Have you ever wondered what the difference between vegetable stock and vegetable broth is?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve used these terms interchangeably. But let me fill you in on a little secret. They are different! So maybe you already knew that, but do you know what makes them different?
It’s all about the flavor.
Think about a time when you made your own homemade stock or broth, whether it was animal based or plant based. You probably put in all your vegetables (bones, etc) and then added some spices. In that case, you were making broth.
You see, stock isn’t typically seasoned with spices, it either retains a neutral flavor or if bones are used, takes on those flavors. On the other hand, a broth does get seasoned. Think bay leaves, peppercorns, fresh herb sprigs and such.
Think about when you’ve been sick. Many of us have enjoyed a cup of chicken broth or two growing up. Thanks to the herbs, spices and vegetables it tasted good and we drank it to help us feel better.
So why would you want to sip a cup of veggie broth?
Vegetable broth made with with a variety of different veggies and slowly simmered over time becomes nutrient dense – full of minerals that are extracted from the plants and infused into the broth. This broth has healing properties that can nourish our body, promote healing, and even help to alkalize our body’s ph levels.
So how do you make a healing veggie broth?
Save those veggie scraps.
Don’t throw out those veggie scraps you have leftover when you are prepping for meals. Instead, save everything that you would typically toss (so long as it’s not moldy or dirty): carrot tops, zucchini ends, onion peels, potato skins, cucumber shavings, garlic wrappers, even lemon rinds can be saved.
Freeze scraps until you have a good amount.
Toss your scraps in a large freezer bag or glass container and store in the freezer. Continue to do this until you have a good amount of scraps, enough to fill a stock pot about halfway.
Make the broth.
Once you have accumulated enough, throw everything in a large pot. Add your favorite seasonings such as bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, thyme, red pepper flakes, etc. Cover with water and simmer on low for a few hours. The longer it simmers, the more flavor you get also enabling extraction of nutrients.
Enjoy your homemade, healing veggie broth (and freeze some for later).
Once it is done, strain it and store either in the fridge for the week or bottle it up in glass containers (leave a 1/4 inch for expansion) and place in the freezer for a rainy day.
Have you ever made a healing vegetable broth? Do you drink broth when you are sick? Or maybe to boost your immune system and prevent yourself from getting sick? I would love to hear from you.