Thursday, February 27, 2014

Save your veggie scraps!

I use vegetable stock a lot.  It's the basis for most of the soups I make -- either roast some vegetable and add to the stock or just boil the vegetable in the stock for a while, then puree.  I also use it for risotto, as a low calorie addition to cook a "gratin" of potatoes and turnips without any cheese or butter...  Stock is a good thing.  I've never found a good prepared vegetable stock in the grocery stores.  (Seriously, they are just awful.  I don't know what the odd taste is in the Trader Joe's vegetable stock, but it ruins anything you try to make with it.)

If you're cooking with lots of veggies, you have the fixings for stock.  As you cook throughout the week (or weeks), save the tops and peels in containers that you put into the freezer.  Be sure to wash your vegetables before peeling or cutting the ends, as you don't want to end up with dirt in your stock.

I save scraps from carrots, onions (not the papery skins though), leeks, mushrooms, daikon radishes, potatoes, turnips, cabbage, butternut squash, parsnips, and celery -- but I don't save scraps from beets (it'll make for a very red stock, which then colors everything you make with it -- if you don't mind the color, save your beet scraps), radishes (except for daikon), or garlic (I think it would make the stock too pungent -- I want the stock to be fairly mild, so that I can flavor the dishes that I'm making with it).

Here's a container after preparing some daikon radishes and carrots.

I keep the tops of the carrots to give to our rabbit. 

When you're done with your veggie prep, cover the container and put it into your freezer.  If the container isn't full, you can just add on top of the frozen scraps the next time you prep veggies.  If it's full, start another one.

Once I have a few containers, I'll make some stock.  Next time I make it (still have some in the fridge from my last batch), I'll write a post showing how to do it.

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