I don’t know if you can tell that I’m quite big on this nose-to-tail / root-to-shoot (?) concept of cooking. Not only is it a great way to reduce waste in the kitchen (and save money), but it also forces me to be creative; think outside the box and utilize as much as I can. Making something from bits and bobs that would most likely get binned is immensely satisfying too. I sometimes tend to go a little astray with those experiments, but you won’t see the likes of those here I promise.
Stock might be the easiest place to start. Have you ever bought a bunch of celery, used the stalks and thrown away the beautiful fresh leaves? Not anymore. Carrot and potato peels and ends, mushroom stems, pea pods, onion ends, spinach and kale stalks, all of these work. Also the woody stems and outer leaves of cauliflower and broccoli after you chop off the florets – throw those in too.
A good way to go about doing this is to save the scraps in ziplock bags in the freezer until you have a big enough batch to make stock with. Meat bones are always a good idea here too.
VEGETABLE STOCK FROM KITCHEN SCRAPS
- 1 kg vegetable scraps* (see notes)
- 8-12 cups of water
- Salt to taste
- 1 head of garlic halved crosswise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- Wash the scraps thoroughly to rid them of any dirt and grit. Add to a large pot and pour enough water to cover the scraps by at least 3 inches. Add salt and any aromatics if using.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down as low as possible. Cook covered for 1 hour.
- Strain the stock and decant into jars. Can be refrigerated for 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months. This makes about 750 – 1000 ml of stock.