Making your own stock and having it on hand in the freezer can save you money and form the basis of healthy, inexpensive meals. A tetra pack of stock costs around $3 for 1 litre. You can make a batch three times that much for free (almost) out of leftover vegetable scraps and without the artificial extras. Making it yourself tastes better than stock powder.
Making stock is really easy. It takes time, but you just put it on the heat and leave it. And using vegetable scraps means there is no preparation and no mess.
- When you prepare meals, wash all vegetables and save the peelings and scraps. Keep the scraps in a bag or container in the freezer and add your scraps at every meal time. Make sure it’s kept frozen, otherwise it could go mouldy.
- Include scraps such as onion skins and ends, carrot peelings and ends, zucchini ends, parsley stems, the green part of the leek (washed) and celery tops. Limit things like broccoli stems and cabbage as these can give the stock a strong flavour. I usually throw these in anyway, because I don’t mind the flavour. Brown onion skins and red capsicum will give the stock a dark colour.
- When you have a full bag, throw the vegetable scraps in a pot. Top it up with 3 or 4 litres of water, add a few pepper corns, and a bay leaf or two. If you’re short on onion, carrot or parsleys scraps, throw a bit extra in the pot.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for a few hours. Let cool. Strain, divide and freeze.
This is makes an almost free base to soups, casseroles, sauces, stews, risotto, or whatever you use stock for.
Have you read these posts?
- slow cooker roast chicken and slow cooker chicken stock
- sausage, cannellini bean and vegetable stew
- roast vegetable pate
- mini salmon and vegetable frittatas
- vegetable gardening guide