This Vegan Broth Has All The Benefits of Bone Broth—Without The Bones
OK, so "bone broth" is a misnomer for a vegetable-based broth, but hear me out. Bone broth has some major health claims under its belt, from its gut-healing and anti-inflammatory properties, to skin and joint health benefits. But what about the vegans and vegetarians out there who just can't get on board? A nutrient-rich plant-based broth is the answer, of course.
When you break down the benefits you're seeking from bone broth (taming inflammation, healing the gut, boosting antioxidants, and supporting joint health), we can build a plant-based broth that can help meet those needs sans animals. Here's what we're going to use:
Mixing fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms is a great way to infuse your broth with selenium (an element that supports joint and immune health), vitamin D (mushrooms are one of the only foods that naturally contain it if they are specially grown exposed to UV light), B vitamins, iron, and zinc. All of these vitamins and minerals make mushrooms a key food for nourishing the gut and boosting the immune system.
One sheet of kombu or a handful of wakame can add powerful benefits to your broth. Kombu is often used for cooking beans, as it can help break down the phytic acid (which can prevent nutrient absorption) in the beans and make them easier to digest.
Seaweed is also a great source of B vitamins, vitamins C and K, and is an incredible source of natural iodine, which can help with thyroid function. Sea vegetables have a compound called fucodian, which has antiviral, neuroprotective, and immune-modulating effects.
Fresh turmeric or ginger root can help nourish the liver and gut and reduce inflammation.
Onion and onion skins, garlic and garlic skins, carrot peels, fennel stalks, celery, herbs and herb stems, and any other vegetable scraps you've got. These all will contribute to the antioxidant power of your broth, in addition to the savory flavor.
When prepping vegetables, throw the scraps into the freezer until you have a full bag and are ready to make some broth.
Collagen powder (optional)
While we know this may be controversial territory for many vegans, if you're willing to give it a try, a powdered collagen supplement could enhance your veggie broth with even more skin, joint, and gut-protective properties. Try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons to your broth once it's done. If you're looking for a supplement, try this one.
Vegan Bone Broth
- 12 cups filtered water
- 1 sheet kombu or handful of wakame seaweed
- ½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
- ½ cup fresh mushrooms and stems
- 1 whole onion, skin on, sliced in half
- 5 garlic cloves, lightly crushed with the flat part of a chef's knife, skin on
- Carrot peels
- Parsley or cilantro stems
- 2-inch piece of ginger
- 2 to 3 tablespoons collagen powder (optional)
1. Place all ingredients except collagen powder in a large stockpot. Place a lid on, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook at a simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Allow to cool, pour through a fine-mesh strainer, reserving the liquid. Discard the food scraps. To season the broth, use tamari or sea salt. Stir in collagen powder (if using) now.
Store the broth in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for 1 month
Leah Vanderveldt is an author living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her bachelor’s in communications and media from Fordham University, and is certified in culinary nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute. She is the author of two cookbooks: The New Nourishing and The New Porridge.
Vanderveldt is a former food editor at mindbodygreen and has previously worked for Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Australian Home Beautiful.