Turing waste into Treasure

So for the last 3 years my friend Julie and I have a share in our local CSA. We both have felt that it is an amazing addition to our own gardens. Years ago either as a suggestion from them (or maybe elsewhere online) I read that you should save all your vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer and use them later on to make stock I started this before I had a composter so it was a great way to use scraps that would normally go out in the trash or compost. This is now common place in my house but I was thinking that maybe a lot of folks are like me and have never thought to make their own stocks from scraps. I always have made meat stocks so why I did think to do this with veggie was surprising to me.

So basically I throw anything scrap related into giant ziplock bags in my freezer when they are full I dump them in a huge pasta pot. Now I mean I put it all in there….peels from potatoes, onion skins, and even those veggies that you might toss out because they aren’t really ideal for eating but not moldy yet. All I do is throw the frozen scraps and fill it to the top with water and simmer it for a few hours.

The start-frozen veggies with water getting ready to be boiled

So after a few hours of simmering I strain the veggies….pictured below is the aftermath of a few hours of simmering…you can see sort of what I throw in there. Stumps of broccoli, shady snap peas that were not ideal for eating, peels, asparagus that met its demise in my veggie draw.

You can see all the repurposed goodness

Below you will see the result…amazingly rich vegetable stock that you can use for making rice dishes, soups, or for use in any recipe. I often will make a huge batch before I make some soup and then have a large container left to freeze for another time. I used the bowl for when I made minestrone soup during a recent snowstorm and saved the square for another time in the freezer. I also keep using the same two bags so I am not creating new waste.

I know that you could make a quick version in an instant-a-pot or you could do it longer with a crockpot. I just love the idea of taking something that I would normally toss in the trash and making something so good for me. The stuff you get in the store can’t compete with this! So go….get a bag for the freezer start freezing your scraps today!

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