For me this means using more from our garden, creating less rubbish, and recycling more.
It also means creating less food waste. We already compost with our Bokashi buckets, and our meal scraps go to our dog Toby. But I wanted to minimise this even further, especially after reading about how much money we wasted by throwing out, and even composting, the vege bits we don’t use for eating:
“Even the humble vege could be costing you money. If you pay $2.29 for a head of broccoli but only cook the florets, and throw away the stalk, that’s up to $60 a year.”
Over the past few weeks I have been collecting food scraps in a zip lock bag in the freezer – bits that we don’t use in cooking but that are still edible: carrot ends, broccoli stalks, capsicum cores, outer leaves of cabbage, onion ends…You get the picture. I wanted to try to make vege stock from them.
I make my own chicken stock when I can, adding onions, carrots, bay leaves, dried chilli and pepper corns to the chicken carcass and water to cover, but I’ve never tried vege stock before.
Today was the day! I cleaned all the scraps in diluted Apple Cider Vinegar (simply amazing for everything!!), rinsed them off, and chucked them in the slow cooker with my stock standards: peppercorns, bay leaves, dried chillies and a bunch of rosemary. (The chillies and rosemary are homegrown.) I also found a few snapped off carrots from the garden so popped them in too, added water to fill the bowl, and left it overnight to cook.
There were heaps of veges left in the bowl, and I got 2 1/2 Litres of stock out of it: three 500ml containers and one 1L container.
I feel better about putting the scraps in the bokashi now that I’ve had some use out of them.
I had to try it and see the results of my experiment. There was a bit of a tang from the chilli and a slight bitterness – from cabbage maybe? But it’s gooooood. And cheap. And easy.
Yum! Can’t wait to use it in cooking! But for now, straight in the freezer.