|My Bella, courtesy of Target!|
I use lots of fresh vegetables. If you don't it is past time you started. The benefits of eating local, fresh foods are limitless. Our local produce stand offers a wonderful, seasonal variety of fresh produce and even butter and grass fed cow meat from late Spring through late Fall. Also, buying local costs us less than shopping at the grocery store! Okay, enough of my "eat seasonal, eat local" soapbox! You get the picture.
So, we eat lots of fresh veggies. Meal planning has made me a much more organized cook. Currently, I have enough chopped onion, multi-colored peppers, carrots, radishes, jalapenos, and cucumbers to feed our family for a week. Each Sunday or Monday I spend about 20 minutes prepping lots of fresh veggies in various glass containers for our meals that week. I used to throw away all of the parts I chopped off; you know, the ends of the onions and peppers, the peelings of the carrots and radishes...not anymore! I store them in a bag in my freezer until I have enough for broth! Personally, I get such a special joy out of this endeavor - I am making my family a nutritious kitchen staple pretty much for free!
Save your vegetable ends, peelings, etc. until you have a gallon bag filled. Pour them into your crock pot. Filll it up with water. Add some garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Simmer on low setting for 12-24 hours. Allow to cool. Strain out veggies (what is left of them) and pour your broth into jars (I reuse glass jars). You can store this broth for a week in your fridge or freeze it (be sure to leave room for expansion in your jars if you freeze them).
That is all. Simple. Frugal. Voila!