Save those scraps! Even if you are composting, finding a second use for your vegetable scraps is a great way to get the most out of all the food you buy.
Any vegetable scraps can be used for this broth except for large amounts of cruciferous vegetables scraps because they may impart a bitter flavors. I tend to use a majority of onion, carrot, celery, leeks, and kale scraps in my broths. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage are great additions as well. Now that I have so much stock from my vegetables scraps, I have been making amazing soups during these colder months.
When I buy a chicken, I try to fabricate the bird and save the carcass in the freezer until I have enough vegetables for a big pot of stock as well. Then, I will add all the scraps and carcass to the pot and make a chicken scrap broth!
This scrap broth is not an exact recipe, but one that can be easily bent to your preference and ingredients on hand. I fill a pot with about 4-6 quarts of water when I can fill a gallon size bag with vegetable scraps.
Bring the broth to a simmer, then reduce to the lowest setting and cook overnight on low, or for about 5-8 hours.
Strain out the scraps and store the broth in the fridge or freezer for future use in soups, sauces, or anywhere you would usually add water to give your dishes a new depth of flavor.
The three products I will show you how to make, which cumulatively utilizes the whole apple are:
1. apple sauce
2. scrap apple vinegar
3. apple shrub
I have a box of ‘second’ apples that I bought for $10 at a farmers market. Since I have all these apples, I am going to show you how to use them all up! The three ways I plan to use these apples is for apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, and spiced apple shrub.
The three products I will show you how to make, which cumulatively utilizes the whole garlic clove are:
1. garlic “butter”
2. garlic infused oil
3. garlic chips
And, instead of chopping garlic for all your dishes, why don’t you try infusing oil with it? Confit is a method of cooking slowly over a long period of time time, usually in fat. This long, slow cooking results in garlic that is creamy, sweet, and spreadable, as well as a garlic infused oil that is begging to be used in all your next cooking endeavors.
Separate the oil and garlic into two different containers.
Mash the garlic until it is uniform and spreadable
Once you use a copious amount of garlic to make garlic confit, you will have an equally large amount of the papery, seemingly inedible parts of the garlic. Stop throwing them away and start making crispy garlic chips. For the garlic chips you want to use the skin of the garlic that is closest to the head. The remaining thin layers on the outside can be saved in your freezer for vegetable scrap broth.
My goal is that within this blog you’ll find inspiration to reduce your food waste in fun, accessible, and easy ways. When I was seven years old, I was introduced to utilizing food waste when I started helping make wine with my dad and his friends. Although, at first, I only attended these long days of laborious tasks because I would get a cream filled donut and a cup of decaffeinated coffee, I grew to love them. I was able to see the progression of our endeavor, from the grape to the bottle, and enjoyed the community of friends that we formed. Once the wine was bottled, the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems (also called the pomace) were leftover. My dad would take the pomace and make grappa, a clear grape-based brandy. Grappa is an exemplary zero waste product. While I didnt know it then, this concept of lowering food waste would follow me throughout my life.
A few years after I corked my last wine bottle, you’d find me in high school working at Cherry Grove Farm, a small raw milk cheese, meat, and egg farm in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. I worked countless hours per week, got stepped on by pigs, and peed on by cows. Despite this gruesome work, I loved it. At Cherry Grove Farm, my appreciation and view of food changed even more dramatically. The hard work that we poured into the food we ate made every bite more delicious. My attentiveness to food waste grew from my work there. We used rotational grazing to feed our herds of cows and heifers. The vast amounts of whey produced from cheese making was fed to the pigs. Goats were used to browse the overgrown areas. I slowly realized how little was wasted day to day. Even the cracked eggs were fed to barn cats instead of tossing them in the trash.
My inspiration for sustainability and food waste has grown since I last milked a cow. I’ve continued my education in Culinary Arts & Food Science, with a focus in Food Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. And I’ve gotten involved in other companies and organizations that hold the same values as me. About 30-40% of the food supply in the U.S. goes to waste which makes every little step we can take to reduce our individual waste have the potential to make an impact on climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. It is exhilarating to discover delicious uses for things people usually throw away. For instance, banana peels are edible, cauliflower greens are delicious, and carrot tops make a wonderful pesto. Education and inspiration is all most people need to highly utilize the food they buy. With Cook Clever, Waste Never I hope you find your own motivation to generate change, and make some new, delicious food along the way.