Sunday, March 29, 2015

From Trash to Treasure

Hang on!  Don't throw away your kitchen scraps!!

This concept isn't new by any means, but I was asked by my sister-in-law to post this little treasure that comes from what you normally throw into your trash. 

Wait, before you shake your head and move onto the next blog, hear me out.

I use vegetable broth all...the...time. And it gets EXPENSIVE! At almost $4.00 for 4 cups of broth, I get all kinds of savings when I make my own!  I've read recipes where they have you use whole, good produce to make broth,  Sure when you are done cooking the vegetables you get some good tasting broth, but you end up throwing away all those veggies that turned into a pile of mush. It always seemed like such a waste, so I only ever did that a few times.  But wait....!

You know those end pieces, onion skins and peelings that you cut away from the good stuff then throw them in your trash or hopefully your compost pile?  Well stop that!

Take a minute to wash up all your vegetables before you go cutting on them.  Then peel and cut away. Just don't discard the scraps.

Instead, put them in a gallon sized plastic storage bag, and throw it in your freezer. Every time you fix yourself some veggies, add them to the bag. Keep doing that until your bag is full.

When you get a bag or two full (depending on the size of your pot), pull out a stock pot and dump that scrap heap in and add water and whatever seasonings you like. For this batch I added several bay leaves, peppercorns, some thyme and some capers.

Each batch is a little different depending on what you have in it and how much of it. Your winter batch will taste different than your summer batch. (I love the addition of tomato scraps!) This batch had onions layers, celery ends, garlic ends, carrot pieces and peels, white and sweet potato peelings, kale stems, asparagus and broccoli stalks, cauliflower centers and who knows what else. Okay, ...well I do.

Fill up your stock pot with water all the way to the top and bring it to a boil. Then turn the heat down and let it simmer, pretty much most of the day.  It makes your house smell awesome!  You can skimp on the time and the variety of produce, but I wouldn't recommend it. I did it once that way and the broth was very pale and the flavor was very light.  Let it simmer for a minimum of 4 hours, It will reduce somewhat, but it should end up a beautiful amber color.  Once you are satisfied with the taste and color take it off the heat and let it cool. Then strain it, and ladle it into containers and freeze. I always keep some out in the fridge to use right away.

Here is the finished product. 

I ended up with about 39 cups of broth out of this batch. If I bought all of that, it would have cost me about $39.00 USD, but instead it was FREE! And when I am all done, I take the strained mushy veggie scraps to the compost pile. It's a win-win for me and the dirt! 

I hope you make up a beautiful batch of broth soon. Enjoy!

Thanks to my honey for taking the photos for me!  See more of what he does over at Photography Musings by Dave.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Thanks for the idea! I love making my own broth now, and it is so easy! I'll be making my third batch later this week - in about 3 months! Winters are especially heavy on broth stores! This makes Hubby and I so much happier to have a homemade, organic product that saves us money!