Vegetable Scrap Broth

As the temperature drops, many of us will begin eating more foods that warm us from the inside out. Plenty of Fall recipes call for broth, and store bought broth can be underwhelming and overpriced. This version of homemade broth may become your new household staple! Not only is this broth delicious, but it reduces food waste, adds layers of flavor into recipes and is virtually free. All you need is vegetable scraps and water.

At Food for People, we distribute an abundance of fresh produce throughout our programs. This recipe is a fantastic way to use the odds and ends that are left over from cooking and stretch them further into your next meal.

As you prepare your onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms, carrots and other vegetables, set your scraps aside and store them in an airtight container in the freezer. Over time, that container will fill up with an array of ingredients to make a flavorful and nutritious broth. 

Check out our video on how to make this recipe!


Flavorful scraps to use:

Onion ends and skins

Garlic peels

Leek ends/tops

Carrot tops/peels

Celery base

Bok Choy base

Broccoli stems

Green onion ends

Thyme, rosemary or any herb stems

Woody ends of asparagus

Kale, chard or collard green stems

Corn cobs

Zucchini ends and peels

Mushroom stems

Bell pepper scraps

Parsley or cilantro ends

Ginger peels

  vegetable scraps
  water (enough to cover the vegetable scraps)
  1. Pour the vegetable scraps into a pot.
  2. Pour in enough water to cover the vegetable scraps.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat, simmering the contents on low heat for a couple of hours.
  4. Strain out the cooked vegetables from the liquid and pour the finished broth into containers for future use. This broth will keep in the fridge for about one week or in the freezer for a few months.

Not only can you use this broth for the typical application of soups and stews, but you can use it as a flavorful replacement for water while cooking grains (like rice, quinoa, etc.), beans, or steaming vegetables and dumplings. You can even use this broth as a base for homemade sauces and gravies. The possibilities are endless!


Could you use help with affording to buy ingredients for cooking? You might qualify for CalFresh, a nutrition assistance program that helps households purchase food at local grocery stores and farmers' markets. Benefits come on a debit card, which is used just like any other debit/credit card. Visit our CalFresh webpage to learn more, see if you might qualify, and choose from a list of ways to apply, including online.