How to make stock from food scraps
Conquering kitchen waste in our homes is so important when it comes to reducing our contribution to landfill. Over 5 million tonnes of food ends up in landfill each year, where it decomposes and releases toxic methane greenhouse gas into our atmosphere. You might already be composting at home (awesome!), but did you know that those veggie, herb and meat scraps can make a delicious and nutritious stock to use in future recipes? This method is super easy and doesn’t just reduce food waste - it’ll save you from having to buy stock at the supermarket too. Win-win!
Step One: Save Your Scraps
Each time you chop veggies or herbs, put the skins, stems and other offcuts aside and transfer to a reusable freezer-safe bag. We recommend using a large silicone food pouch, which can be washed and reused and is free from any toxins like BPA or phthalates that are often present in plastic bags. Here are some examples of veggies that make great stock:
- Onion peels
- Carrot peels and ends
- Sweet potato peels and ends
- Celery leaves and offcuts
- Broccoli or cauliflower stems (it’s best to use these in small amounts)
- Mushroom stems
- Herb stems or leftover herbs that would otherwise go to waste
Store the bag in the freezer and when it’s full, it’s time to make some stock! Do the same for any cooked meat offcuts or bones, which will add great depth of flavour. Veggie and meat offcuts can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Note: be sure to make sure your scraps are washed and clean - nobody likes grit in their stock!
Step Two: Boil
Dump the contents of your bag into a stock pot, ensuring that it is no more than ¾ full. Add in any other herbs or spices you wish to flavour your stock - some good ones are parsley, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, pepper, ginger or turmeric.
Fill with enough water to cover the scraps and make them float. Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and simmer for around an hour.
Step Three: Strain
Use a sieve to strain the liquid. Any leftover solids can be composted - just be sure to remove any large bones and break them up if you wish to compost them. You should now be left with some yummy liquid gold! Add salt and pepper to taste if you wish.
Step Four: Store
Pour the stock into ice cube trays or jars and store in the freezer. If storing in jars, it’s best to freeze in smaller portions of around 250ml - 500ml and always leave room at the top of the jar for expansion. Ice cube size portions of stock are great for adding a burst of flavour to sauces and other recipes, just pop one or two out whenever you need them!
If you plan to use your stock right away, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
And there you have it! Delicious, hearty stock made from food scraps that's packed with minerals and flavour. Keep some on hand to use in soups, stews, sauces or as a warm savoury drink on a cold day.