I present two ingredient list from 32 fl oz organic vegetable broth. Notice how concentrated juices make up most of the ingredients on the first one.
The one made up of concentrated juices is about $1.00 cheaper compared to the one from Whole Foods with Amazon Prime. Considered an ultra process food production, the process of concentration removes water, fiber, vitamins, and flavors, but retains the calories and sugar. Concentration allows for easy storage. The lost nutrients and flavors are sometimes re-added in the latter process, and maybe even sugar. The word “organic” may be enticing to describe a product, but ingredients allow us to better evaluate quality.
…people should view fruit concentrate as an added sugar, similar to high-fructose corn syrupVasanti Malik | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
For the freshest option, of course you can make vegetable broth at home by boiling vegetables and whole spices and preserving the flavored water. But I found an alternative. Use ground spices, typical in Indian cooking, specifically mango and coriander powder. They add richness and flavor to your cooking. Moreover, it’s the most economical alternative. Purchasing broth means extra packaging and weight. Ground spices are compact and take very little storage space. Another option is miso paste. Although This is pricier than ground spices and needs refrigeration, it adds umami to deepens the flavor.
Indian Cooking and Spices
When I visited India for the first time, I was amazed by the level of cooking families do with only a few ingredients in the panty and tiny kitchens. From making their own butter, flat breads, to flavorful curries. I didn’t see any canned ingredients and most of the spices they stored in a little spice box (see below).
What cooking has taught me is that sometimes, the challenges in life—not having enough money for ingredients, or even conveniences such as pantry space, allow us to be creative and find new and even better ways of doing.