The two things people seem to complain about lately are money and time. Both seem so scant these days for most people when I heard this idea I was gobsmacked at how simple it was I couldn’t believe it took that long for someone to think of it! This is literally the best kitchen idea I have heard in ages!
Winter time brings along slow cooking, stews and hearty soups and what is the one essential ingredient required to make all of these meals? Stock that’s what. shelves are lined with many varieties of stocks all of which when you look closely are lacking in any nutritional value and full of crap we don’t need to put in our bodies. There is one rule in our house, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient list you shouldn’t be eating it! Apart from the lack of anything worthwhile, these tetra packs cost a fortune. If you require one per meal you are forking out at least $3 for each one, then times that by the number of meals you eat using this ingredient every week and it all adds up. What if I could tell you a way of making your own stock FOR FREE? Yes FREE!!! The idea is so simple I still can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself.
I was on twitter the other week and read about an idea from a dietitian Kathryn Elliot (her blog “limes and lycopenes’ is great, well worth the read) about collecting the vegetable scraps and freezing them until you have accumulated enough to make your own stock. Wow, so simple. Not only are we decreasing or eliminating vegetable scraps we are saving ourselves heaps of $$$ by not having to buy stock (not to mention how much better home made stock tastes it’s almost incomparable).
Quite simply using small plastic freezer bags every time you cut of and are about to discard any part of a vegetable pop it in the bag and freeze it. Everything is fair game. I put garlic, ginger, top ends of carrots, fennel fronds, the bulbs of broccoli and cauliflower, half lemons, zucchini tops and that is only the stuff I can remember. I made chicken stock last week and put in the chicken carcass and it made the most amazing stock.
Most vegetable based stocks only take about an hour to make, but you can leave it in there longer if you wish. Anything with meat in it will take a few hours to make (the longer the better really). I leave mine to boil all night and switch it off before bed and let it soak overnight (the flavour is unbelievable). Another great idea what saves you money is why not ask your local fishmonger if they have any leftover fish heads and make your own fish stock? They might charge you a couple of dollars for them, unless they are feeling in a generous mood and they might give them away for free. Even if this sets you back a couple of dollars it’s much cheaper than buying fish stock which is as much as $10 for 500mls. Throw in a couple of garlic cloves, celery ends, onion leaves, chillis and carrot tops and you will have the best base for a fish stew you will ever find.