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Self-isolation project: make your own veggie broth!

You’ve seen them everywhere on social media, people making bread every week, learning how to do crochet, basically doing all of the possible Pinterest DIY projects. As I am actually attending school, being involved in many student organisations and working, these days are not as fun as they could be.

If you are in the same situation as I am, you don’t have time to learn the wonders of woodworking or start your own garden, I can suggest something that’s easy, sustainable and will make you feel like you accomplished something different :).

I’ve been making my own veggie broth since I arrived here because I read about it last summer and thought it was a great way to recycle my veggie scraps, which still have lots of nutrients but may not be super appetizing. It only requires food that you already have, some space in your freezer, a big pot and the result is really yummy!

To start, you need to collect your veggie scraps: carrot, potato, onion and garlic peels, stems and leaves from celery, stems from zucchini, eggplants, mushrooms, peppers, basically anything you would throw out. I don’t like putting my cabbage scraps in there because it makes the taste super bitter, but the great thing about this recipe is that there are no rules, so you can adjust to make it your own. Store the scraps in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware in the freezer.

Filling up my pot with veggies and water

Once you filled a good amount (about enough fill to 3/4 your biggest pot), you can start cooking! Put all the scraps in your pot, and add enough water to barely cover the frozen veggies. Add salt, pepper, and any spice you like (since my spice cabinet here is pretty rudimental I go with chili flakes, a couple bay leaves, and dried herbs such as basil and oregano). If you have miso, I really suggest adding about a teaspoon to bring out the flavors of the other veggies #umami. Bring your mixture to a soft boil, mixing it up from time to time to defreeze everything. Once that is done, bring down the heat and let simmer for a couple hours (longer time=more concentrated). I suggest tasting it ever half-hour.

After a couple hours, volume has reduced and the water has picked up all the flavors

After you reached the flavor you want, strain the mixture and collect the liquid in pots. In general, recipes require about 1 liter of broth so I like to store it likewise. You can just put it in the freezer in a sealed container if you don’t have a recipe to use it for right away.

The end result: flavor and vitamin packed broth (yum!)

I use my broth to cook things like dahl, risotto or soup, and I’ve been really satisfied with the results. It’s a very easy DIY project and it should impress your friends and family (maybe they’ll be inspired and doing it too!).

Happy isolation and on another note, don’t forget about the webinars for admitted students in the coming days!

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