Changed. My. World.
Now, I probably get that bag out of the freezer twice a day to contribute some scraps and the bag was full in about two weeks. My first attempt at achieving a flavorful vegetable stock was a success, and waaaay too easy! I love to use stock as a low-fat and no-sugar way to flavor grains by substituting stock for water and butter or oil.
For good measure, I sauteed some shallots in olive oil beforehand just in case, added my cheapskate version of a bouquet garni (tossed in dried marjoram, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf without the cheesecloth), 8 peppercorns, and enough water to cover the vegetables.
The first bag contained:
- Tomato stems and cores
- Red pepper stems, seeds, and that white stuff on the ribs
- Butternut squash skins
- Outer layers of onions, garlic, shallots
- Avocado pit
After 8 hours, I pulled the solids from the pot, pushed the water out of them using a colander,
and had a delicious stock. Be sure to cool it down quickly before putting it in the fridge or freezer! I use freezer packs and a few ice cubes.
When saving scraps, DO include:
- Onion peels (will give it a darker color)
- Garlic ends
- Stems of leafy greens
- Carrot tops and greens
- Apple and pear cores
- Stems of fresh herbs
- Turnip and parsnip peelings
- Bitter or waxy plant parts, such as cucumber peels, stone fruit pits, or citrus peels (oops! I had an avocado pit in there, but it seemed to do no harm)
- Potatoes (they do not freeze well)
- Anything moldy
I have two questions for readers:
- Have you ever used beet trimmings in your stock? I'm curious about the effect it has on the color of the stock -- does it turn raspberry color?
- Does a vegetable stock effectively harness nutrients, or does the stewing destroy them?