Since I became plant-based a little over 7 months ago, I've also been pretty much on a no-added-fat diet. Essentially what the means is that I don't use ANY oil whatsoever in my cooking. I use several non-fat liquids like juice, wine, nut milk, water and vegetable broth. One of my favorite brands of Vegetable Broth is Kitchen Basics. Their Unsalted Vegetable Stock is made from onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers and tomato paste. It does however, have the mystery ingredient 'natural flavors'. Now from what I understand, natural flavors could be just about anything - including non-plant-based products. Quite honestly, I've not worried about it at all and have used it when I needed to use vegetable broth. But it does contain 240 mg of Sodium per cup of broth.
I'm part of a 'New Herbies' group on FB and just this past weekend another member posted a picture of how she was making vegetable stock at home, from her vegetable scraps (a big shout out to Lori Pacheco). Immediately, I was interested. This seemed like a wonderful idea. I already make sure that I wash my fruits and vegetable really well before I cut into them. Here's a great post on cleaning fruits and veggies (Happy Herbivore). I simply use a vegetable brush. I started a gallon ziploc bag in the freezer and put all my vegetable and even fruit scraps in this bag. In 4 days, I had a full bag. I had stems (purple kale, mushrooms, mint, cilantro, cauliflower, broccoli) and ends (onion, tomato, cucumber, carrot, celery and strawberry) and even the core of a couple of fruits (apples and pears).
Tonight I put all the scraps in a large pot, covered everything with 9 cups of water and added 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, 2-3 bay leaves, 1 small stick of cinnamon, 4 cloves, 2 large cardamoms, a big bunch of fresh Sage, 2 tbsp worth of fresh Thyme and at least a 1/2 cup worth of fresh Oregano. Once the water was boiling, I reduced the heat t a simmer, covered the pot and let it simmer on the stove for an hour. After that, I simply strained the veggies out using a large colander. The final product was this tasty, LOW SODIUM, fragrant vegetable broth!! From 9 cups of water, I got about 7 cups of broth. I divided it up into 4 tupper are containers and it is all in my freezer now, waiting to be used for my next exciting recipe :) LOVE it!!!
Update: Ever since I got an electric pressure cooker, I now use that for making broth. I collect all my scraps and when my gallon bag is full, I add 8 cups of water to the full bag of frozen veggies and cook under high pressure for 10 min. I then let the steam dissipate and I can get almost the full 8 cups of broth back, and depending upon the kind of veggie/fruit scraps I had, sometimes more. I also make sure that I squeeze out as much liquid as I can from the veggie scraps - I just use a potato masher and press down on the veggies with it. There is so much fiber that they don't get mashed but they release a lot of water they're holding. The best part about home-made broth - it tastes like the fruits and veggies I already like. :)