Monday, January 21, 2013

Crock pot Vegetable Stock

This is one of the best ideas I've ever heard of. Thanks to Frantically Simple. Vegetable stock in the store can be expensive so this is an easy way to save money and waste less. Plus it's really easy! I made about a gallon of vegetable stock with this recipe.

Basically put a gallon bag in your freezer and every time you chop veggies, add the unused parts to the bag (make sure it's nothing rotten or bad, but a little "over ripe" is fine). For example: onion skins, carrot peels, celery leaves, garlic skins, green bean ends.
Things to avoid: strong veggies like broccoli and brussel sprouts, an excess of onion and garlic skins

If you want to make your own chicken stock in a Crock Pot, this is a recipe (Chicken Stock)  I found that looks delicious and easy as well.

When your gallon bag is filled follow the steps below:
  1. Pour the contents of your bag into your crockpot
  2. Add any herbs you would like (I used parsley and thyme as well as fresh basil)
  3. Some people say the best broth has an equal ratio of carrots, celery and onions so if you need more of something just chop it up and add it as well.
  4. Add water to the crockpot until it is covering the frozen vegetables
  5. Cook on low for 12 hours. (veggies should be pale, limp, lifeless, and pathetic; you get the point)
  6. Pour the contents of the crock pot into a strainer placed over a bowl
  7. Take the veggies that are left in the strainer and put them in a clean dish towel, then squeeze the juice out of the veggies using the dishtowel as a strainer (this part was really fun but make sure your broth has cooled or else it's impossible and really hot)
  8. Vegetable stock can be stored in the fridge (for a week) or in the freezer until you need it. 
After I made my vegetable stock I made lentil soup using the crockpot. Here's a good easy recipe that turned out REALLY good. Vegetarian Lentil Soup. I cooked it on high for 4-5 hours instead and I also used fresh tomatoes instead (that's all I had) and just peeled them and got rid of the middle part with the seeds and it turned out good.

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