Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Making Vegetable Stock

I've read many good blog posts about the making and using of various kinds of stock, so I thought I'd throw in my own, focusing particularly on vegetable stock. I have made chicken stock regularly (basically every time we have roast chicken for dinner) for quite some time, but only recently started making vegetable stock. A vegetarian friend suggested the method she uses, which is to keep clean vegetable scraps in a large (gallon-sized) Ziploc bag in the freezer. When the bag is full, it is time to cook down the stock. It worked like a charm! In the course of several weeks' cooking, carrot peelings, bits of onion and leek, the stem sections of green and red peppers, ginger root peels, a couple lemongrass ends, bok choy leaves and stems, etc. all went into the bag, although it took some remembering at first, to keep from putting the leftover bits straight into the compost. When the bag got full, I pulled out my stockpot, emptied the bag in, and filled it with water (about 8 or 9 quarts- this is a 12 quart stock pot).

Once it reached boiling, I let it boil gently for about 45 minutes. Then I let it cool a bit, and strained out all the vegetable matter. Then into freezer containers it went, and into the freezer.

Containers waiting to be filled with fresh veggie stock. 

Making vegetable stock this way gets the most worth out of the vegetables I use in cooking, and I don't have to buy vegetables just for stock. I like that it does not increase what I spend, but increases the nutritional value in any food that I make using the stock. I really like brown rice cooked in vegetable stock instead of water, and we've used it as a base for lots of different soups, sometimes in combination with chicken stock to round out the nutritional value of a meal.

For more information about the making, use, and benefits of stocks, I recommend the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon.


Suzan said...

Just came over from DTE after seeing your sweet kitchen. Whaddye know - I'm a social worker, too. Your blog is....refreshing!

Wendy said...

Visiting from Down To earth as well. Love this idea for the vegetable stock. I am going to do this and will let you know how it goes. I have added a list on my blog of things I am going to make from scratch. This will tick one of the list.Thanks and I will be visiting again. Cheers, Wendy

Kimberly said...

And the great thing is--all the cooked parts can go into the compost at the end anyway!

Wendy said...

Okay I had to let you know that I saved my scrapes and made some stock and it was great and I will keep doing this. Thanks again for sharing. The simple ideas are simply the best. Cheers, Wendy