Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stop... Don't Throw Vegetable Scraps Out!

Did you know you can save the trimmings from your vegetables to make stock?  That's what I do and it saves you time and money. Unless your saving your vegetable scraps for compost, you could be using them to make any variety of stocks.
I am not at all against using the store bought stock that comes in cans and cartons, but nothing is better than homemade stock. What I do is I use a gallon size freezer zip bag to store the scraps. As I am prepping recipes I place all the vegetable scraps on a plate. When I say all, I mean all the end and the skins from the onions, which adds a deep color naturally to your stock, the greens from scallions, the tops and the peels from carrots, the bottoms of romaine lettuce or celery, parsley stems, the woody stalks from broccoli ... pretty much anything that is a vegetable goes into my scrap bag.  Of course, there are exceptions, I do not add potato peels (white or sweet) of any kind because it "dirties" the stock or beets and red onions, unless you want a red/pink stock. Green, white, yellow and orange vegetables all make it into the scrap bag. I'll collect 2-gallon size bags worth of vegetables before using them for stock. If I am making a vegetable stock, I tend to use 3-gallon size bags worth of scraps.
You are probably wondering, who has time to make stock? Everyone does! If you have a slow cooker, all you have to do is chuck all your ingredients in to it, set it on low for 8-10 hours and you've got stock. Portion out into freezer safe containers, zip bags or into ice cube trays and you are ready to elevate and enhance your recipes. Give it a try and not only will you be utilizing all your food resources, but you'll know what you putting into your food and body.

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