A vegetable broth is probably one of the healthiest options soup-wise. You don’t have to worry much about sipping an extra serving of piping hot goodness, and it’s also relatively easy to whip up.
Moreover, a pot of well-cooked flavourful broth with herbs and greens can be preserved and added to a ton of other dishes adding that extra oomph to your recipes. Food enthusiasts list a ton of different ways to use vegetable broth besides soup.
You could use them in risottos, dumplings, stuffing, gravies, and the list goes on!
Vegetable broth is a perfect sip on its own, but it’s also a versatile addition to elevate other dishes as well.
So then, how long does vegetable broth last? You probably want to store up on some to whip out anytime you need to get cooking.
So, let’s find out how long does vegetable broth last and the factors that affect its shelf-life.
How Long Does Vegetable Broth Last? Does Vegetable Broth Go Bad?
Vegetable broth is of two kinds- manufactured and homemade. Depending on whether you bought your broth in the store or made yourself a pot at home, your vegetable broth’s shelf-life is going to differ by quite a margin.
Like most manufactured food items, a vegetable broth purchased at the store is mixed with preservatives. This naturally makes them more durable than broths that are made at home with fresh ingredients.
A can of unopened vegetable broth can last for about 1-3 months in a cool and dry pantry. Its shelf life can be extended for months past the estimated shelf-life if refrigerated or frozen in a well-regulated cooling unit.
On the other hand, an open can will last for about 4-5 days in a refrigerator. It is not advisable to keep an open can at room temperature as it becomes prone to contamination by bacteria. Refrigerate or freeze after use in a well-sealed container for best service.
The maximum shelf-life of a homemade vegetable broth, on the other hand, is a week. This is because none of the ingredients are likely to be processed, and home-cooking is generally done without the use of any preservatives.
So, yes, your vegetable broth does have a limited shelf-life. As for manufactured food products, the US Department of Agriculture suggests that you limit the use of products within the ‘best by’ or use before’ dates printed on the labels. For a homemade broth, use discretion and avoid bad broth.
It’s hard to tell how long you can keep your homemade broth around. But a good way to estimate is to keep track of the ingredients you’ve put in your veggie broth.
Depending on this, your broth can either last lesser or longer than the estimated shelf-life of a week.
How to Tell if Vegetable Broth is Bad?
There are several signs you can watch out for to tell if your vegetable broth is still good or dump-worthy.
There isn’t much of a difference between a poorly manufactured vegetable broth and a homemade one. Once gone bad, they’re both going to look, taste, and smell foul.
When you kept your vegetable broth for more than its expected shelf-life, over time, it’s going to show signs of bacterial growth in the form of mold. This goes for both manufactured and homemade broth.
What you may also notice is fat rancidity if your can has unsaturated oil types listed among its ingredients or if you’ve added unsaturated oil to your homemade broth.
Choosemyplate.gov gives you a guide to the kinds of fats that exist and how they react to the environment.
If you’re confused about whether your broth is still edible, just looking at it and tasting it will give you your answer. A bad broth will taste putrid with all of itsflavor overtaken by the taste of degrading ingredients.
Moreover, it is also going to smell rotten. Just give it a quick sniff, and it’ll become pretty apparent. If any of these signs show, you better toss your broth into the bin. It’s not worth the risk.
To avoid any wastage, store your broth in well-sealed containers or packets. You can also prolong their shelf-life by portioning them and keeping them frozen in a well-regulated cooling unit.
Dethaw only the amount you need and keep the rest frozen until the next use. Reheat only once.
With the growing concern for health, greens have only been gaining currency as the ultimate nutrition source. Meat stock can be delicious but can have quite several backlashes if consumed unregulated.
Harvard School of Public Health suggests making your broth with fresh vegetables to get the best nutritional value out of your vegetable broth.
Whatever your recipe, a fresh vegetable broth can do no wrong. So get cooking!