Broth and stock are two words we often use interchangeably. However, their difference is that broth is lighter than stock. Also with regards to texture, the broth is also more watery. You can either use meat or vegetables for your broth. Both meat and vegetable-based broths are available in grocery stores. In this article, we will talk about the vegetable broth.
Vegetable broths are not only delicious; they are also packed with nutrients. Even picky eaters and those who are not fond of eating vegetables will not resist trying one. You can make a vegetable broth and use it as a base for a thicker soup or consume it as is.
Home-made vegetable broth can help improve digestion and metabolism. Moreover, it can also benefit your blood circulation and skin. See Jennifer McGruthers book entitled Broth and Stock from the Nourished Kitchen for more information regarding the health benefits of vegetable broth.
How Long Does Vegetable Broth Last in the Fridge?
Vegetable broths from grocery stores have longer expiration dates and can often last 2-3 months past those dates. Home-made vegetable broth, on the other hand, lasts significantly shorter. When stored in the refrigerator, home-made broth can last for up to 4 days. If you store your vegetable broth in the freezer, it can last for up to 5 months!
5 Tips to Prolong the Shelf-life of Home-made Vegetable Broth
Tip #1: Practice Good Hand Hygiene
Practice good hand hygiene when preparing vegetables that you are going to use for the broth. Properly wash your hands before touching them. A good hand washing procedure is to lather soap and then rub your hands and fingers for at least 30 seconds before rinsing.
Next, before cutting or peeling any vegetable, rinse them. Briskly rub the surfaces of produce under clean running water. I thoroughly washed, you do not have to add soap. To scrub off tough dirt, use a clean sponge.
Moreover, ensure that you use kitchen wares that are free from dirt as well. Even if cooking utensils are stored inside cabinets, make it a habit to rinse them again before use.
Tip #2: Refrigerate Broth Immediately
If you made home-made vegetable broth that you intend to store for future use, refrigerate the broth within 2 hours of cooking. Just make sure it is fully cooled. Warm broth can turn sour if put inside the fridge right away. If left at room temperature for more than 2 hours, throw away the broth.
Refrigeration will delay bacterial multiplication and also prevent further exposure to agents that will cause food spoilage. Furthermore, to extend your broths shelf life, freeze it. Monitor the temperature of your refrigerator occasionally and guarantee that ref temperature must be less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezer temperature must be 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This will not only ensure your vegetable broths freshness but also prevent your other stored foods from getting stale.
If properly stored, the refrigerated vegetable broth will last in the fridge for up to 4 days and the freezer for up to 5 months. To prevent possible food poisoning, it is best to throw away broths that are stored for more than the said periods. Discard them although they still smell and look good.
Tip #3: Store Vegetable Broth in Airtight Containers
When you store vegetable broth in the fridge or freezer, put it in a suitable container that will not be easily penetrated by bacteria. Ensure that you use covered airtight containers. Additionally, you can also use heavy-duty freezer bags. This tip will prevent contamination by pathogenic bacteria or mold present in your fridge.
Tip #4: Do Not Re-refrigerate Thawed Broth
If you thaw frozen vegetable broth by heating it in a microwave or submerging its bag in warm water, consume the broth immediately. You should not return this thawed broth in the refrigerator or freezer again. Get rid of unused thawed vegetable broth immediately.
On the contrary, if you thaw frozen vegetable broth by just transferring it in the fridge, you can still use it for 3 days more. Then, discard the broth if it exceeds the given period.
Tip #5: Always Check the Quality of Your Broth
If your home-made vegetable broth smells differently than the first time you cooked it, dispose it at once. Other signs that indicate your broth has gone bad include off or sour odor, different appearance, cloudy or white precipitates, and growth of mold.
Your broth can spoil earlier than 4 days in the fridge or 5 months in the freezer. This can happen even if proper storage measures are observed so do not worry because this is not your fault. You can always make a new one. The next paragraphs contain a basic vegetable broth recipe you can try!
Easy Vegetable Broth Recipe
Home-made vegetable broth is very easy to make. Aside from better taste, it is also much cheaper than store-bought ones. By making your vegetable broth, you can have full control of the stuff that goes into it. You can guarantee that it is fresh, clean, and all-natural. Also, you can further customize this basic recipe by adding extra herbs and vegetables according to your liking!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 10 cups water
1. Wash all vegetables but do not peel them. The skins possess valuable nutrients and you want to have these in your vegetable broth as much as possible.
2. Cut the carrots, celery, and onion into large dices. Next, smash the garlic cloves and peel them.
3. Using a stockpot, put the olive oil and heat. Add the vegetables and sautÃ© in medium fire for 3-8 minutes.
4. Add the peppercorns and some salt to taste. Then, put 10 cups of water and stir. Try to taste and add more salt if needed.
5. Boil the vegetable broth. After boiling, lower the heat so that it will just simmer. Cover the pot and leave for 40 minutes up to one hour. Make sure that it stays in a gentle simmer during this time. You do not want a lot of the broth to just boil off.
6. Let the broth cool down. Strain and discard the solid vegetables. Store in airtight jars. You can either refrigerate or freeze your home-made broth. Make sure to store the broth within 2 hours after cooking.
The store-bought vegetable broth has an expiration date on them. You can still use these 2-3 months past their expiry date. On the other hand, home-made broth can last for 4 days in the refrigerator and can last for up to 5 months in the freezer!
Vegetable broth is full of nutrients. Aside from its health benefits, it is also full of flavor. It is good to always have some stored in your fridge. You can consume it as is or use it as a base for soups. You can never go wrong with vegetable broth!