Reduce waste and save money with homemade stock
If you’re anything like me, you probably end up with a ton of vegetable scraps that you don’t use. Luckily, there’s a simple way to reuse those veggies in a homemade stock. And making veggie stock is a super easy task that’s perfect to do during your meal prep or on a slow weekend afternoon.
To start, put a gallon plastic zipper bag with any leftover raw veggies in your freezer. Keeping the scraps in the freezer prevents your veggies from going bad before you cook the stock.
Continue to collect what you’d normally consider vegetable waste in that freezer bag. When I cook, I usually start a bowl to keep my scraps, so I’m not constantly opening and closing my freezer bag.
Some ingredients for a great veggie stock include:
Onion and garlic ends and skins
Celery butts and leaves
Carrot peels and ends
Pepper tops and seeds (use hot pepper guts sparingly so the stock isn’t too spicy)
Fresh herb stems or herbs about to go bad
Experiment with other raw vegetable leftovers, but no fruits or bitter veggies like kale and cabbage.
Once your freezer bag is full, dump the bag into your largest stock pot and cover with water nearly to the top of the pot. Boil the water, simmer covered for at least an hour—the longer you boil, the more flavor you’ll pull from the veggies. Once the stock is cool, strain it and divide into containers for the fridge or freezer. You can also add salt and pepper if you want, but I don’t usually add any seasonings until I cook with the stock.
Now you have a flavorful base for soup, grains and beans PLUS you've reused some of your kitchen waste! You'll never want to spend money on store-bought veggie stock again.
But beware: if you cook with as much fresh produce as I do, you'll end up with a pretty stocked up on veggie stock in your fridge or freezer. Bring on soup season!