Spread the Love, Not Waste: How to Make Your Own Organic Vegetable Stock

Spread the Love, Not Waste: How to Make Your Own Organic Vegetable Stock

Welcome back to our “Spread the Love, Not Waste” Recipe Series, where we share some tips and tricks on how to use organic fruits and vegetables in sustainable ways. In our previous posts, we showed you how to make carrot top chimichurri and beetroot hummus, two delicious and nutritious dips that use every part of the produce. Today, we are going to focus on a non-recipe idea that can help you reduce food waste and save money: making your own organic vegetable stock.

What is vegetable stock and why should you make it?

Vegetable stock is a liquid base that is used for soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes. It is usually made by simmering water with various vegetables, herbs, and spices, and then straining out the solids. Vegetable stock adds flavour, colour, and nutrients to your cooking, and can also be enjoyed on its own as a warm and comforting drink.

Making your own vegetable stock is a great way to use up any leftover or wilted vegetables that you have in your fridge or pantry. Instead of throwing them away, you can turn them into a delicious and versatile ingredient that can last for weeks in the fridge or months in the freezer. By making your own vegetable stock, you are also avoiding the additives, preservatives, and excess salt that are often found in store-bought versions. Plus, you can customise your stock to suit your taste and preferences.

How to make your own vegetable stock?

Making your own vegetable stock is easy and fun. You can use any vegetables that you have on hand, but some of the most common ones are onions, carrots, celery, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, and parsley. You can also add other ingredients such as bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, sage, or any other herbs and spices that you like. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Wash and chop your vegetables into roughly equal sizes. You don’t need to peel them, as the skins add flavour and nutrients. However, you may want to remove any bruised or rotten parts, and rinse off any dirt or sand.
  2. Place your vegetables in a large pot and cover them with cold water. You can also add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to help extract more flavour and minerals from the vegetables.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about an hour, or until the vegetables are soft and the stock is fragrant. You can skim off any foam or impurities that rise to the surface during the cooking process.
  4. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve or a cheesecloth, and discard the solids. You can also press the vegetables with a spoon or a ladle to squeeze out more liquid.
  5. Let the stock cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. You can store the stock in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to six months.
  6. Use your homemade vegetable stock as a base for soups, stews, sauces, and other dishes, or enjoy it as a drink with some salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

How to make your own vegetable stock more sustainable?

Making your own vegetable stock is already a sustainable practice, as you are reducing food waste and saving resources. However, you can make it even more eco-friendly by following these tips:

  • Use organic vegetables whenever possible, as they are grown without harmful pesticides and fertilisers, and are better for your health and the environment.
  • Use local and seasonal vegetables, as they are fresher, tastier, and have a lower carbon footprint than imported or out-of-season ones.
  • Use a reusable pot and utensils, and avoid using single-use plastic or aluminium containers or bags to store your stock.
  • Compost the leftover vegetable scraps, or feed them to your pets or livestock, if you have any.

Making your own vegetable stock is a simple and satisfying way to use organic fruits and vegetables in sustainable ways. It is also a delicious and nutritious ingredient that can enhance your cooking and your health. We hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new. Stay tuned for more posts in our “Spread the Love, Not Waste” Recipe Series, where we will share more ideas on how to cook sustainably and deliciously. Until then, happy cooking and eating!

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