A Zero Food Waste Week Post : Scraps or Food?

by Julie Gibbons on September 7, 2010

organic vegetable scraps

Vegetable scraps – destined for the compost bin? Not so! This is Zero Waste Week and that means doing things differently.

So what to do with them? Much though I love cakes made from vegetables, you can breathe a sigh of relief – no cake recipe up my sleeves for these beauties – instead, how about some fresh vegetable stock?

Don’t worry, it takes no time at all and you’ll be rewarded with some fresh, tasty, organic – and totally natural liquid to transform as you see fit.

First up, save your veg scraps for up to five days in a bag in the fridge. You really can use everything, from odds and ends, peelings, apple cores and lemon skins, but if you use lots of banana peel, onion skins or beet peel then your stock will end up discoloured and cloudy, so be frugal with those.

This batch contained trimmings from potatoes, carrots, cauliflowers, leeks, lemons, garlic cloves, broccoli and squash.

Next, place your scraps in a large pot and cover with water, to a level two inches above the veg, and bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour or so, until everything is tender.

organic veg scraps in pot

And that’s really as simple as it gets. Once the veg has cooled, all you need to do is strain it into some containers. I ended up with just over two litres, which I will keep for no more than three days.

jugs of fresh organic vegetable stock

What to do with it? Make soup of course! In this instance, something dictated by the veg box contents, cauliflower and leek (click for the recipe). A low fat, low carb recipe, this soup is deliciously creamy and really easy to make. This is the first time I’ve made it with the stock-from-scraps, and it was a resounding success! The stock had quite a lemony tang and some of you may require some more salt but otherwise the soup was as usual.

cauliflower leek soup

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mrs Green @myzerowaste.com September 7, 2010 at 4:17 pm

wonderful post. There is something really satisfying about making your own stock and the soup does taste so much better made with home made stock rather than a cube. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 10:47 am

It is such a satisfying cycle as well! The trimmings from this round of cauliflower and leeks went into the stock to make the next batch :) Simples – Can’t believe I haven’t tried it before…

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Juliet Wilson September 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

oh brilliant, I really should make soup more often, though i could use a stock for other things too, definitely inspired me!

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Julie Gibbons September 9, 2010 at 10:49 am

I love cooking my noodles and pasta and rice in stock. Just to add an extra edge. I’m not sure I’m ready to face soup season just yet ;)

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sooz September 10, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I always mean to collect my veggie scraps to make stock but never get round to it – thanks for your instructions I’ll remember them for when I want to try it!

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Julie Gibbons September 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for visiting Sooz – glad it was of help :) Love that you managed to find the time to take photos of your food waste – good job!

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Jean at The Delightful Repast September 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

What a wonderful idea! I love your ‘zero waste’ posts.

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