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Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Posted by cziga (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 6, 12 at 19:47

Hi everyone ... I haven't spent much time in the cooking forum yet, mostly reading ... but I had a particular question that I was hoping somewhere here could help me out with.

I want to start making my own vegetable stocks (for freezing), and want to use as many kitchen scraps as possible. I know onions, carrots and celery ends are all good bets. Potato peels are good, I guess. I've heard to avoid onion skins, as well as brussel sprouts, broccoli, and some other vegetables.

I was wondering about a couple others, hoping you could tell me if they are good additions to a vegetable stock or not.

Green Bean pods - I grow fresh-shelling beans in the garden, and once shelled, can I use the empty pods in the stock?

Trimmings/peels from zuccini and summer squash.

I heard that carrots are good, but carrot peels can be bitter. I always peel carrots though, so is this true? Will carrot peels turn a stock bitter, or do you use them?

Cucumber ends and peelings.

Bits of tomatoes and peppers.

That's all I can think of for now that I might grow and want to use. Again, thanks for any advice :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

I toss carrot peelings in all the time, why would they be more bitter than the tops or ends? I also use the peelings from parsnips, but rutabaga always seems to come waxed, so I don't use that. I always use celery leaves and ends and I also put in tomatoes and peppers, although I haven't used potato peelings. I don't see why not, though...

The green bean pods should be fine and I always toss the onion peels into the stock, it adds a nice color. The zucchini and summer sqush might cook down to a mush and make your stock cloudy, I suppose, if that matters to you and I don't think I'd add the cucumber, it's a flavor I don't think I'd like in stock.

I also would not add strongly flavored vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli or cabbage, they could overwhelm a stock. Peas do that for me too, the whole thing just tastes like peas if I use them.

Annie


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Most hard root vegetables are very good in stock, but potatoes are an exception to this, although the peelings should be fine.

I do not add any legumes to stock, and I also do not add anything from the cabbage family. I agree pretty much with what Annie said and would omit any kind of squash or cucumber. Personally, I would not add tomato to a stock, unless I want to make a special tomato stock, but a small amount would not hurt. Peppers/chilies are okay also, but I generally add them after the stock is made unless I am making a chili sauce. Small amounts of peppers won't hurt as long as they are mild.

Garlic skins are fine in stock, just as onion skins are, as Annie noted.

For me a vegetable stock is based on onion, celery, garlic, carrot, and parsnips. Turnips work also, if you have those instead of parsnips. I do not worry about stock being bitter - you can counteract that flavor with salt, but bitterness really does not bother me. The sweetness of carrots also balances bitter flavor.

If you have mushroom trimmings, those do nicely in stock as well.

Lars


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Back in the 80's I was doing a lot of Zen Macrobiotic cooking and one of the first things you learn is to keep a container in your refrigerator and toss in all your vegetable scraps for the endless batches of vegetable stock you made and used. You consumed one or two small bowls of miso soup or tamari broth soup everyday and used the vegetable broth to make it and many other things.

The Macrobiotic diet consists of 25-30 percent vegetables so it didn't take long to accumulate enough scraps. I dipped potato peelings in Fruit Fresh to keep them from turning black, or time potatoes in a meal the same day I made broth.

Be sure to scrub your vegetables well before using the scraps. Yellow onion skins will cause the stock to turn golden brown. Beet roots will make a lovely red broth. Save those stems from herbs and add those as well. When the 4-cup measuring cup was full of vegetable scraps I would make 2 quarts of broth. If you are keeping your scraps for longer than 4-5 days go ahead and freeze them.

-Grainlady


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

I keep a plastic container in my freezer to put veggie scraps in. Unfortunately, today when I opened my freezer, it fell out and all the contents spilled on the floor. Oh, well, out to the compost pile they went.

One thing I learned to do is if you're making a specific kind of soup, such as butternut squash soup, use the peels and innards (the seeds and pulp) in your stock. Basically, while the squash is roasting, I'the squash scraps to my veggie stock and let it cook together. It gives the soup and extra rich squash flavor. I imagine if you're making potato soup, the potato peels would be good added to the stock, and so on.

Sally


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Sally, I also have a "stock bag", it's a big ziplock bag in the freezer, when I get enough and get time, then I make stock. I have a separate bag for chicken "parts", like wing tips, roasted carcasses, etc.

The only problem I have with adding beets, which I love, is that it makes the broth pink, which can be off-putting in certain uses, LOL.

Annie


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

As far as I'm concerned, if it doesn't go in the
compost pile, it goes in the stock pot.
Bottom line.


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

I do not use carrot peelings in stock because they can be bitter. Ruined a few attempts at stock until I figured out what was adding the bitterness. (I always have store bought carrots. Having very fresh, locally grown probably makes a difference.)

Best advice, I guess, would be to taste the peelings before adding them to the stock pot.


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Never heard of nor experienced bitter carrot peels....and often I don't peel carrots...I just scrub them very well.


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

I also either compost or freeze all trimmings immediately. I just keep adding to the bag in the freezer until it's full. Why waste all that good stuff? Certainly Campbell soup doesn't!

I never peel carrots no matter how I use them.


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

You've gotten a lot of good answers. Yes to onion peels and such. The only thing I differ with is that keep two scrap packs. One the normal veggie scraps that have been mentioned and in another I keep the broccoli and cabbage scraps and such. I use that stronger stock when making stronger soups and such that contain lots of cabbage or when making broccoli soup, etc. If I have a lot of onion scraps, which I tend to have, or celery, etc., I just add some to the "heavier" stock scraps. I should say that aside from two veggie scrap packs I also do the poultry scraps and a ham scrap package too. If I run out of actual hunks of ham in the scrap pack there is bound to be some ham skin that I can use to flavor a nice bean soup or pot of beans. Oops, also have a meat scrap pack that I can use in spaghetti sauce. Pork or beef in that one. I may be a scrap hoarder....except I do use them.


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

All veggies can be dehydrated.

Dehydrated vegetables have a different flavor profile when cooked.

You don't need to refrigerate dried veggies.

dcarch


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

grain lady, could you please tell me what miso soup is?


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

Thank you so much for all the helpful advice.

I never thought about herb stems, but I guess that would be a great way to get some flavor out of them before composting. I'll steer clear of the squash ... I was planning to freeze the scraps until I'm ready to make stock - I've already started a baggie in the freezer actually. Its a great idea, and such a useful way to use bits and pieces that would otherwise just get tossed straight away.

I always peel carrots. I don't know why, the outer peel never looks as appetizing as the inside. So as long as carrot peelings are ok ... I read somewhere online (and someone here mentioned it too) that carrot peelings can turn a stock bitter ... I have no idea why though? I suppose if you all use them and have no problems, then they should be ok. Tops and ends of carrots too.

Sally - that's a great tip about using the skins/innards of vegetables for specific stocks/soups, like squash. I had never thought of it before, but last night I made a corn chowder recipe (new to me) that called for adding the corn cobs into the pot to boil for a while ... adding extra corn flavor to the broth. I know corn cobs aren't recommended for stock because they make it really sweet, but for the soup it added another layer of corn flavor which was really nice!

So no one uses green bean pods in their stock? I have a huge bowl of shelled bean pods that I'll just through in the green bin ... but I thought maybe they'd be ok for stock? If no one else uses them though ... do a lot of people use potato peelings, or is that a very uncommon one as well? I wonder if they'd add an odd taste? We do have a lot of potato peelings in our house...


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RE: Can I use these veggie trimmings in a vegetable stock

I don't see why you couldn't use green bean pods.

I've actually gotten lazy about vegetable stock. I buy the boxes of it more often than not, but recently I actually made it from scratch. Boy, was it better!

I don't frequently save peelings, cause I either eat the potato with the peels, or just scrape the carrot, rather than peel it. I'll have to save potato peels, though, for when I make potato soup.

Sally


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