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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Freezing Veggie Scraps Works for Me!
Here's something new I'll participate in: Works for Me Wednesday. Basically, it's about sharing tried and true techniques for...well...everything under the sun. Since mine is a cooking blog, I'll keep my tips in the kitchen. Or at least about food.
Today, I'd like to tell you about how I get rich vegetable stock from scraps. And I do it in my sleep.
Summertime is quickly approaching. While I love soups, summertime just isn't a good time of year to enjoy them. However, many recipes still require broth or stock, and those cans and boxes of broth and stock at the grocery store are just...bad. Salty and bland. Who wants that? Not me.
Instead, I make my own stocks and broths. Not long ago, I wrote about making chicken stock using the oven and stove top. But again: Do you want to heat up your house for it? I don't. Enter the slow cooker. This marvelous piece of chicken brilliance saves energy and doesn't heat up your kitchen like a simmering pot of stock would.
Here's how I make vegetable stock in my sleep"
I keep a freezer bag in my freezer for collecting vegetable scraps. Almost anything goes: onion skins, broccoli stalks, cabbage cores, carrot peels, lettuce leaves, celery leaves...whatever I wouldn't use for a recipe, as long as it was just vegetable (no fats added in cooking), it goes in the bag. It takes me about a week to accumulate enough scraps to make stock.
I fill my biggest slow cooker with the scraps, then I fill the rest of the space with water, all the way to the top of the pot. I add a little salt, and some pepper, and some freshly cut herbs.
It cooks all night while I'm sound asleep.
The next morning, I position a colander over a large bowl or pot and strain the liquid out of the vegetables. The vegetables go in the trash, and the liquid can either be used immediately or stored for future use. If I'm storing it, I like to freeze it in 2 cup portions. It'll keep for 6 months in the freezer.
And there you have it. "Free" vegetable stock, with very little effort. That works for me. :)