Zerowaste Kitchen Winter Fall

    The no-recipe to make vegetable stock out of..any food scraps

    December 21, 2017

    *This post originally appeared here, in collaboration with Hervidero de Ideas a spanish platform dedicated to sustainability and ethical consumption. 

    Today * I propose you an idea that I am sure will mark a before and after in your initiation to eco-friendly kitchen, or at least I hope! I will share you my weekly practice to prepare an incredibly tasty and rich veggie stock … literally out of any food scaps you will produce in your kitchen.

    The no-recipe to make vegetable stock out of..any food scraps


    This is a non-recipe, there are no limits, it is more a philosophy, an action that I recommend you to start today. You will just need a glass container or tupper to put  in your freezer. While you cook throughout the week you will start filling it with the discards of your cutting board: external parts of vegetables, skins, filaments, hard or ripen parts … basically everything you normally would cut and throw. In the summer I freeze the container, in winter I leave it in the fridge because I prepare stock with some frequency. As soon as I have the jar full I prepare one, it has become kind of a specialty of my house.


    Ingredients (Scraps for a basic veggie stock):


    – Black and white garlic skins


    – Skins and outer parts of onions and shallots


    – Strips of skin of any roots like carrots, parsnips, turnips…


    – Green part of chives, leeks and garlic


    – Stems of parsley, carrot leaves and celery or any other aromatic herbs


    – Skin of pumpkins **, potatoes and sweet potatoes


    – Fruit skins like apples and pears


    – Any ripen green leaves


    – Stalks of Swiss chard and spinach

    Consider this:


    – The leaves and fibrous part of beets, violet carrots and external part of red cabbage because they will make the stock really PINK:)


    – The skins and filaments of peppers will give a “peppery” touch that it could be appreciated (or not) according to the recipe.


    – The skins of ginger will give an “oriental” touch that it could be appreciated (or not) according to the recipe.


    – Outer parts of all kinds of cabbage, leaves and discards of celery and cucumber, leaves of artichoke and asparagus and fennel because they will give a very strong taste, that does not fit all the palates or could not paste with your recipe.


    – Citrus peels will give a very citric taste. For example for a fish broth citrus can be interesting, but for other preparations not so much.


    Skin or discards of aubergines because they will give a bitter taste.



    In a liter and a half of cold water* add the full content of your foodscaprs jar, collected through the week. Surely they will be a lot more than you think. Bring the water to boil. Cover the pot and let the broth cook for half an hour on low heat or half the time if you use the pressure cooker for an express version!

    * If you want a 100% upcycled stock reserve the cooking water for the pasta, rice or any other cereal you have prepared the day before or the same day. It is usually a water rich in starch and substances that will give more body to your stock. It is a liquid that almost everyone throws and is a terrible waste, isn’it?

    Don’t use any salt while you cook it to leave the preparation neutral and salt the stock only when you will use it for cooking.

    To this base of vegetable stock you can add a more appetizing touch at the end like miso, seaweed or coconut milk …

    But also meat or fish, of course  following a bit of this upcycling  philosophy.

    I give you my three options, easy and smart,to make stock out of meat parts that are usually thrown, incredibly (and unfortunately) away.




    1: Free range chicken, fowl or turkey

    What I usually do is buy a whole FREE RANGE chicken or fowl, if I can find it and ask the butcher to prepare it for me in parts: breasts and other traditional cuts to cook and to leave me all the discards of cuts including skin, internal bones and ridges. With these parts you can obtain a delicious and very nutritious broth, ideal for the days of cold and fl

    2: with Beef bones

    Another easy solution  is to get beef bones in a good butchery, at almost zero cost. Adding them to the vegetable stock will enrich the flavour.

    Opción 3:  with heads and seafood skins 

    In this case the stock is made out of seafood heads, skins and blue fish strips. You can even beat it in a mixer and a “bisque” comes out to give a gourmet touch to any soup.

    The practice of drinking a hot stock is very good in itself, so I sometimes drink it instead of an infusion or to accompany dinner like it would be water.


    Once you get into this routine you will acquire this habit: cook vegetables, collect the foodscraps out of them, make your weekly stock, cook recipes with it and more veggies…and so on.. I incorporated this habit in my cooking lifestyle and it has become a little ritual that makes me feel good and allows me to always experience new flavors and recipes.




    Pics © Picniquette



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