Did you know, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest CO2 emitter, behind the US and China?
It’s such a huge global issue, but there are loads of small things we can all do to help prevent food waste.
Making homemade stock, for example.
EroeGo boxes are just jam packed full of delicious, fresh veg, but if you’re looking for a way to use up the peels and scraps, this is a great food waste solution.
By using all those leftover parts, not only will you really be getting the most out of your grocery delivery, but it’ll help you out too - stock always comes in useful for home cooking.
It’s really quick and easy to do as well. Here’s how...
What can I put in homemade vegetable stock?
Many recipes recommend using onions, carrots and celery as a good base to your stock.
On top of that, though, you can add almost anything - kale stalks, cabbage ribs, potato peel…
Leftovers from veg such as parsnips, fennel, corn cobs and pea pods will add a sweet tang, while leek tops, mushroom stems, spinach, and squash peel are great for those more savoury notes.
You could even add apple and pear scraps, if you fancy getting creative with the flavours.
Just be careful of using too many strong-tasting vegetables though, or scraps from veg like beetroot - you might end up with a rather pink stock.
How to prepare the ingredients for homemade stock
During the week, just keep your vegetable trimmings aside. As you’re cooking, wash those leftover bits, cut scraps into smaller, more manageable chunks, and put them into an airtight container or ziplock bag along with any peel you’ve saved.
Some people even suggest using two different bags or containers - one for scraps from sweeter vegetables, and one for the trimmings from those more savoury veggies.
Once they’re prepared, where you store them will depend on when you’ll be making the stock.
If you’re storing the scraps for less than a week before you cook them, just put the container in the fridge.
If you think it’ll take you a little longer to save up enough scraps, the container will need to go in the freezer instead.
How to make homemade stock
Once you’ve saved up one ziplock bag full of peel and trimmings, you’re ready to cook.
There are loads of recipes floating around on the internet that’ll help you create flavourful stock - with ingredients like peppercorns, lemongrass and ginger, you could really get adventurous.
Or you can just go with a basic recipe, like this one, to keep it simple.
To start, take out your veggie trimmings and make sure they’re all properly prepared.
If you’d like to ensure your stock comes out with a deeper flavour, start by heating some oil in a pot over a medium-high heat then add the veg scraps and some seasoning. Cook them for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Then, add water until the pot is three quarters full, or until the scraps just start to float.
If you’d rather use a quicker recipe, you can simply throw your veg and seasoning straight into the pot with the water.
Next, bring it to the boil, turn the heat down slightly so it’s medium-low, and let it simmer for around 30 minutes.
If you’d rather have more flavour infuse into the water, feel free to keep cooking the stock for another half an hour or so.
Take the pot off the hob and carefully remove the vegetable trimmings - the liquid leftover is your stock.
It’s always recommended to strain this through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth or coffee filter, just to get rid of any smaller bits. Then, simply pour it into a storage container.
Once it’s fully cooled, you can put the stock away - again, where you store it will depend on when you plan on using it.
The stock will last around 1 week in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer.