Last week I posted about reducing your waste in the kitchen and I suggested making a vegetable stock with all your vegetable scraps. I thought this week I would focus on that stock, how to make it and an example of a stock I made this week here in New Zealand.
So the idea behind this stock is to make use of all your vegetable scraps that you accumulate from making other meals and stopping them from unnecessarily going in the bin. You could put them straight into a composter if you have one, but you can still make this stock and then put them in the composter afterwards.
You might think, “What’s the problem with vegetables going in the bin? Surely they biodegrade in landfill and eventually disappear?” And you would be right! They would, but the conditions in landfill are very different to that in your composter. In landfill your general waste degrades anaerobically (without oxygen) and creates methane in the process. Methane is an extremely strong greenhouse gas, much stronger than carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming through the Greenhouse Effect. In your composter your vegetables are exposed to oxygen and biodegrade fully. This is the same for material such as paper towel and cardboard when they go to landfill, they release methane as they degrade anaerobically. So the less we send to landfill, the better.
The following is an example of a vegetable stock I made this week with the scraps from the meals that I made:
Onion ends and skin
Garlic ends and skin
Carrot ends and peels
Capsicum pepper ends
Coriander stalks and ends
Aubergine stalks and ends
Add these optional extras into the stock to give an added oomph:
Two bay leafs
Hand full of black peppercorns
Every time you do some veg prep and chopping, bung the scraps into Tupperware or glass jar in the freezer. Once you have a full container, throw all the veg scraps into a large pot, fill with water to cover the vegetables. Bring to the boil, pop on a lid and simmer for half an hour (or more depending on the chunkiness of your veg scraps). Strain the mixture through a colander or sieve. Let the stock cool before putting into the fridge or freezer. The vegetable scraps can go straight into your composter.
What I love about this stock is that its flavour will vary throughout the year as different vegetables come in and out of season. In the summer it’s full of flavours from pepper, aubergines and courgettes, whilst in the winter it’s flavoured with carrots, pumpkins and greens.
Scraps to avoid putting in your stock:
Avocado skins and stones
If you find out anything else that doesn’t work, let us know!