November and December present a trifecta of reasons to stock up on your own homemade broth: flu/cold season, winter weather, and the holidays.
Last week I started making the grocery list of staples that we would need in the coming weeks. Flour, butter, and eggs for baking. Meat for roasting. Potatoes and onions for those comfort foods you enjoy with family.
I also started making batches of my homemade chicken broth. It is one of the easiest things to make if you have a decent-sized crockpot and it is much more frugal than buying it in the store. It’s also way healthier for you and helps everyone fight of the nasty bugs that go around this time of year.
Homemade stock/broth can be stored in the fridge or the freezer and it makes a great base for all your soups, gravies, marinades, and more.
Why are you wasting veggies?
There are tons of posts out there that tell you how to make your own chicken stock, bone broth, etc. Just check Pinterest. So I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here.
However, I’ve noticed that most of the directions for making broth call for using whole vegetables. Sometimes they even suggest you use the carcass of a roasted chicken you bought at the market.
Those suggestions are fine, but I try to make my broth the most frugal it can be.
Why use a whole onion and the “good” parts of celery and carrots for making broth when they are just going to turn to mush and be thrown out? That seems wasteful to me, and I have always used a more frugal option.
Save your vegetable scraps and freeze them!
Maybe it’s my Midwestern upbringing, but I have learned to never let any part go to waste that can be useful. So whenever I cut up a bunch of celery, or an onion I save the “ends and skins” in a freezer baggie for using to make broth later.
I make sure to rinse everything off really good before I freeze it.
The usual vegetable scrap suspects:
- celery tops
- onion skins and outer layers
- green onion bottoms
- carrot tips and peels
- turnip scraps
- cabbage scraps
- radish ends
- garlic tips and skins
And then when I have meat or bones I throw my veggie scraps in the crockpot, fill it up with water, and cook it on low for 6-8 hours!
Add in a few whole garlic cloves for extra immune-boosting properties, and some pepper and seasonings for flavor.
I don’t use rotisserie carcasses either because we just don’t buy already cooked chicken. When I make broth I usually use 4-6 thighs that I have bought on sale. The skin and the meat give the chicken broth a deeper flavor and I know when my broth is done because the meat will fall off the bone.
I shred the meat and save it to make enchiladas or chicken salad.
I’ve also been known to save beef bones from a bone-in roast and make some great beef broth, but it’s hard to find good roasts with bones that are on sale. You can use leftover turkey bones after Thanksgiving as well.
My 6-quart crockpot usually makes about 8-9 cups of broth. So for mere scraps I am getting about 8 cans of broth!
Now I think it’s time to roast my pumpkins to prepare freezer pumpkin puree.