How To Make Easy Homemade Veggie Broth That Is Free Of All The Ickkk!


 
Location: The Wychwood Barns Farmers' Market in Toronto, Canada

Location: The Wychwood Barns Farmers' Market in Toronto, Canada

   How much veggie waste do you throw out every week? Really think about it! Or maybe you don't eat vegetables? Well we can talk about that one another day...

   If you cook and prepare meals at home for yourself and your family, I guarantee that you create quite a bit of waste.

  Now what if I told you that a lot of that waste isn't actually waste. It's more like gold! Gold for your body and for the dirt outside (I'll come back to that part later). 

  Homemade veggie broth isn't just delicious in soups. What makes it a real winner is how nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, and beneficial to digestion it is.

   Many of the vegetable and meat scraps that we throw away are loaded with nutrients that we don't really want to miss out on. Did you know that those dry onion and garlic skins are actually rich in antioxidants? Onion skin actually has more antioxidants than the onion itself. Garlic skin as well as the cloves themselves are amazing at boosting immunity. So why would you want to throw out those precious skins when you could be reaping their health benefits?

   Then there are all those veggie stems. "For real? I can use those Miya?" Yes, you certainly can! Kale, collard greens, chard, broccoli, etc - they all have stems that you definitely want to include in your broth making adventures. Broccoli stems are pretty powerful, they contain high amounts of calcium, iron and vitamin C - even more than the dark green florets! There are tons of nutrients hiding in all those tough stems, so if you aren't going to eat or juice them, boil those nutrients out into your broth. 

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  If you consume meat then those leftover bones can be useful too. When you boil down bones, they release minerals that are easy to absorb like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and others. This process also releases compounds that are very healing to the body such as collagen, proline and glutamine. (1)

  If you buy vegetable or an animal based broth at the grocery store it's just not the same as making it at home (unless you buy real organic broth, which isn't super shelf stable, but it's usually available from somewhere like Whole Foods or even your butcher).

The stuff on the shelf tends to contain:

  • MSG (monosodium glutamate) - a flavour enhancer that can cause a neurotoxic reaction! Not a preservative. I know very quickly when i've consumed something with MSG because I get heart palpitations and a slew of other negative effects. (2)
  • Crap tons of sodium (like scary amounts)
  • Sugar
  • Glucose fructose (high fructose corn syrup)
  • Processed inflammatory oils (like vegetable, soybean, and canola)
  • Natural flavours - are unregulated and we don't know the exact sources. These could be plant, animal, or a man-made proprietary blend. MSG can be hidden in here too!
  • A whole bunch of other unnecessary additives

   Now you might be thinking "Miya I found this organic broth at the health food store, that means it's okay right?". Sorry to break your heart and confuse you more, but...

Organic does not always mean healthy.

  Mind blowing, I know. You need to read through that ingredient list to actually determine whether or not this is a good product to use at home.

  Now that I have told you all about the do's and don'ts when it comes to broth, let's talk about how easy it is to make at home.

Watch this quick video!



My favourite veggies to use for tasty homemade broth:

  • Carrots + skins (washed and scrubbed)
  • Celery + leaves
  • Onions + skins
  • Garlic + skins
  • Kale, chard, collard greens + stems
  • Beet leaves + stems (these are also great sauteed!)
  • Broccoli stems
  • Sea salt (I season after cooking or add in only when using broth for a soup)
  • Other dried or fresh herbs (eg. rosemary, cilantro + stems)
  • Super powered add-ins: fresh ginger, turmeric, mushrooms, seaweed, healthy fat like coconut oil or ghee (if you use the broth for soup then you should add the fat in then)
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   I keep a medium-sized container in the fridge and toss my scraps into it when preparing meals all week, then try to make a pot of broth every weekend. I keep some in the fridge and freeze the rest in 500ml containers. I pull some out whenever I make soup, rice, pasta, risotto, stew, or chili.   

  Don't forget to compost the boiled veggie scraps after you have sucked all the nutrients out! Your plants will love you for it. Boiled broth scraps don't smell or attract wildlife as much as fresh scraps do. Compost acts as a fertilizer that is nutrient-dense and helps the soil retain moisture. Using natural compost is better than synthetic fertilizer and means fewer run-off chemicals. If you have a garden, what do you have to lose? I realize that for my condo and apartment friends this seems kinda weird, but I live in a condo in downtown Toronto and we compost small amounts of our veggies into our balcony vegetable planters. We have nutrient-rich, organic soil to work with every spring!   


References

(1) Dr. Axe. Bone Broth Benefits for Digestion, Arthritis and Cellulite. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/the-healing-power-of-bone-broth-for-digestion-arthritis-and-cellulite/. October 11, 2017.

(2) Telpner, M. (2013). Undiet: Eat your way to vibrant health. Toronto, Ontario. McClelland & Stewart.