Do you have a favorite brand of vegetable broth? It took me a while to realize the importance of a good vegetable broth in plant-healthy cooking. It can really punch up the flavor of soup or sauce. I prefer the homemade stuff but sometimes that runs out and I turn to the boxed stuff. But beware, these can be high in sodium so try to consider these for kitchen emergencies only, and try diluting them with water.
Tim and I recently taste-tested five brands of off-the-shelf vegetable broth, and the results surprised us! Our first surprise was that the brand I’ve used for several years did not make the cut. It was too salty. Another brand, the deepest in color of the bunch, had no flavor at all. I thought the dark color would be an indication of more flavor, but it wasn’t. Another brand was noticeably clear compared to the others, and that offered no advantage in flavor either. So, which brand won over our taste buds? It was a local store brand:
Giant Eagle Nature’s Basket Vegetarian Vegetable Broth.
It was also less expensive than the runner-up Emeril’s All Natural Organic Vegetable Stock.
The lesson learned for me was to not overlook the local store brands. There might be a winner at a value price. I won’t list the ones we didn’t care for here. I think it’s important for you to determine what you like. Be your own judge. We tested the products by sipping them straight from the bowls shown in the picture above and clearing our palate with a small sample of bread between sips. Try it yourself. I bet you’ll quickly eliminate a few, leaving you a short list of favorites. And please share those favorites here for others to consider.