Stock has got to be one of the most common ingredients in many households! It's easy to grab the stock in the supermarket that comes in a plastic carton but making it yourself is so easy (and it saves food scraps from ending up in landfill).
Cass from @cass_amundsen has shared her easy Zero Waste Veggie Scrap Stock with us so you'll never need to buy it again - saving you money and the planet!
Stock is one of those essential ingredients that has the ability to turn a mediocre bowl of soup or risotto into a deeply flavourful dish. These days most stocks come packaged in plastic cartons that have undergone ultra-high temperature processing to sterilise the liquid, enabling it to be shelf-stable for a number of years. While the convenience is great, the stock inside often isn’t. Added colours, flavour enhancers, extracts, gums, preservatives, sugar and its derivatives are ingredients commonly found in store bought stock, not to mention the high sodium content.
Thankfully, making vegetable stock at home is incredibly easy to make. According to Foodbank Australia, the average Australian household sends almost 4.9kg of food scraps into landfill each week, so what better way to utilise a waste product than by converting it into a delicious and nourishing staple.
What to use: save the skins, ends, stalks, roots and peelings of vegetables such as onions, leeks, shallots, garlic, ginger, carrot, celery, parsnip, green beans, corn, fennel, mushrooms and herbs.
Wash and store: save your scraps throughout the week and store them in an airtight container in the fridge until you have enough to make a batch. If you are collecting them for longer than one week, store them in the freezer.
Avoid using: vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, rocket, turnip and radishes give broth an overpowering and unpleasant flavour. Zucchini and soft greens have a tendency to turn the stock bitter and starchy vegetables such as potatoes will make it cloudy. It’s best to save these scraps for the compost bin along with any vegetables that may be beginning to rot or go mouldy.
Building flavour: As a general rule, I like to use about 2 heaped cups of mixed vegetable scraps per litre of water. If you feel as though the stock could do with an extra boost of flavour try adding a spoonful of tomato paste for a touch of sweetness or a little miso, dried mushrooms, kombu, nutritional yeast or parmesan rind for an umami hit. Fresh herbs, lemon or vinegar will add vibrancy and freshness if that’s what you’re looking for.
- 2 litres water
- 4 cups clean mixed vegetable scraps
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 generous sprig of thyme
- Place all of the ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with cold water.
- Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for one hour. Give it a stir once or twice whilst it is simmering.
- Take the pot off the stove. Place a colander or strainer over another saucepan or large bowl and strain the stock. Taste and add seasoning if necessary. If you prefer a more concentrated flavour, place the strained stock back into the saucepan over medium heat and reduce the liquid until it is to your liking.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.