as you need it. Then, treat the broth as a 1:1 ratio of broth to water, to make a proper broth. Meaning: for every ladle of broth you add to your pot, add in 1 scoop of water to dilute it.
I am telling you, not only is it beautiful, and feels good, but it tastes delicious + you literally make it with waste!
Thank you, Michaela for sharing this delish food waste hack! I use veggie broth for cooking everything — rice, soups, even adding to that crock pot chicken. And omggg quinoa is a million times better when you boil it with veggie broth in lieu of water.
I’ve already started my own freezer baggie full of scraps + I hope you do, too! I can’t wait to make my first broth.
For more easy breezy recipes, go to Michaela’s IG: @michaelablaney She also posts the best recipes to her stories with simple instructions.