Vegetable Scrap Mineral Broth

before This is a great and easy way to make a mineral-rich broth with scraps from your vegetables that would normally end up in the compost or trash can. The taste of your broth will depend on what kinds of scraps you throw in the pot, and I've never made one I didn't like. The one note of caution is to avoid too many bits of kale, cabbage, onion skins, or other more bitter vegetables, which will result in a bitter broth. The one pictured above has the tops of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli stalks and leaves, Swiss Chard stems, a couple of onion ends, a chunk of ginger, and some sea salt and kelp granules. I like to keep a bag or glass jar in the freezer, and as I'm cooking I throw the scraps in and store them until I'm ready to make a broth.

Once the broth is finished I store it in mason jars in the refrigerator to be used within five days, or in the freezer where it will keep for at least a month. It's really convenient to have the broth ready to use whenever you need it. I've heard of people freezing the broth in ice cube trays or 1 cup sized containers so it can be easily popped in a pot for use. I just remember to take the broth out of the freezer in the morning so it's defrosted by dinner. I can't tell you how useful it is —  I use it to cook grains like brown rice and quinoa for an added boost of minerals and nutrients as well as the base to soups and sauces. Your homemade broth will be much more nutrient dense than store-bought brands, will taste much better, and best of all — it's free!

This is a loose recipe that is based on whatever vegetables scraps you've got:

1 freezer bag full of vegetable scraps 1 Tablespoon sea salt 1 Tablespoon dulse or kelp granules Enough filtered water to cover your vegetables in the pot

1. Place all the vegetables in a large soup pot, cover with filtered water.

2. Add salt and kelp.

3. Bring to a boil. Stir ocassionally and reduce to a simmer for at least one hour (the longer the better, see below)

4. Strain the broth through a wire mesh sieve or cheesecloth and store in mason jars — can be kept frozen for about a month.

Nutrition Nuggets

Homemade vegetable and mineral broths (as well as bone broths and meat stocks) are some of the most nutritionally valuable staples to prepare. The type of stock that I've described above is extremely rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.  Many of the heat-sensitive vitamins (like vitamin C) are destroyed by the cooking process, but the minerals are drawn out of the vegetables during the long cooking period. Many Americans are severely deficient in minerals, which are crucial to all of our body's vital functions. They play a key role in the proper composition of bone and blood as well as normal cell function. Without minerals our bodies can't utilize vitamins properly. This broth is like the best mineral supplement you can buy — times ten, and it's great to sip warm like a tea, so drink up!

after

Please also visit Cheeseslave's Real Food Wednesdays for other great nutrient-dense food ideas and recipes.