Friday, October 12, 2012

Veggie Stock

Everyone needs stock.  I used some type of stock every single day.  Sometimes it is a major component to the meal- like for soups or crock-pot dishes.  Other times I use it to heat up leftovers on the stove or add a little flavor to dishes.  Stock is also a great way to increase the flavor in rice, quinoa or other grains you're cooking up.

Store bought stocks are usually full of stuff I don't want.  At their worst they are full of MSG, soy, corn syrup, salt (the bad kind) and artificial flavors.  Even organic brands can contain sugar, soy, and canola oil.  And of course there is the gluten.  You can find broth that is fairly clean, but it is pricy.

The thing is, stock is really easy to make and can be practically free too.  I've started saving bags of my veggie cuttings- anything I don't use to cook goes in a freezer bag.  When I have a full bag, I make some stock.  You can use a wide variety of veggies and if you use a crock-pot, you don't even need to watch it!  This way you know exactly what is in your stock.  My recipe below is just a basis to start with.  There are lots of veggies that can be used so have some fun and save some money at the same time!

Vegetable Stock

3 quarts filtered water
4-5 stalks celery
1-2 onions, quartered
2 cups carrots
2-3 cloves garlic
bunch of parsley
bunch of thyme
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in crockpot or stockpot.

Heat crock-pot on high and bring to a simmer.
Continue cooking on low for 2-3 hours.

Allow to cool and strain out the used veggies.

Pour into jars and cool overnight in the fridge before freezing.

Broth should keep in the fridge for about a week.

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