Best Veggie Broth

Do you use Veggie Broth in your plant-based cooking? For us, a good Veggie Broth can make or break a meal. Thankfully, I’ve found the best Veggie Broth options!

Best Veggie Broth

Shortly after switching to a plant-based diet I created my Dry Veggie Broth Mix. I missed the deep, savory flavors from my previous diet but wanted to continue to eat healthy. I tried several brands but liked mine the best. Luckily, I’ve discovered a few that I enjoy when I’m not up for making my own.

Best Veggie Broth Options

I’ll share all my favorites and why I like them. I’d love to hear if you know some I should add to the list.

Dry Veggie Broth Mix

Dry Veggie Broth Mix

I may be biased but I’ve heard from countless people that say this Veggie Broth Mix is life changing. Not just good, LIFE CHANGING! I have to agree.

The good news is that you can easily adapt this recipe to suit your tastes. If you can’t have nightshades, just remove those ingredients. If you can’t have salt, leave it out! It still tastes great. The only ingredient that you need to include is nutritional yeast. It pretty much gives it the flavor and is the carrier for the rest of the spices.

I always double the recipe and keep it near my stove for a quick and easy broth. It lasts a long time in a glass jar.

My recipe uses one tablespoon of mix for each cup of water. If you blend it in a blender or food processor it will be finer and you can use less. I add it to soups (obviously) and many other foods like rice, pasta, popcorn and even sprinkle on potatoes or other veggies.

Veggie Broth

Veggie Scrap Broth

No doubt you’ve seen videos and heard of people who use veggie scraps to make veggie broth. It’s a great way to use up the odds and ends of veggies. You just need a bag or big jar and room in the freezer. Then once your bag is full, boil, then strain your veggies.

The downside of this is that you will forfeit room in your freezer, first for the scraps, then for the broth. You’ll also want to make sure you don’t have too many spicy or bitter scraps that may give your broth an off putting flavor. No one wants to sit down to a warm bowl of soup and taste bitter flavors.

Veggie Broth

Store Bought Broth Mixes and Bouillon

Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth and Seasoning is a favorite introduced to me by Anne at Recipe for Life. It tastes great and is perfect for a quick broth. The ingredients are really similar to my homemade version but I’ve been enjoying this one. I haven’t made a batch of mine since we started packing up our kitchen to move.

Better Than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base is another favorite and the first veggie broth I tried. This one has to be kept refrigerated so it might be slightly less convenient but it tastes fantastic! I’m not as crazy about the ingredient list but the flavor might persuade you.

There are many others out there that I haven’t tried. I encourage you to read the ingredients and buy a small package to make sure you like the flavors. I’ve tried some brands that were not good but had so much I didn’t want to waste.

What’s the best veggie broth for you?

That will depend on your dietary needs and tastes. If there are foods you are allergic to, sensitive to, or just avoiding, making your own broth is the way to go! If you have room in your freezer and a good variety of veggie scraps, try making your own and store it until you are ready. If you don’t have room in your freezer, give my Dry Veggie Broth Mix a try!

Broccoli Potato Soup

Using your Veggie Broth

Veggie Broth isn’t just for soups! I use my veggie broth to give a little more flavor to pasta and rice dishes. It also works well when cooking veggies without oil. Just use a little broth to deglaze the pan and keep veggies from sticking.

I’ve even been known to make me a cup of broth when it’s cold. It’s so comforting!

And yes, soups are always a great choice. Here are a few of my favorites!

Do you use veggie broth? What’s your favorite? 

Freezing Plant-Based Foods

A few weeks ago I sent out my weekly, with tips for freezing plant-based food. It was a popular topic and I often get questions about which meals can be frozen.

tips for freezing plant-based foods

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It takes some trial and error to figure out which plant-based foods freeze well. I’ve found foods like soups and casseroles typically do OK when they’re frozen and reheated though the texture may change. For example, I always cook my rice so that it’s sticky. Frozen and defrosted rice will lose it’s stickiness every time. It still makes a great addition to soups, burritos, etc.

Tips for Freezing Plant-Based Foods

Cool Before Freezing

The important thing is to make sure you are freezing food that is already cooled off. You may need to let foods cool on the counter, then further cool them in the fridge before putting them in the freezer.

Do not put containers straight from the freezer into the oven. Even high quality baking dishes can shatter from rapid temperature change. There are some companies that make bake ware specifically for freezer to oven use but don’t assume yours will work. I haven’t tried this. I’m too afraid of shattering my pans.

Avoid Contact with Air

If you are freezing something like Banana Bread or Bean Burritos, wrap it in parchment paper or wax paper, then place in a freezer proof container or freezer bag. I used to make big batches of burritos and wrap them in parchment, then reuse the same freezer bag forever! I’m eyeing a set of reusable storage bags that look perfect for the job.

Even casseroles or other foods will taste best if they are carefully wrapped to reduce open air exposure. If you are freezing something in a casserole dish or bowl, consider covering it with a layer of foil or some other type of wrap to minimize the exposure to air. This will help with freezer burn.

Leave Room for Expansion

Soups and casseroles need room to expand once they’re frozen. If you are using a jar or glass container, make sure you leave a couple of inches at the top for expansion. Containers can break if there isn’t enough room for the food to expand as it freezes.

Flash Freeze

Some foods like fruit, veggies, burritos and any other foods you don’t want frozen in a clump, should be flash frozen. After the food cools, place it on a baking sheet or cutting board, and place it in the freezer. Once it’s frozen, place the individual items in a freezer bag or container.

My Favorite Plant-Based Foods to Freeze

I don’t freeze things that have pasta but there are many frozen food companies that sell frozen pasta dishes that it should work. If you’ve successfully frozen recipes with pasta send us your tips!

What are your favorite foods to freeze? Do you have tried and true methods for freezing your favorite foods?

Plant-Based Eating Q&A

Today, I held a Facebook Live to answer your questions about plant-based eating. I answered everything from questions about what I eat, what to eat if you don’t like beans or veggies and so much more.

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. All of these questions came from people who get my weekly plant-based emails. There is a sign up form at the bottom of this page.

If you sent in a question that I didn’t get to, I’ll answer it in a future video, email or blog post.

Tofu Starter Guide

Before I learned about a plant-based diet I had never tried tofu. I thought it was a manufactured, non-food but I was wrong! Tofu is a great addition to both plant-based and non plant-based diets. This Tofu Starter Guide will give you the basics so you can try it now!

Tofu is basically beans, soy beans, soy bean curd to be more specific.

Tofu Starter Guide

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Tofu can often be intimidating if you grew up without it. It’s not a bad kid, just misunderstood. Yes, I joke but really, don’t be afraid of tofu. Give it a try, then maybe once more, then make your decision. 

If you can’t have soy, then you’ll want to skip it. Although some people make tofu from chickpeas. I’ll take the inexpensive, prepared tofu, thanks.

Tofu is extremely versatile! You can do so much with it. I usually just cube it and bake or saute it. Sometimes I’ll even use my air fryer but I keep it simple.

Types of Tofu

Types of Tofu

Tofu is classified by firmness, the firmness will determine the best way to use it. Tofu ranges from extra-firm, firm, sprouted, soft, and silken. You’ll find other types out there too. The more firm the tofu, the more easily it holds its shape, the less moisture it has. I’m only going to share about a few types of tofu, these are the ones I see in the store and have tried. 

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu contains the highest moisture content and lends itself to recipes such as soups, sauces, spreads, and dips. A lot of dessert recipes use silken tofu for faux cheese cakes and puddings. I don’t typically use Silken Tofu, its just not my preference.

Soft Tofu

Soft tofu undergoes the same process as the more firm varieties of tofu, but has a higher water content. It does come in a solid block packed in water but does not have the same smooth texture as its silken counterpart. It is the one least used in recipes and can be substituted for silken if blended well enough. I never use soft tofu.

Firm and Extra Firm Tofu

Firm and extra firm tofu is what you will usually see in savory recipes. They have a low moisture content and hold their shape well. I always choose Extra Firm Tofu if there is an option, I would use Firm in a pinch. 

I use Extra Firm Tofu to make Tofu Scrambles, crispy baked tofu, and all kinds of Asian-inspired recipes.

Tofu press

What’s a Tofu Press

Even though Extra Firm Tofu has less moisture it’s still usually too much. To fix this I use an EZ Tofu Press. It’s a little contraption that is used to squeeze water out of tofu. I’ve also used towels and heavy books and/or cans but I found the EZ Tofu Press to be much easier! I’ve been using it since 2017 and it works just as good today as it did two years ago. There are a lot of different kinds of tofu presses out there, they will all work, just read the reviews before purchasing.

These easy Tofu Kabobs are a great way to introduce your family to tofu!

Maximizing Tofu Flavor

One of the great things about cooking tofu is the lack of flavor profile. It doesn’t really taste like anything. Trust me, this is a good thing. Tofu adapts the the flavor of marinade and seasonings used or other items it is cooked with. This works for both the softer and firm varieties.   

I usually drain my tofu, press it for 15 minutes or so, then season or marinate tofu while I’m getting other ingredients ready. If I’m baking tofu, I’ll try to marinate it early because it can take longer to bake it than it does to saute it.

Buying Tofu

Tofu can be found in many local big box grocery stores in the health or specialty food section. You can also find it in small Asian markets or online. I usually buy it at Fry’s which is a Kroger store or Sprouts Farmers Market. 

I prefer to buy organic tofu in the refrigerated sections, usually in the healthy food area or near dairy or vegan products. It’s usually in a plastic tub with water inside. I usually pay between $2-$3 for a container, sometimes less, when it’s on sale. You can find shelf stable versions but I prefer the refrigerated versions.

These easy Tofu Kabobs are a great way to introduce your family to tofu!

Is Tofu Healthy

There are countless studies claiming both the health benefits and dangers of tofu and soy. I’ve read opinions on both sides and decided that tofu is a good choice for our family. I only use organic tofu!

We don’t have tofu as often as I’d like. It’s pretty easy and inexpensive, especially compared to our meat eating days. Our adult daughter lives half way across the country, she recently discovered her love of tofu. Even though she is not plant-based, she has incorporated tofu into their weekly meals. Last week she told me, “I never have to touch raw chicken again.”

I don’t have many tofu recipes but I plan to add more soon!

Do you love tofu? Which kind do you prefer and how do you prepare it?


Keep Produce Fresh

Do you ever buy a lot of produce and have it go bad before you can eat it? This used to happen all the time to me! Through research, trial and error, I found some tips to keep produce fresh longer!

Keep Produce Fresh

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We’ve adopted a new habit of washing our produce as soon as we get home from the store. It’s a little bit of work upfront but I save that time later when I’m cooking and every time my kids want an apple.

We used to be a little more lax about washing produce. I would usually do it but the rest of our family wasn’t as consistent. Then our son was diagnosed with cancer and it became a real concern. It should have been already.

Every year we hear about produce that is contaminated with e.coli, listeria, and other nasty things. It’s important to wash your produce every time!

Interesting fact, people with compromised immune systems (pregnant women, people with cancer, etc.) are discouraged from eating processed fruits, veggies, salads, etc. because there is such a high risk of contamination in those products.

There are other things on produce we want to clean off as well like pesticides and waxes.

Now, we wash all our produce before use, most of it is washed as soon as we get in the door.

Does your produce go bad before you can eat it? These tips will help keep your produce fresh.

Washing Fresh Produce

For most of our produce like apples, peaches, plums, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes, citrus, melons,  etc. I give them a sink bath.

I thoroughly clean my sink, fill one side with cold water and sprinkle baking soda in the water and mix it with my hand. I don’t measure but I probably use 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. When I use more water, I use more baking soda, less water…less baking soda.

Then I add my produce, all mixed together, into the sink bath. I set a timer, because I always forget, and let them soak for 15 minutes. Then I rinse them off with cold water and stick them in my dish drainer.

If something is especially dirty, I use my veggie brush to give them a good scrub.

Washing Berries

Berries require a different method of cleaning. My son could eat his weight in berries! When we have them, he will easily eat pounds of them every day! When possible we buy in bulk. If you buy in bulk, or even just small amounts that may sit in the fridge for a few days, I recommend you inspect them closely. One moldy berry will ruin the whole bunch quickly.

Washing berries is one way to inspect all our berries. The moisture can make them spoil faster so if you will not be eating them quickly, you may want to wait until just before eating to wash.

Rinsing berries under cold water will clean them. My friend Sarah at Never Free Farm gave me a great tip for berries. She fills a small basin with cold and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Then soaks up to two pounds of berries for 5 to 10 minutes. If you don’t know Sarah, follow her, you’ll be impressed!

Washing Mushrooms

There are different schools of thought on washing mushrooms. Some people just wipe them with a damp cloth. Others use a special mushroom brush. I usually rinse them just before using and carefully dry them off.

Produce Storage Containers

While foods that are stored whole like melons and apples don’t need special containers. I’ve found a few inexpensive containers that have done wonders for keeping cut food fresh longer.

Containers like these Rubbermaid Freshworks keep produce from spoiling for much longer. I have the older model but the old ones don’t have as many size options. Read the reviews and you’ll see why I love them! Containers like this make it easier to keep cut veggies ready for quick meals like this Plant-Based Mediterranean Bowl.

I use these for cut cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots and sometimes fruit, like freshly cut pineapple. Many of the reviews mention people putting whole fruits in them, including berries. Berries never last long enough at my house. Most get eaten while they are drying on the counter.

I don’t have a special container that is big enough for my lettuce. When washing my romaine, I give them a sink bath, pull all the leaves off and dry them individually. Then I store the whole leaves in a large container with paper towels on the bottom, a few layers of romaine leaves, another layer of paper towels, and so on. I’ve had romaine last for 2 weeks this way! 2 WEEKS!

A salad spinner works well too. If you want to avoid the waste of paper towels, you can store your washed lettuce in a salad spinner.

Where you live plays a big part in how you store produce too. Since I live in Arizona, it is hot most of the year. Some foods that are typically stored on the counter top have to be stored in the fridge when the temperatures get high. If you live somewhere colder, you may be able to keep most of your whole produce on your counters for a long time. Check out this seasonal produce chart specifically for Arizona!

What are your tips to keeping produce fresh? Do you have a special tool that you love?