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Make Homemade Vegetable Stock From Kitchen Scraps

Homemade Vegetable Stock From Kitchen Scraps
Makes roughly 3 quarts

Veggies To Save
Onions, carrots, and celery form the backbone of veggie stock, but don’t stop there! Lots of other veggies add sweetness and flavor: leeks, scallions, garlic, onions (see my note below), fennel, chard, lettuce, potatoes, parsnips, green beans, pea pods, zucchini and other squash, bell peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, asparagus, corn cobs (think sweet!), winter squash skins, beet greens, and herbs like dill, thyme, parsley, cilantro and basil. You can use anything that is beginning to lose its luster but steer clear of anything that has actually gone bad, of course.

Veggies to Skip
These vegetables tend to overpower the stock flavor-wise (and some of them turn a bit bitter) so you may want to dump them directly on the compost heap instead: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, artichokes. And skip anything rotten or moldy.

Veggies You May Want to Skip
You can use beet root scraps and onion skins but just be aware that they will make your stock either a deep red or a deep brown so you may want to skip them. I plan to skip ‘em in the future.

Storing the Scraps
You will want to collect roughly 4-6 cups of vegetables to make 2 quarts of stock. You can either save your scraps throughout the week in a large Ziploc or some other airtight container in the fridge, or if you’re collecting scraps for longer than a week, just keep them in the freezer (this is what I do.)

Making the Stock

1. Place roughly 4-6 cups of scraps in a 5 quart stock pot. Add 1-2 bay leaves and a few black peppercorns

2. Cover it all with cold water then bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Any more than an hour and the flavor will begin to deteriorate.

3. Strain vegetables using a fine mesh strainer or a colander and give them a press to make sure you get all the broth. Quick tip: I made mine in my steamer pot from Ikea which made the straining incredibly easy since all the veggies were in the steamer insert and I just lifted it out of the pot once it was done. Let cool then pour into glass jars, clean yogurt containers or freezer bags. Let cool completely in the fridge and then freeze or store for up to five days in the fridge.

You might also like:

Cooking with Fruit and Vegetable Scraps
Give Kitchen Trash a Second Life: 35 Quick Tips

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Eve Fox

Eve is the creator of The Garden of Eating, a blog about food--cooking it, eating it, and growing it. She has a legendary love of aprons and can often be found salivating over the fruits and veggies at one of the many farmersí markets near her home in Woodstock, NY. Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow Eve on Twitter or Pinterest.


+ add your own
2:18PM PDT on May 27, 2014

Good post,thanks for sharing

2:47AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

Thank you

6:00PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Thank you

10:05AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012


7:01PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

great idea

5:29PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Thanks for this great article. Love it.

8:31AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Noted! Thanks.

3:48PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:29AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012


8:03AM PDT on Apr 2, 2012


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