Embrace the scraps: Making Zero waste vegetable stock.

Vegetable stock is a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world. It adds depth and flavour to countless dishes, from soups and risottos to sauces and stews. However, most store-bought stocks come in plastic cartons, contributing to environmental waste. Moreover, they often contain unwanted additives, preservatives, and high sodium content.

But fear not, fellow home cooks! Making your own vegetable stock is incredibly easy and offers numerous benefits:

  • Reduced environmental impact: by utilizing your vegetable scraps, you are diverting them from landfill.
  • Cost effective: Utilizing scraps saves money compares to buying store-bought stock regularly.
  • Uncompromising flavour: You control the ingredients, ensuring a clean and delicious stock free from unwanted additives.
  • Customization: Adapt the flavour to your liking by adding herbs, spices, or other flavourings.

Throughout the week, collect the skins, ends, stalks, roots, and peelings of various vegetables.
Some excellent options include:

  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Parsnip
  • Green beans
  • Corn
  • Fennel
  • Mushrooms
  • Herbs

Store your scraps in an airtight container in the fridge until you have enough for a batch. You can freeze them for later use.

Certain vegetables can negatively impact the flavour of your stock, avoid using:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Rocket
  • Turnip
  • Radishes – these have an overpowering and unpleasant taste.
  • Zucchini, soft greens – these can make the stock bitter.
  • Starchy vegetables (potatoes) – these make the stock cloudy.

These scraps are best suited for the compost bin along with any spoiled or mouldy vegetables.

As a general rule, aim for roughly 2 cups of mixed vegetable scraps per litre of water. To enhance the flavour, you can add:

  • Tomato paste: Adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Miso, Dried Mushrooms, Kombu, Nutritional Yeast, or Parmesan Rind: Boosts umami flavour.
  • Fresh Herbs, Lemon, or Vinegar: Adds vibrancy and freshness.

Here’s a simple guide to making your own zero-waste vegetable stock:

  1. Gather your scraps: Wash and chop them into roughly similar sizes.
  2. Choose your pot: A large stockpot or Dutch oven is ideal.
  3. Combine the scraps and water: Add your scraps to the pot and cover them with water.
  4. Bring it to a boil: Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours.
  5. Strain the stock: Remove the solids from the liquid using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  6. Season and adjust: Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also experiment with other seasonings like herbs or spices.
  7. Store: Let the stock cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Embrace the zero-waste lifestyle and enjoy the rich flavour of homemade vegetable stock!



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