Do you find yourself cooped up in the house during the long winter months on cold Sunday afternoons? Bring a bit of warmth and comfort to your home by simmering a batch of homemade stock on the stove using bits and pieces of vegetable trimmings collected from the week before.
You can utilize this liquid to flavor the upcoming week’s meals, as the base for quick and easy homemade soups or sip on mugs of this hot brew that are guilt-free to enjoy.
The best part is it’s free to do since you’re using bits that you’d normally throw out.
Interested? Here’s how to do it…
- Throughout the week collect all vegetable trimmings (such as ends from carrots, celery leaves, parsley, leeks, scallions, turnips, mushroom stems, potato peels, onion skins, etc.), toss them in a bag and freeze.
- Once you have collected 4 cups, throw the lot in a large pot, cover with 16 cups of water, add a couple garlic cloves and any fresh herbs you like, a pinch of salt to bring out the flavor (season more thoroughly later) then bring to a boil and simmer for an hour uncovered. Cool then strain.
- Refrigerate to utilize over the next week (will keep nicely for up to 5 days), or freeze measured amounts (1/2 cup, 1 cup, etc.) in freezer bags with all the air removed and bags flat so you can stack them. You can also pour into ice cube trays and freeze, then pop out the cubes and freeze in a bag.
- Use this as a secret ingredient that will enhance favorite dishes or make easy homemade soups by adding beans, rice or pasta, cubes of leftover ham, shredded turkey or chicken.
- When cooking rice or couscous, instead of water add this flavored brew. This will add a whole new layer of flavor to your dish.
- Are mashed potatoes boring? Not anymore! Halve the amount of cream you normally add and substitute with this stock.
- Use as the liquid (or part of the liquid) for braising meat.
- Soaking dried beans? Try using this as the liquid.
- Only save peels and bits that have been thoroughly washed first since you won’t be able to do so after they’re frozen.
- If a stronger tasting brew is preferred, reduce the amount of water used for simmering. You could also simmer longer so it is reduced more and the flavor is more concentrated.
- If you have a vegetable or two in the fridge that needs to be used up quickly, throw them in too! Dice and saute for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil in the pot before adding the other items.
- Use vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage sparingly since they’ll overpower the flavor.
- This is a very healthy snack for dieters, drink as you would coffee or tea and it will warm you right up and satisfy the cravings for munchies.
- Tip: For a thicker stock, save the potato water from a previous meal (keep it refrigerated) and substitute that for the water used above (can replace part or whole).
Source: Based on an article from Vegetarian Times (1993)
This is an excellent tip! I did a lot of cooking today, and I accumulated about 10 cups worth of onion, green onion, celery, and carrot scraps, so I made the vegetable stock and IT IS FANTASTIC! I added several garlic cloves, about 1 tsp salt, 16 cups of water, and then simmered gently for 90 minutes after bringing to a boil. It makes an amber coloured broth that tastes sweet. Yummm. This was stuff that would go straight into the compost bin, and now it will detour into a cooking pot before going into the compost. Thank you Tipnut!
I tried this on the weekend too, Sunday afternoon in fact hehe. If you think throwing scraps in a pot can’t possibly be delicious, you would be wrong! Each day this week I have replaced one cup of coffee with this broth and I’m not missing it at all! When I consider the 2 creamer and two sugars that I’ve omitted each day for a week, that sure adds up! The scraps I used were clean potato peels, onion scraps, some celery leaves and Garlic cloves. About 5 cups of scraps with 16 cups of water and I simmered it for just under two hours. I can’t wait to see what the next batch will taste like cause I’m sure they will never be two brews exactly alike.
I do this too! I also do it with the bones and scraps from whole turkeys and chickens my husband roasts. The broth is so delightful! I hate to let anything go to waste.