As you might imagine I go through an awful lot of vegetables. And, not surprisingly I cook with an awful lot of vegetable stock. I have been buying organic culinary vegetable stock for some time now. I started to add up the cost of all that stock and the result really surprised me! It adds up to a lot!
So, I started thinking, why would I spend all that money on vegetable stock when I throw away so much vegetable through the course of regular food prep/chopping? You know, the ends of green beans, mushroom stems, potato peels, the tops of onions and carrots, stems from parsley and other herbs. It's not really very "green" to throw that stuff away and, while I have often thought about composting, to date have not done so.
I decided that it's crazy to continue to buy stock while all the while throwing out the very stuff stock is made of (including vegetables that get just a bit "over ripe"). So, I have started keeping all those bits and ends of vegetables each time I chop, along with vegetables that get just a bit "too ripe" adding them to a gallon size bag marked "for stock" that I keep in my freezer. When the bag is full I know it is time to make stock!
I like to make it in the crockpot letting it cook on low overnight. Super simple and I can control what goes into it, including the amount of sodium. I hope you will consider doing the same- the result is every bit as good if not better as what you can get in the store!
Crock Pot Vegetable Stock
1 gallon size bag of veggie bits, herb stems and leaves
3 bay leaves (optional)
Salt and pepper
Other spices you may desire
Water (enough to just cover the vegetables)
Place veggies and spices in a crock pot and fill with water until just covered. Turn crock pot on low and allow to cook for up to 12 hours. Strain liquid from the mixture and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for use over the next week or so, or in the freezer for future use.