Iíve been going through a serious case of *Waste Not, Want Not* recently, and have been doing everything possible to reuse everything! I know people use beef bones and chicken carcasses to make meat broth however, when you chop up your veggies, do you tend to throw the tops, bottoms, skins or random pieces away???
Do this instead:
Save EVERYTHING in a gallon bag in the freezer (yep, I reuse the freezer bag. Labeled SCRAPS).
Onion skins and pieces. Leafy tops and hard bottoms of celery. All veggie peels. If you juice, save all the pulp! (Yes, I am serious). If it is something you USUALLY toss into the garbage or down the disposal, SAVE IT! You can even check out the discount produce cart at your local grocery!
Once you have a FULL gallon bag, toss everything into a huge pot and cover with water. Add a couple crushed bay leaves, small handful of peppercorns, a couple of crushed cloves of garlic (skins on), a few lemon peels and/or whatever else youíd like to season it with.
Bring to a boil then reduce, cover and let simmer for a couple of hours. Let it cool, strain it well (squishing the veggies in the strainer to get out ALL the yummy juice), put it back on the stove to warm up and season with salt and such to your liking.
Let cool then freeze, can or refrigerate up to a week.
If you use juiced veggie pulp, you MAY want to do a second straining using cheesecloth as some pulp will get through a regular straining. Personally, that doesnít bother me as it isnít gritty or anything.
This usually bears me 6 quarts of some seriously delish veggie broth, plus an extra 1-1.5 cups left over for a soup base for my lunch after canning!
I use my scraps in the same manner for my chicken stock.
Yeah, I do too but I only save up like half a gallon bag then. I don't want the veggies to end up overpowering the bone broth flavors.
When finished with the soup stock, put all leftovers (bones, pulp, whatever) into an indoor anaerobic fermentative decomposing bin. (Often called Bokashi composting.) The bin contents will eventually get buried in your garden and you recover 100% of your food expense plus nutrients!
I save my veg peelings in a small pan in the fridge and when the pan is full I cover them with water and make veg stock. The soggy mess gets composted
That's a great idea! I see a cream of Juicer Leftovers coming right up!
OK, when I read your scrap soup comment in the Juicing thread, I was concerned about increasing the amount of fibre eaten. I see from your method that it won't do that - just make a rather nutrient dense stock. Great - I'll be doing this too!