How to make vegetable stock | www.healthygeenkitchen.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Glad in conjunction with their #SAVEITSUNDAY program. With #SAVEITSUNDAY, Glad hopes to educate the public about the consequences of food waste, and I am proud they’ve asked me to be a part of the program. I am being compensated to share my #SAVEITSUNDAY experiences; all opinions are 100% my own.

I make lots of soup this time of year and I rely on homemade stocks to get the most delicious results. I use chicken (or turkey) stock most of the time, but I occasionally use vegetable stock instead. Vegetable stock is an obvious necessity if you don’t eat (or if you are cooking for someone who doesn’t eat) animal foods, but I think its value is even greater than that.

Because I have been writing monthly posts about things we can all do to combat food waste, I am hyper focused on making sure I use up all the vegetables that I buy lately. Homemade vegetable stock is a really great way to get something out of vegetables that are a bit past their prime. It’s a way to avoid tossing something that’s still useful in the trash or compost.

By following Glad’s protection pointers, I’ve learned how to extend the life of many of the fresh foods that I purchase starting the day I buy them. But there are still the odd items that get forgotten at the bottom of the crisper, you know? I am talking about the carrots that get a little withered, the greens that turn a little not-so-green, and the herbs that don’t find their way into recipes. These, along with the scraps and trimmings (like cabbage cores and broccoli stalks) that I purposefully save can all be “upcycled” into a flavorful stock!

veggies for stock | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

My method for making vegetable stock really could not be simpler: just gather up the veggies that are no longer looking so hot along with any saved veggie scraps, put them in a stock pot, and cover with water by a few inches (in the photos you see here, I used some kale, Napa cabbage, broccoli stalks, carrots, and parsnip, but you may use pretty much anything). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to cool completely before straining, then transfer your stock to a storage container(s) to keep in the refrigerator or freezer.

What’s the best type of container in which to store your stock? Well, for years I have used recycled yogurt or other 1-quart plastic containers. Glass mason-type jars are perhaps a “healthier” option, but I have had glass jars break on me in the freezer. So: I think it’s fine to use plastic as long as the plastic is free of BPA Glad’s FreezerWare™ line is BPA-free and crack resistant!), and I would avoid defrosting the stock in the plastic container in the microwave. If you want to use frozen stock in a recipe, I recommend allowing it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Here are some soup recipes of mine that utilize vegetable stock:

Greek Lentil Soup
Vegetarian Minestrone
Roasted Broccoli Soup with Fontina Cheese
Mung Bean Stew with Butternut Squash
White Bean Stew with Pumpkin and Kale

By the way, you don’t have to use your stock in a soup…you can drink it “as is.” I love sipping on warm stock: it’s a nourishing alternative to water. Add sea salt and/or pepper to taste.

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Visit Kristin/The Frugal Girl
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Related reading:
American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do About It)
Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal

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3 Comments

  1. 1

    Kristi — December 30, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

    I am definitely going to try making my own vegetable stock with the odds and ends of my produce. Thanks for the idea!

  2. 2

    Eileen — December 31, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    Homemade veg broth is definitely one of those things that makes all the difference in cooking. So good! And you have to love that it’s basically food made from trash. :)

  3. 3

    Braised Red Cabbage with Apples & Red Wine (vegan, grain free, GF, paleo friendly) | The Clean Dish — January 3, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

    […] Vegetable Stock from Healthy Green Kitchen […]