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As Americans, we waste 40% of the food we purchase in the United States. While this is a ridiculous number and we should be focusing on our consumption habits, what about the food waste and scraps we can’t avoid? The solution that always jumps to my mind first is: composting! But then I remember the reality of living in an apartment in a big city and realize that’s not an option for me. My next thought is usually, “So what can I do with my food scraps to make sure they’re not food waste?”

In the colder months, I am a soup fiend. I love buying, trying, and making just about any soup out there. Because a lot of soups use vegetables and chicken, making your own stock or broth is a great way to make sure you’re using your groceries to their fullest potentials. Making homemade stocks is very easy, affordable and healthy alternative to store-bought stocks when prepping your favorite soups!

Next time you have leftover scraps from cooking a meal, collect them in a container and store it in the freezer. This can include chicken bones, carrots, celery, outer layers of onions, broccoli stems, corn cobs, herb stems, and just about any veggie peel. Once your container is full, you’re ready for the stock!

For vegetable stock:

  1. Simply collect your leftover scraps and make sure they’re washed and rough chopped. It’s best to stick with veggies that have a more basic taste for the stock, and add the flavorful veggies (bell peppers, mushrooms, etc) in the body of the soup.
  2. Wash and chop the vegetables and add to a pot large enough to hold all of them.
  3. Cover the vegetables with water, bring to a boil, then simmer with the pot covered.
  4. Simmer for at least an hour, up to 5 hours. The longer you simmer, the stronger the flavor.

 

For chicken stock:

  1. Collect the chicken bones and carcass and add to a pot.
  2. Add chopped vegetables if desired.
  3. Cover with water and bring to a boil and cover.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours.

That’s it! Store in the freezer to have on hand for your next cozy night in or to help combat a sore throat!

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