MAKING VEGETABLE STOCK by Vickie Kline

I have posted several times about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs. I will begin participating in a new program in March, and am very excited about it. I’m already thinking about all the veggies I will receive in the coming months, and ways to use them.

Last year, I would receive a weekly bag filled with all types of greens, root vegetables, tomatoes, and potatoes. All sorts of wonderful things that I had to decide how to use. There never seemed to be a short supply of okra either… which isn’t my favorite vegetable, but I wasn’t about to waste anything.

With my husband’s help, we began making vegetable stock. veggies in freezer bagToward the end of the week when some of the produce began to lose freshness and get soft, rather than disposing of it, we would place it in a ziploc bag and throw it in the freezer. When the supply was large enough, we would pull everything together and begin the process of making vegetable stock. This was a way to enjoy our produce long after the CSA season had ended.

The process is easy and well worth it. Begin by placing all your veggies in a large pot and fill with water until well covered. Cook over medium heat for approximately one hour, until veggies are soft.veggies after simmering

Remove veggies from pot and blend in a food processor. (Do not dispose of water in your pot). Processing will create a lumpy, pulp-like substance. It will be an “interesting” color, but this is determined completely by what you put in, so don’t be discouraged if it’s not yet pleasing to view. Most likely it will be dark green or brown.veggies going into food processor

After processing, put back in the pot on stove with water reserved from first cooking. Let it simmer for 45 minutes, until your kitchen is filled with the wonderful aroma of an outdoor garden.

Strain the remaining pulp by placing a fine strainer over a bowl to catch the juice. As you strain, stir and push the pulp against the strainer to squeeze out all the juice and broth.veggies straining

What you end up with is a bowlful of broth that is salt-free, preservative-fee, MSG-free, and made completely from natural ingredients. And, it tastes wonderful.veggie broth

Pour it into bags and mark by type. I measured and placed 2 cups into each bag. That’s a standard amount for most recipes. This particular batch had some peppers in it, so was quite spicy. I didn’t want to confuse that with others, so I labeled it as pepper broth. Place ziploc bags in the freezer.veggie broth in bags

When you’re preparing food in your crock pot or on stove top, you can pull out one of these bags and drop it into your recipe batch. The flavor will be phenomenal. And you know exactly what’s in it.

Now, as I slice carrots for a salad or cut peppers for a stir fry, I save all the bits that I used to throw away. This is how I keep my broth batches going during the winter when my CSA program isn’t producing.

Making vegetable broth is a great way to reduce stress, make the house smell wonderful, and keep you on track for a healthful eating plan, free of processed foods.

Strive to be healthy!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Monica DeGraffenreid
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 20:28:52

    I have thought of this several times recently, thanks for blogging the process. Do you save peels and stuff if you peel the veggies?

    If you have extra okra I would be happy to take some off your hands, we really like it in soups and stuff.

    Reply

    • vjkline
      Feb 28, 2013 @ 22:31:51

      Sometimes I save peels and things, depending on the vegetable. I always save red, yellow, and green pepper pieces, along with tomatoes. Also, any veggie that I cut off ends or chunks, like zucchini or celery.
      Will see if this new CSA sends as much okra as last year’s. if so, will be happy to share.

      Reply

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