Veggie Mineral Homemade Broth
I used to use broth just as a base for immune-boosting soups and stews, but lately I’ve been sprinkling a little cayenne and sipping it directly, steaming hot, from a small bowl. Doing so reminds me of miso soup in Japanese restaurants.
This broth in particular is a homemade magical detox food, like a liquid super vitamin for your immune system. It’s a little time-intensive, which the Instapot reduces by about 75%. And if you make a big batch you can freeze it in small portions and it’ll last quite awhile.
If you aren’t familiar with the goodness of broth, here it is: Simmering the vegetables slowly over several hours essentially releases all their nutritional value into the water, so all that’s left is the starch and fiber of the plant.
In this recipe we focus on root veggies because those are the ones in direct contact with the soil, hopefully (ideally) absorbing up all that wonderful earthy goodness. I say hopefully, because it really depends on the quality of the soil the veggies were grown in. This is why buying produce from fresh, hearty, local soil is a million times healthier than buying what I semi-jokingly call vegetable skeletons from depleted, dead corporate soil.
Here are the ingredients I’m using for today’s broth. You can see we have a lot of root veggies, plus some celery, zucchini and parsley for their natural salts, and some ginger and seaweed (kombu) thrown in there too.
We also have a sweet potato, a japanese garnet yam, and a Golden beet, because broth turns whatever color of veggies you have, and the first time I made this broth with a regular beet, my broth turned out blood red and my family thought I had made some witches brew. It would have made a perfect Halloween gag. Ha!
I scrub all the veggies that need it, particularly the ones with the rough skins. But you do NOT want to throw away any peels or skins for the broth! Up to 70% of a plant’s nutritive value is found in its skin, and your broth needs that. Don’t worry, you’ll be straining it all at the end. Let it simmer to extract all those gut-healing nutrients!
Once scrubbed and cut into chunks, my veggies look like this:
You’ll noticed I’m even leaving my onion skins in there, my ginger still has its skin on, and my garlic is whole (later on, I actually cut the entire garlic head in half, but I still keep the skin in the broth).
My original recipe didn’t call for the zucchini at all, but its a wonderful source of natural salts, and because I don’t care for the texture of most squashes, I know I don’t get enough of it in my diet – or all its wonderful nutrients. So I threw one in here for the Folate, Vitamin A, and Potassium that zucchini is known for.
It might seem like a lot of chopping work but it goes quick. There’s no need to finely dice anything. Just rough chunks to increase surface area and help get those nutrients out of the plants and into the water!
Once it’s all chopped up, it goes in a large stock pot with about 16 cups of water. Over the course of 3 hours, that water will reduce by half, yielding around 8 cups of finished broth.
In this variation, I used my stove and traditional stockpot. I just keep it on low on the stove for about 3 hours, making sure it’s simmering just barely, and partially (but not fully) covered. In a typical Instapot, you can make the same broth in 45 minutes to an hour.
You can see below that I add a good grind of pepper to the mix once it starts to simmer. This is purely for flavor and carminative (digestive) action.
I do not salt the broth at the beginning, only at the end once strained. Sodium is a tricky thing – it loses its salty flavor while being cooked over time. If you add a teaspoon at the start, by the end it’ll taste like you added nothing, but that sodium will still be in there. So wait to season it until the end.
I didn’t get photos of the straining process once it’s all done, because it can be a bit messy, and quite a handful working with that quantity of material. The broth is done around the 2.5 to 3 hour mark if you’re using the stove. (If using Instapot, set it for 1 hour on the Broth/High Pressure setting, and make sure the Steam Vent is set to Seal.)
You can taste it, the broth should have the full flavor of the vegetables and not taste like barely flavored water. You’ll turn the heat off, let it rest for a minute, and then use a coarse mesh sieve over a large bowl to strain the broth.
Because there is SO much solid vegetable material, I will use tongs or a pasta spoon to grab out a good quantity of it and place it either in my sink or in another large bowl, before I try to strain it. If you prefer, you could also strain it twice – once through a normal colander and then again through the fine mesh sieve.
There will be some settling with the broth, even after straining. This is OK. It might be some fiber from the broken down potatoes, as they soften to mush through the simmering. It’s also some of the minerals you extracted from the broth – yum!
Once the broth is strained, it’s time to test it’s flavoring. This is the time that I find the broth benefits immensely from both salt and cayenne. For an 8 cup batch I end up usually adding 2 teaspoons of salt, and about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of cayenne, particularly if I’m using this as a sipping broth. You want a nice, tummy-warming sensation while you sip it.
I portion my broth into 2-cup shallow Rubbermaids and then freeze it. A lot of recipes call for 2 cups of broth, and if we decide to sip it, it makes 2 individual 1-cup serving sizes which is perfect for a little mug or small bowl.
This broth is incredibly healing to the gut and cardiovascular system. It is detoxing and anti-inflammatory. It can be used in literally any savory recipe calling for broth or water. Try making a batch on a Sunday afternoon, your house will smell like sunshine and earth. Delicious.
Veggie Mineral Homemade Broth
Nutrition Per Serving