Homemade vegan stock is a superb way to make the most of your vegetable scraps before sending them to the compost bin. Healthier and cheaper than the store bought alternative, you can customize this broth to suit all your cooking needs.
Make the most of it…
Vegan stock infuses your meals with robust flavour. Use it as an alternative to water when cooking cous cous, quinoa, and rice. Creating your own vegan stock from organic vegetable scraps makes the most of your produce. It reduces waste, and ensures the vegan quality of the finished product.
To start, I’ve placed a medium sized glass bowl in my freezer that stores the remains of root vegetables. Every time I have some leftover carrot, celery, or onion, I toss it into the bowl. Use leafy greens, herbs, and other vegetables, but be selective to ensure there’s no bitterness or strange flavour.
Now that my bowl is filled…
I’ll add the veggies to a large stock pot or dutch oven, and cover with water. Cover with water and bring to a boil. You can customize it any way you want with herbs and spices and a teaspoon of kosher salt or soy sauce to bring out flavour. Let simmer, covered, for at least an hour.
When the vegetable broth smells savoury and aromatic, remove the used produce to the compost. Let the liquid in the pot cool, strain, and transfer to glass jars and store in your fridge or freezer until needed. I like to keep a jar in my fridge each week to easily enhance weekday dishes or create on the spot soups.
Homemade Vegan Stock (zero waste)
yields 8 cups.
Note: I supplemented my saved freezer produce with a few items I had in my kitchen and pantry. The best part of a zero waste vegan stock is that the recipe is unique every time. Today’s recipe is listed below.
- 1-2 carrots
- A few layers of sweet onion
- 1 shallot, quartered
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 5-7 baby bella mushrooms
- 1-2 leaves of bok choy
- 1 stem of broccoli
- 1 tomato, quartered
- 2-3 tbsp. of dried oyster mushrooms
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of thyme
- pinch of parsley
- pinch of dried basil
- 1 tsp. salt
- dash of turmeric to naturally enhance golden colour
Zero Waste Tip
The dried oyster mushrooms from my pantry were put up at the end of the summer. While cultivating the grey dove variety, I found that they tend to wither faster than others. After slicing them thinly, I placed them on a baking sheet covered in parchment and dehydrated them in my oven.
To do the same with any leftover mushrooms you have, heat your oven to it’s lowest setting, or around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the mushrooms on the tray so that they don’t overlap, and bake for at least an hour with the door slightly ajar to let out excess moisture. Check the tray after about half an hour, a flip mushrooms over. They will be ready to store when they are completely dry and snap when you bend them. Any moisture leftover can lead to mold issues. Let cool completely. Store them in an air tight glass jar.
To re-hydrate, place in a bowl and cover with water for 20-30 minutes. Discard liquid and add to your recipe.
In the comments below, be sure to share your favourite ways to season homemade stock or any zero waste tricks you’ve picked up!
Next week I’ll share a recipe that really benefits from homemade stock, just in time for a romantic vegan valentine’s dinner.