The first time I ever heard of a homemade vegetable stock was many years ago when a former co-worker casually mentioned that she made her own vegetable stock at home with veggie scraps. The idea stuck with me as it was such a genius idea and I heard it again when I purchased a book called the The Elimination Diet by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. I came across this book as I was doing my research on the correlation between my son’s Tourette’s Syndrome and his diet (feel free to check out previous post A Parent’s Journey: Raising Micah and FAQ: Tourette Syndrome & ADHD). My goal was to try to figure out what foods he may be intolerant to so that we could decrease his tic symptoms. The Elimination Diet, in summary, is essentially a guide to help figure out food intolerances in your daily food consumption to combat with various problems that you may have, which can stem from bloating to acne, or in my son’s case – his tics. The Elimination Diet also includes loads of healthy recipes, many of which I still use, and many of the recipes included vegetable stock as a base. So instead of constantly purchasing vegetable stock in cartons, it was at this point that I started making my homemade vegetable stock – it just made sense.
Not only is this recipe simple and easy, it practically costs next to nothing (if you already have the necessary materials). It’s also a peace of mind knowing what ingredients are being put into it and no need to worry about preservatives that are usually used for prolonging shelf life.
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Before You Get Started
Before you get started, you’ll need vegetables to make your vegetable stock. You can use practically any vegetables that you have at hand. I would suggest using vegetable scraps from cuttings rather than whole vegetables, as I usually use whole vegetables in my daily cooking, but whatever floats your boat. The daily vegetable scraps from cuttings, which can be from ends from onions, garlic skin, ends of leafy greens herbs, bell pepper ends and seeds, carrot ends and peels, and so on. Literally, ends of any veggie.
What You’ll Need
1. Ziploc Bag – Take these vegetable scraps and put it in a gallon Ziploc bag and freeze it. Once when you’ve collected an entire Ziploc bag full of veggies scraps, then it’s time to make your veggie stock.
2. Stock Pot – You’ll need a Stock Pot with a lid to place vegetable scraps and water. I would suggest adding the vegetable scraps first, then add water, and fill at least two-thirds of the Stock Pot. Place the lid on the Stock Pot over medium to high heat until the water starts boiling. Then turn the burner to a medium low to simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Stainless Steel Strainer – A Stainless Steel Strainer will be needed to separate the vegetable scraps from the vegetable liquid. Be sure to select one that is heat proof as you’re dealing with hot liquid.
4. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl – A Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl will be needed to hold the vegetable liquid during the straining process. I would place the Stainless Steel Strainer in the Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl and then pour the contents from the Stock Pot into the Stainless Steel Strainer. Just be careful, it gets really hot. Once the vegetable scraps are separated from the liquid, you can discard the veggie scraps. I have a Tumbling Composter, so my veggie scraps gets discarded in there.
6. Ice Cube Trays – I would suggest having multiple Ice Cube Trays when scooping the vegetable stock to freeze. You’re bound to have more stock than Ice Cube Trays, which is fine, you can do what I call a “switch-a-roo”. Where you freeze whatever you can in the Ice Cube Trays leaving the rest in Mason Jars and then as you transfer the frozen cubed vegetable stock into Ziploc Bags you can freeze the leftover vegetable stock from the Mason Jars.
One Ziploc Bag full of frozen vegetable stock cubes is good for a family size soup base (which you can always add water if it’s not enough). I use the vegetable stock for a variety of other smaller dishes such as my base for my soups such as instant noodles, green soup, and rice porridges. Most recently, I made my own fresh batch of homemade vegetable stock for my Thanksgiving Stuffing (made from scratch) and it was sooooo good! Wish you could’ve tasted it.