The following is a guest post by Janella Purcell
Try making your own stocks – it’s a wonderful habit to get into, and very satisfying. Your veggie and herb waste will be very minimal and you’ll have no more packaging from shop- bought stocks (that are usually full of sugar, salt, colourings and stabilisers). After I’ve strained the liquid I put the pulp into my compost bin. Everyone’s happy.
Most commercially available stocks are heavy in salt and sugar, and I think they make all your dishes taste the same. I get enormous satisfaction from opening the freezer and seeing all those neatly stacked containers full of my stock. So this is how I do it.
When you’re preparing your vegies—topping and tailing, peeling them (although this should be rare), taking the skins off garlic and ginger, trimming your broccoli—don’t throw these scraps away. Instead, put them in a plastic bag in the freezer. Don’t throw any scraps out. I even use the stalks of herbs, peas shells, celery leaves—the lot! I don’t use beetroot skins or red cabbage scraps (they make the stock red) or potato skins (too dirty). On that note, if your vegies do have a bit of dirt on them, then wipe it off. Of course, throw in any vegies that are past their best that you might normally throw away.
I also freeze prawn shells, ﬁsh frames, and any offcuts when I’m preparing seafood. Keep ﬁlling the bags until you have enough to make your stock. I tend to have quite a few big bags of scraps in my freezer.
When you’re ready to make the stock, empty the bags into a large stockpot and cover it with ﬁltered water. Bring it to the boil, and then drop it to a simmer for about 45 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally. Be sure to have your exhaust on and open your windows as
it does have quite a strong fragrance. After it has cooled slightly, take the pot over to the sink. Drain the stock through a colander into a big bowl. Then transfer the clear liquid into containers and stack them in the freezer.
You can make one stock from vegies and another from organic chicken or red meat bones and leftover ﬂesh. It’s a nice way to use every part of the animal and minimise waste. The leftover pulps (if using only vegies) can then go into your compost or worm farm.
You won’t believe how much better your food tastes when you take the time to make your own stock and how good you feel knowing you’re not wasting anything.
You can find out more about Janella at her website – www.janellapurcell.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Keep your eye out for her next book – Wholefoods for the Whole World on shelves next year.
Janella will be hosting a wellness workshop on the 31st of August raising money for victims of trafficking. Find out more here.
Don’t forget to head over to the 1MW website for information on taking action against dangerous climate change through the way that we live! We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au