When you start making your own stock, you’re going to have a hard time buying it from the store ever again.
Making stock from scratch is about as satisfying as it gets. Being the one who purchased (or even better, grew!) the vegetables that you’re using to nourish your family means that you know exactly what’s in that pot. Like with anything that comes out of a package, with store-bought stock you can’t really be sure of the quality of the ingredients that were used.
In my opinion (and that’s just what it is—my personal opinion!), homemade vegetable stock is far superior to the brands you’re going to find on the store shelves, both in terms of nutrition and taste.
And making vegetable stock really couldn’t be any easier.
First, grab a variety of organic vegetables. I like using carrots, onions, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli, but you can really use whatever you like. If you’re not sure what to use, remember the following:
• For sweetness, add carrots or parsnips
• For body, try using sweet potatoes or white potatoes
• For a bit of spice, use garlic and onions
• For color and acidity, add tomatoes
• For that rich earthiness, add beans, celery, cabbage, or broccoli
(Here’s a frugal tip for you! Save your vegetable peelings, ends, and scraps in a container in the freezer and add those to your veggie stocks instead of wasting all that nutrition!)
You then need some seasonings, but nothing too strong. You’re going to use this as stock, so you will add whatever additional seasonings you need when you’re turning it into soup or whatever dish you’re going to use it for. I usually use garlic, bay leaves, pepper, and sea salt.
And of course, you need water.
To make your stock, simply place your roughly chopped vegetables (you don’t even need to peel them) in a large pot, add your seasonings and cover the whole thing with water.
Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or so.
After straining your vegetables, your broth is ready to use. You can either store it in jars in the fridge or portion it out, ladle it into resealable freezer bags and keep them in the freezer.
I also like to fill up an ice cube tray with fresh stock. This gives me my own stock cubes when I only need a couple of spoonfuls of the good stuff for a recipe (two cubes equals about a quarter cup).
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