I’m all about simple tips, and I am a big fan of composting, so when I discovered this tip, I was in simple tip/composting heaven. The tip below comes from Mary Hunt’s book, Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save You Time and Money Every Day.
“Keep a container in the freezer specifically for the collection of fresh scraps, juices, and bones that might otherwise land in the garbage. When the supply becomes sufficient, make stock. If you don’t need the stock immediately, freeze it.”
When I read this, I had an epiphany. I can make my vegetable scraps do double duty, first as a base for vegetable stock and then into the compost bin. It will save money, because my family goes through a lot of vegetable stock, and the spent vegetables can still be composted.
before vegetable stock
The author’s vegetable scraps before making stock.
Here are some things I have learned:
  • If you are saving meats or juices (like Mary recommends), make sure you keep your vegetable scraps in a separate container because you cannot compost meats or oils.
  • Store your vegetables in your freezer until you have approximately 4 to 6 cups.
  • Avoid vegetables that are rotten or moldy.
  • Beet scraps will make your stock a deep red and onion skins will make your stock a deep brown.

Vegetable stock

  1. Place approximately 4 to 6 cups of vegetable scraps in a 5-quart stockpot.
  2. Cover vegetables with enough cold water that you can easily stir them. Less water means your stock will be more concentrated and more water means a lighter-flavored stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  3. Cook for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. One hour is generally enough time to infuse the water with yummy vegetable flavor.
  4. Take the pot off the stove and remove all the vegetables with a slotted spoon. Now these can go into your compost bin. Set your strainer over a big bowl and pour the stock through. Let cool.
  5. Pour into containers then freeze or store in the refrigerator for up to five days.