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Stretch Your Veggies!

January 15, 2010

Homemade Veggie Stock

Tonight was the first time we made homemade veggie stock!

It’s so convenient to buy stock at the store, isn’t it? We love the little single-serve tetra packs… just grab one and you’re done, it’s about a cup of broth per pack which is what recipes typically call for so you don’t even have to worry about using up a half-used open veggie broth later in the week before it goes bad.

I have always felt a little bad though, using the pre-packaged veggie broths. Tetrapacks are made of composite materials making them trickier to recycle. Plus, it’s extra money.

What we’ve done over the past couple month is to save our food scraps – that last little bit from the end of a carrot or onion, or the dark green ends of leeks and scallions – and dump them in containers in the freezer. This week I noticed we had five containers full of scraps so I decided to try my hand at making some broth with them.

We started out with scraps from some of the following:

  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Kale Stalks

We stuck them in a stock pot, filled it almost to the very top with water, added some salt & pepper and a tablespoon of oil, and brought it to a boil. (It took a while in such a big stock pot!) Then, after it boiled, we simmered it for a good hour or so.

Homemade Veggie Stock

Next, I strained all the veggies out using my silicon strainer, and dumped them into a bowl.

In the spirit of using what you’ve got to its full extent, sustainability, and just plain hippy-ness, Ray took the strained scraps a stuck them in our bokashi to help make nutrient-rich soil for our garden. :)

Homemade Veggie Stock

I’m now letting the broth cool down. Once it’s cool, I’m going to pour some into ice cube trays so we’ll have convenient little cubes we can melt down as needed. Any excess that doesn’t fit in the trays I will pour into glass jars to also stick in the freezer.

This was so easy. I will probably not have to buy broth ever again. All it takes is a little discipline to wash your veggies really well and to save the scraps!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 5:17 am

    I’ve always wanted to do this but I’m never sure if the stock will be any good. How does it compare to the store-bought stuff? I’m way more comfortable making meat stocks for some reason.

    • January 17, 2010 10:31 pm

      Hi Ian! I think it’s just fine compared to store-bought. It smells amazing. We made a soup with it tonight and it came out great. We’re going to make stewed collards with it tomorrow night.

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