It's Earth day and Recipe Redux day! Our challenge this month was to reduce kitchen waste. My favorite way to help use up kitchen scraps is by making broth. I try to buy a whole chicken once a month after we've eaten most of it I'll use or freeze the carcass and any provided organs to make broth. I also save carrot peelings, ends of onions and bell peppers, celery, mushroom stems, etc and freeze throughout the month and then use these pieces or any lone remaining vegetables in the broth.
I also like to add kombu a sea vegetable rich in iodine, magnesium, potassium and calcium. We follow a very low sodium diet in my house (for Meniere's disease) so we miss out on iodine fortified salt. The kombu is one source of this essential mineral in our diet. It also adds amazing flavor.
I like to add fresh or dried thyme and parsley as I have them and a dried bay leaf. Turmeric and black pepper are also great additions. I don't add any salt but the carrots, celery and kombu all contain some sodium naturally.
From Scraps to Broth
makes about 8 quarts (a large slow cooker)
- Chicken carcass (any skin, bones, and provided organs)
- Vegetables scraps - at least 1 cup of vegetable pieces (celery, carrots, onions, bell peppers, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.)
- Herbs - 1 to 3 sprigs each (parsley, thyme) (or sub dried versions)
- Spices (bay leaf (one), turmeric, black pepper)
- Kombu - 1 piece
Throw everything in a large slow cooker and cover with water. Cook on low 8 - 10 hours. Strain the liquid through a mess calendar or sieve. Refrigerate or freeze the broth. I like to fill my silicone muffin pans and freeze. Then empty the pans and freeze the muffin sized portions in freezer bags.
As you can see this isn't an exact recipe. Simply use what you have and if you don't have everything that's okay. You'll still end up with a flavorful liquid ready to be used in soups, stews, smoothies, cooking grains, etc.
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