Unused onion halves, carrot ends, and celery ends that are on the cutting board usually end up in the trash. No wonder – often underestimated parts of vegetables and greens that are not included in the main dish can be the basis of nutritious broth. Food experts show how to give new life to leftover vegetables and meat and create broth that can be used to make soups, sauces and stews.
Since ancient times, Lithuanian housewives have been making chicken broth, which is even considered a healing soup that can immediately put you in pain. According to Ernesta Dapkienė, director of the Communication and Image Department of the Maxima shopping chain, until now, Lithuanians love broth, and the sales of broth cubes show that their demand increases in autumn and as winter progresses.
“We notice that bouillon cubes are regularly in our customers’ carts – it’s a great way to quickly make your favorite soup or add flavor to other dishes. The broth made in the spring is very popular at the beginning of autumn and later after the big holidays. Sales statistics show that chicken broth is the most popular, followed by vegetable, mushroom and beef broth. We are constantly adding a variety of products or organic alternatives without yeast or added sugar, with less salt – for some buyers, naturalness is the main criterion when choosing a broth”, said E. Dapkienė about the choice of buyers.
According to Brigita Baratinskaitė, head of Maxima’s Food Production Department, today you can find organic broth products in stores, which are easy to prepare, and their nutritional value is definitely not inferior to vegetable, chicken or beef broth cooked at home. However, by making broth at home, you can create your own combination of flavors and nutrients, and with smart planning and zero food waste, homemade broth doesn’t cost much.
We make it from what is usually in the trash
Food expert “Maximas” says that nutritious broth can be cooked even from leftover vegetables and thus contributes to reducing food waste and own costs. The rest of the washed and dried vegetables are recommended to be stored in a bag in the refrigerator until there is enough for the broth. It is estimated that to make 2 liters of broth, you need to collect 4 cups of vegetable pieces. If you cook less, it may take more than a week to have enough leftovers – the freezer will help keep food fresh and preserve vitamins.
“Onions, skins, carrot skins and ends, celery and garlic can go into the stock bag, which is often the main stock ingredient. Leftover onion leaves, mushroom stems, fennel tops, and parsley and cilantro stems can also be used. You can also can keep chicken carcasses or rib bones saved from the dinner table, shrimp shells – the most important thing is to put them in a separate bag, not put them in the refrigerator together with vegetables,” said the head of Maximos Food Production. Department.
According to B. Baratinskaitė, although almost all vegetables are suitable for the production of broth, it is necessary to know that broccoli and cauliflower and Brussels sprouts can add bitterness to the broth. Zucchini and green beans also become rancid when cooked for a long time, and beetroot can overshadow the flavor of the broth and turn red. To make a clear broth, it is recommended not to use starchy vegetables such as potatoes or corn on the cob.
“Making the broth is easy – put the collected vegetables and leftover meat from the freezer directly into the pot, pour water and boil it hot. If you use meat, remove the foam every time you cook. After boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes. If you use leftover meat, bones or shrimp shells for the broth, it is better to cook it on low heat for several hours. The longer the broth is boiled, the more nutritious and valuable it is. For example, the so-called bone broth is boiled for at least 6 hour. Strain the cooled broth through a fine sieve and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you want to enjoy the broth later, the stock can be frozen in a larger ice cube tray. Later it is very convenient to season the sauce,” said B. Baratiskaitė.
He points out that the concentration and flavor of the broth depends on the ratio of ingredients to water and the cooking time. The longer the broth is boiled, the richer the flavor and the broth can later be used as a concentrate. It is difficult to get a concentrated product like stock cubes on store shelves at home – just cooking a dish with homemade broth will require more.
Homemade chicken broth
It will be necessary: 4 cups of frozen vegetable scraps (onions, garlic, celery, carrots, herb stems, leeks), chicken bones and carcass scraps, salt, black pepper and bay leaves for taste and 2 liters of water in a freezer bag.
We produce: Pour enough water over the chicken bones to cover and cover. Pour off the boiling water and wash the bones and the rest of the meat. Add the vegetables, add a teaspoon of salt, some bay leaves, some black pepper and cover with water. When the water boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours. Strain the boiled broth through a sieve. Pour the cooled broth into a larger ice tray or larger container suitable for freezing and place in the freezer. Then, use these stock cubes to flavor sauces, and larger containers are perfect for flavoring soups or just enjoying a hot cup of stock.
Arum jbeef broth
You will need: 4 cups of frozen vegetable scraps (onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsnips, parsley, thyme), 1 kg of beef bones or meat scraps, salt, black pepper and bay leaves for taste and water in a freezer bag.
We produce: Place the washed and dried beef bones, the rest of the meat in a deep pan and roast in the oven until tender. Then put the remaining preserved vegetables in a large pot, throw in bay leaves, pepper and cover the pot with a lid and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours. Strain the boiled broth through a sieve, discarding the bones and vegetables. Cool the broth to room temperature, then bath or freeze. Delicious!
A classic broth of seasonal vegetables
You will need: 4 cups freezer bag of leftover frozen vegetables (onions, garlic, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, parsnips, herb stalks), some fresh herbs (bay leaves, thyme, sage, and rosemary), salt, pepper, and water. Of course, you can use dried mushrooms – it will give a richer taste.
We produce: Add all the saved vegetable pieces to the pot. Then add enough water to cover the vegetables until they float. Add salt, pepper and cook on low heat for about an hour. The longer you cook, the more flavor you’ll get!