Wilted parsley, limp celery stalks, carrot ends, onion skins, squishy tomatoes, pulp from your juicer… sounds like the perfect addition to the compost bucket! BUT, before you add it to your compost pile, try this easy soup broth recipe to access some of the remaining nutrients and flavours in your less-than-perfect veggie scraps.
I always keep a large Tupperware container in the freezer, separate from my regular compost, to reserve any food scraps that would work well in a broth. When the Tupperware is full, I make a batch of broth to be used in soups, sauces, rice, quinoa – anywhere you may want a little extra flavour.
Some veggies that make good scraps for a broth (including stems, peels, tough bits, tops – anything goes!):
- Carrots, parsnip, turnip
- Onions, garlic, scapes, leeks, etc.
- Herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary
- Greens like chard, kale, spinach
- Peppers (bell, jalapeno, etc.)
- Ginger root
- Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage bits (this veg family tends to have an overpowering smell/taste, so I don’t go overboard with these)
- Beets (I also limit these bits mainly for colour purposes… unless I want a deep purple broth)
- Juice pulp (though usually only if it’s a predominantly veg-based juice, e.g. not overly citrus-y)
- 5 cups fresh or frozen vegetable/herb scraps
- 6-7 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a large pot over low heat.
- Let simmer for about an hour.
- Strain (and NOW you can add the left-over pulp to the compost).
- Use the broth immediately, or refrigerate for later use, or freeze for much later use.
FOOD WASTE FACTS
- According to Second Harvest (an organization that aims to reduce waste and hunger), Canadians waste $31 billion dollars worth of food per year – and nearly 50% is household waste. Check out Second Harvest’s website for some other staggering global and Canadian food insecurity stats.
- Last summer, Global News reported that food waste in Canada is at record levels (approximately 31 million pounds per year), while many Canadians continue to go hungry. Every day, good food is wasted in hospitals, grocery chains, schools, restaurants and homes around the world.
- Renowned Canadian geneticist and environmentalist, David Suzuki, offers up further shocking statistics and helpful tips on food waste.
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver also did a fantastic segment on food waste in America.
Be conscious of your food shopping habits and only buy what you will eat. Rather than throwing food out, consider donating it, canning/preserving/freezing … or make yourself some broth.
All great lessons to teach kids, too!!