Homemade Broth

homemade broth homesteadingdreams.com

Every time I want to make a nice hearty soup or stew, I reach for my, always ready, homemade broth that I keep in the freezer. I say “always ready” because I’m basically making this all the time. If you were to buy vegetable stock from the store, it would be broth made from cooked vegetables, right? So, what I do is, every time we cook vegetables in a little water, I save the water and add to my freezer container instead of pouring it down the drain. I might only get a small amount each time, but it adds up quickly. Frozen spinach is particularly watery and I end up with a cup or more of broth each time I cook spinach. Another thing I do to add to the broth is rinse out salsa and tomato sauce jars when they are empty. Just add a little bit of water to rinse and pour into the freezer container. It’s not too much tomato so that it’s overpowering, but adds a ton of flavor. You could do this with other things like ketchup or mustard. I once did this with molasses and added a rich flavor to the broth that no one could identify as molasses or even sweet. Lots of possibilities here, just something you have to get in the habit of doing. Once you get in a rhythm, it will save you time and money in the long run. You do need to be careful with strong veges (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower). These can really overpower the broth, so only add them if you like them or keep them in a separate container to add to dishes where that strong flavor would be appreciated. I like to save broccoli and cauliflower broth together and use it in Broccoli Cheddar Soup. You can also save meat broth in with the vegetable broth or separately. When I make Crock Pot Chicken, I end up with a ton of chicken broth – in the freezer it goes. On the healthy side, when you freeze meat broth, the fat rises to the top and solidifies. If you don’t want all that fat in your broth, you can easily scoop it off and discard while you are left with the flavorful, non-fat broth underneath. If I make something that has particularly good flavor that I think would make a nice broth, I deglaze the pan with a little water and throw it in the freezer container.  Once you get into a rhythm of saving these flavors, the broth adds up pretty quickly. It’s a great frugal tip for the kitchen. If you find you have too much homemade broth in the freezer, then it’s time to make soup!