Our home has very little food waste. We aren’t special and we don’t eat disgusting old food (usually – although I am way more likely to do it than Wayne is) but we do have several ways to divert what would normally go in the trash. One way is by feeding our kitchen scraps to the chickens, who LOVE it. They will eat all the insides out of a banana peel or watermelon rind, and if I cut the squash ends or pepper centers up enough they go to town. Then, the peel or the rind or anything moldy or super gross goes directly to the worms.
In addition to our normal outdoor compost pile we have a vermicomposting bin in our garage where red wiggler worms turn kitchen scraps and paper – yesisaidpaper into super terrific nutrient rich soil, while putting off some liquid fertilizer I can use on veggie plants.
But before any of that, I reuse a ton of our veggie scraps in a new meal! And you totally should too because you’ll be making easy, free, nutrient rich food for your family. I keep a tupperware in my freezer that I throw all sorts of veggie scraps in but especially: carrot ends, onion pieces and peels, celery ends (that white part you don’t want to eat and the leafy parts), and kale stems (we eat a lot of kale in this house). The only veggies I can think of that you wouldn’t want to keep in there are garlic bits (because it would overwhelm the flavor) and potatoes (because starchiness). Then, whenever my tupperware are full, I pull them out to make veggie broth and/or soup.
I use at least two 5 cup tupperwares in one batch, sometimes three or four – but that isn’t really important. I just wait a really long time because I’m lazy and use a huge pot.
Ignore the awful wallpaper and super old oven. That’s just what our kitchen looks like right now. One day we will have fancy upgraded kitchen but that day is not today. Here are your super easy instructions.
- Put all of your veggies in your pot and put twice as much water in the pot. You don’t have to worry too much about this but generally make sure your vegetables are covered and then some. Make sure, for flavor purposes, that there is at least some carrot, celery, and onion. Sometimes my scrap bins do not have celery so I add a fresh stalk in.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat to medium and simmer for – well, as long as you want. An hour is fine – I often lower the heat when I go to bed and let it run all night long. You should try it to see which flavors you like best.
- Put your new broth through a fine mesh strainer and into your container to store!
*Note that if you are planning to freeze your broth in any glass container you want to let your broth cool, put it into the container, put that container in the fridge to cool more, and THEN put it in the freezer. Otherwise your mason jars will crack and the world will be sad.
Since I do make a ton at a time I usually freeze about half of my broth and make a vegetable soup the next day. Vegetable broth is terrific for all sorts of things. You can deglaze a pan, use it to make rice instead of water for a more flavorful dish, or make a delicious soup. And then I give the dregs to the chickens and worms. 🙂