Sodium-Free Vegetable Broth

Broth is one of those staple ingredients that is always stocked in my freezer.  It’s so easy to make and a little goes a long way…

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I’m a fan of the Mediterranean method of introducing solids, which includes starting babies off at 6 months with fresh, homemade broth mixed with puréed veggies, Parmesan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, and a dollop or two of baby cereal to thicken it, if necessary.

There is more to broth than meets the eye!  It’s super-healthy (especially if it’s homemade!) and can be used in a variety of ways.

1) Store broth in the freezer in single portions (such as in baby cubes) for quick access.
2) Purée veggies WITH the broth (especially if you need to “hide” veggies from baby!)
2) Remove veggies, mash or purée, and freeze separately.
3) Mix veggies with proteins as a healthy “side” dish.
4) Add broth to baby food that is reheated to add moisture.
5) Use broth instead of water to boil veggies or rice and pasta to add extra flavour. 

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Broth is something that can be completely personalized based on your preferences. Add any of your favourite vegetables to the recipe (I’ve tried zucchini, broccoli, kale and swiss chard).  It freezes well in baby cubes or ice cube trays for up to 6 months.

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Ingredients
(Yields about 3 cups)
4 cups of cold distilled water
*An Italian relative once told me that using cold water extends the cooking time-cooking the veggies for a longer period of time results in a more flavourful broth.
2 celery stalks (with the leaves)
2 medium carrots
½ medium red onion
1 medium russet potato
*Portions do not need to be exact…just be sure to add enough water to the pot to completely cover all the veggies.

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Chop the carrots and celery lengthwise, then cut each piece into quarters.
*I usually cut the celery into smaller chunks as it always takes longer to cook!

Chop halved onion in half and remove the skin. Peel potato and chop in half. Add all the veggies to a large pot with the water and bring to a boil.

Once boiling reduce heat to medium and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.  Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

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At this point you can either strain the broth and freeze it on its own or purée everything altogether (which I did!).
*If you don’t have an immersion blender or food processor simply mash the veggies with a fork or potato masher.

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Don’t forget to add some Omega 3-fatty acids…sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and  a dollop of extra-virgin olive oil.

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What do YOU know about the Mediterranean method of introducing solids? Is it a strategy that you would you use for your baby?