We are constantly trying to find new ways to recycle and reduce waste so when I attended a food demonstration at the healthcare system where I work, I was super excited when the cook revealed her secret for making use of unwanted vegetable scraps. Instead of throwing away the peels, ends, and cores of vegetables, she tossed them into a freezer bag until she had a nice collection and then threw them into a pot of boiling water to make vegetable broth. Since then, I have made this practice a habit and I have never needed to buy vegetable stock. All this requires of you is to be mindful during meal prep. Set aside any vegetable scraps you would normally throw away and store them in the freezer until you have a large collection. Once you’ve filled a bag or jar to the brim (over the course of however long it takes), toss the contents of the bag into a slow cooker or stock pot with water and the result will be a beautiful golden broth every single time. This broth is not only simple to make but it packs a ton of flavor, making it the perfect vegetarian substitute for chicken stock. You can use this broth to make soups, stews, rice, or even as a more flavorful substitute for water in your favorite recipe. Nutrient-rich, flavorful food, more savings, less waste. I think we can all agree this is a win-win-win!
1 quart freezer-bag or jar worth of clean frozen vegetable scraps (peppers, onions, garlic, squash, carrots, celery, etc..)
12 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
Sea salt (to taste)
2 Bay leaves
Note: Do not put any moldy, rotting, or bad vegetable scraps in your broth scrap bag. Before I am ready to make my broth, I also do a rundown of the fridge and toss in any parsley that is near expiration.
Place all your ingredients in a slow cooker, turn on high, and let it simmer for 6 hours while you do other awesome, productive things (Yay!). If you’re using a stock pot on the stove, I would let it boil for two hours covered on low. Once the broth is done and has cooled, strain it into a larger bowl or pitcher and distribute evenly among your freezer storage of choice: glass jars or freezer bags. Then, when you’re ready to cook, you’ll have delicious homemade broth ready at hand.
What are the ways you try to reduce waste in your homes? We would love to hear from you! And as always, if you liked this post please follow us and share!