• Zero Waste Vegetable Broth


Did you know you can save your vegetable scraps to make vegetable broth? What a great way to reduce food waste! Easily store veggie scraps in gallon sized freezer safe bags or other air tight container and store them in the freezer until you are ready to make the broth. While you can save most vegetable scraps for this broth, certain vegetables are better than others and should be used in larger amounts:

Vegetables for your base – at least 50%:

  • Onion peels and root ends
  • Celery ends and leaves
  • Carrot ends and peels

Remaining 50%:

  • Asparagus trimmings
  • Chard stems
  • Eggplant ends
  • Garlic skins, ends and stems
  • Green bean tips
  • Leek trimmings, well washed!
  • Mushroom stems
  • Sweet potato skins and ends
  • Squash ends
  • Pepper cores and ends
  • Tomato ends
  • Herb in smaller quantities (can overpower the flavor)

Vegetables to avoid:

  • Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, etc., which turn bitter when cooked for long periods
  • Potatoes, turnips and other starchy vegetables, which can make broth gummy
  • Beets, unless you are okay with dying your broth dark red
  • Dirty or rotting vegetables

This recipe comes from our 2020 nutrition intern Jessica Bruggen. Click here to learn more about zero waste cooking.

Vegetable Broth

Zero Waste Vegetable Broth

Servings: Makes about 8 cups


  • 2  1-gallon bags full of frozen vegetable scraps (about 8 -10 cups worth)
  • Water


Empty the 2 bags of frozen vegetable scraps into a slow cooker or a large pot and fill with water until the water level is about an inch lower than the frozen vegetables. Add salt and/or herbs to taste.

Slow Cooker and Stove Top: Slow cook the vegetables on high for 3.5 hours in a slow cooker or over medium heat on the stove top. If cooking on the stove top you may need to add water while cooking. Pressure Cooker: You can also use a pressure cooker for this recipe. Pressure cook for 30 minutes and allow for at least a 20 minute natural release.

After cooking, strain vegetables from liquid and apply pressure to vegetables to remove trapped broth. Compost the solids if possible otherwise discard.

Use the broth immediately for soups or cooking grains, or empty broth into storage containers and refrigerate for upto 4 days. The broth can also be frozen once it has cooled. If freezing be sure to leave at least one inch of head space to allow for expansion.

Put your broth to work with our healthy, seasonal soup recipes!

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