Save money and reduce waste by following this slow cooker vegetable broth recipe. It’s so easy – all you need are enough vegetable scraps (store them in your freezer!), water, some spices, and a slow cooker or crockpot.
However, I must be honest, this is barely a recipe.
I like to save most of my vegetable scraps and turn them into a homemade vegetable broth, which is great to use in recipes that either call for broth, or in place of water in savory recipes. And it could not be easier.
How to Make Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
Step One: Hoard your vegetable scraps in the freezer. It’s easier to list what I don’t save instead of what I do. Potatoes will make your broth startchy, beets will make your broth dark red, so I don’t save scraps from either. I try not to include seeds. I do include herbs. Veggies that are wilting are fine, but obviously not anything that is rotting or growing mold. But everything else is good to go! Including the parts of vegetables that you wouldn’t normally eat like stems and ends.
You still want to clean anything that you use. I store it in a ziplock bag, marked “NOT GARBAGE” so that my husband won’t throw it out.
Step Two: Get out your slow cooker. Once a gallon-size freezer bag is full, it’s time to make broth! The frozen scraps go into the slow cooker along with any other veggies in my fridge that are about to turn, anything off my herb plants that looks overdue, along with some olive oil, salt, and a few cloves of garlic. I top it all off with water until the slow cooker is full.
Step Three: Cook on LOW for 8 hours. You can stir occasionally just to make sure everything is submerged and what not, but otherwise you pretty much leave it alone.
Step Four: Let it cool. Once the 8 hours is over, I put on oven mitts, remove the ceramic bowl and let it cool on my stove. Once it’s cooled a little bit, I remove the veggies with a slotted spoon.
Step Five: Store it. I save plastic containers from take-out (or gelato). Once the broth is cooled enough, I use a soup ladle to fill the containers. Make sure not to fill completely since it will expand as it freezes.
Step Six: Use it in recipes! You can make soup, or anytime a savory recipe calls for water, use broth instead. Or, of course, use it in recipes that call for broth. Since I don’t use a lot of salt in my broth, I make sure to add it when cooking with it.
Do you make your own broth? Any other suggestions?