So, let’s be honest: I wouldn’t exactly call our family “zero waste”. We still buy the occasional product in plastic packaging, we don’t get to the farmers market as often as we’d like, and I always seem to forget our reusable grocery bags in the back of my car. (Don’t worry, though; we always ask for paper.) But it was a total “DUH!” moment when I realized that I could minimize our food waste by using all of our veggie scraps to make homemade vegetable broth!

For the past week, I’ve been keeping all of our veggie scraps in glass mason jars in the freezer. Why? To ensure that the scraps didn’t rot before I could make my broth, and because we have an abundance of upcycled mason jars in our kitchen. (I suppose you could also store them in freezer bags, but we haven’t bought Ziploc bags in at least 4 years.)

Throughout the week, I saved nearly every vegetable or fresh herb that we used. On this particular week, that included things like carrot ends, sweet potato ends, wilting cilantro and parsley, onion scraps, tough asparagus ends, celery roots, bell pepper tops, and more. But, as always, the beauty of this “recipe” is that you can use whatever you’ve got on hand!

I know a lot of people who’ve made their own broth in a pot on the stovetop, but I wanted to try my hand at making it in a Crockpot. (Mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I feel like I’ve become a Crockpot aficionado over the past few years.) Just use what you’ve got.

I actually let my Crockpot cook on low for the entire night (12+ hours), and it was perfect. You can’t really “overcook” this broth, and you can always add additional seasoning if it isn’t potent enough for you. When you’re ready, simply strain and pour into jars or containers of your choosing.

Homemade Crock-Pot Vegetable Broth

Total Time: 10-12 hours in Crockpot
Servings: 9-10 cups of broth

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
  • at least four (4) 16-oz mason jars (or 1 large freezer bag) full of veggie scraps (for example: onion ends, leftover herbs, carrot peels, broccoli stems, kale stems, mushroom stems, celery roots, or any scraps you have)
  • 9-10 cups of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 tsp. salt (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Add all of your ingredients to your Crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 10-12 hours (or longer).
  3. Strain your veggie broth, making sure to catch all liquid. Discard veggie scraps (or feed them to your dogs, like we did).
  4. Pour your broth into jars or containers. Keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, or freeze for 3 months.