Vegetable stock is only a few bucks from the grocery store, but nothing tastes better than making it yourself! If you’re trying to be environmentally conscientious, a stock from scratch is a great way to use leftover food scraps as well.
I’ve always tried to compost, but keeping leftover food scraps in a small NYC apartment does not bode well! Instead, I read about using food scraps to make your own stock and after the first time I made it, I will never turn back. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Collect the scraps of food when you are cooking and keep them in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in the freezer. Each time I cook I like to keep a small bowl next to me so that I can easily access a place to place the scraps I like to use. Scraps to keep are:
- Skins of onions and garlic (red onions will tint the stock a bit pink but still tastes good)
- Tops, bottoms and skins of carrots
- Tops and bottoms of celery
- Leftover herbs – parsley, dill, basil, rosemary
- DO NOT keep fruit, citrus, or soft vegetables
- Once the freezer bag is full, take out your biggest pot and empty the food scraps into it. Fill the pot with as much water as possible, leaving a few inches from the top. Add about 10 whole black peppercorns, 3 cloves, and 1 bay leaf. I usually don’t salt the stock until I’m cooking with it, or it may get too salty. Simmer the water filled with the food scraps for 2-3 hours.
- Remove the food scraps, and pour the finished stock into jars for the fridge (will last up to 10 days) or freeze into ice cubes. I love having frozen vegetable stock ice cubes so that I can use them at any time – great for the base of soups (chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, etc.), or to add extra flavor to rice or quinoa.