Saturday, July 1, 2017

How to Make Easy Healthy Vegetable Stock for Free!

How to make easy, healthy vegetable stock for free!
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
I love my slow cooker and one of the things I regularly make in it is my super easy vegetable stock.

The best thing about this recipe is that it's free food!  Well pretty much free - all you have to pay for is water (depending if you're charged for water) and electricity.

Let's review what you will need to make your own homemade vegetable stock (you won't believe how easy it is!) .......

What You Need To Make Easy Veggie Stock


  • Vegetable scraps/peelings
  • Water
  • Slow Cooker
  • Strainer

Vegetable Scraps


When I'm cooking I don't throw away any vegetable peelings, onion skins, carrot tops etc.  I have an old, empty, plastic ice cream container in the freezer and I put all of the vegetable scraps that are thrown away in most households into it.  I should note that I also add any mushroom stalks and skins (if I've peeled them), but I don't add asparagus ends as they don't do too well in the stock.

Basically making this stock is also reducing your household waste which is a big tick for the environment as well as your wallet - and the health benefits of eating stock that has got no hidden extras - well that's priceless.   Okay, sermon over and on with how to make the veggie stock.

I'm actually thinking that I need a bigger container to store them in especially since my daughter became a vegan.  At the moment I seem to be making a pot of stock once a fortnight.

Slow Cooker


I think everyone should have a slow cooker and they don't have to buy an expensive one.  I have a very basic slow cooker that has lasted me for more years than the company that made it.

 Crock-Pot SCV400B 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Black
The slow cooker I have has basically three settings - low, high or automatic and that's really all that you need for your first slow cooker.

 You can buy slow cookers that have a number of different programs, but I wouldn't spend more than $25 on a basic slow cooker for your first one and see how you find it.

The important thing that you want to make sure your slow cooker has is a removable stoneware for easy cleaning - I think most of them have this nowadays anyway.

Once you've left something cooking in your slow cooker and have walked back into your house to the delicious smells wafting through you will wonder why it took you so long to get one!   If you're already a slow cooker convert you know exactly what I'm saying, don't you?

So Exactly How Do I Make Simple Veg Stock?

The Easiest Vegetable Stock Recipe Ever!


Empty your veggie scraps into your slow cooker, add enough water to cover the scraps, turn on slow cooker and walk away!   How easy is that?  See if I say something's easy I really mean it!

I usually put my slow cooker on low and leave it for 6-8 hours, on occasion I have put it on high and left it for 3-4 hours and both options have worked well.

Once you've turned your slow cooker off you can either let it cool for a bit or strain it straight away.  I just ladle the contents of the slow cooker into a sieve over a jug and just strain all of the liquid through.   The vegetable scraps that you're left with get thrown away by me, although I might start keeping them for compost - I'm researching whether or not I should use them once they've been cooked especially as I've read that you shouldn't use onion skins in the compost.

You will note that I haven't added any salt to this vegetable stock - I just season the dish that you're making with the stock as opposed to adding any at this stage.   When I used to buy stock I hated it when you used a stock that was quite salty because your husband forgot to get salt reduced!
Vegetable soup make with veggie stock

When you're making your own homemade stock you will notice that every time you make it the color can be different.  This is because of the different vegetable scraps you have, if you are using red cabbage and red onion one week it will look very different to a week when you have mainly potato peelings and carrot tops.

Most of my vegetable stock is used to make a range of different soups as I usually make a different batch of soup each week.  The soup is then put into single serve containers and labeled with my favorite label maker before being popped in the freezer.

On days when I'm working I simply select which soup I feel like and that's a nice, quick and healthy lunch for me.

So let me know do you make your own vegetable stock yet?  If not I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how you get on.

How to make easy healthy vegetable stock
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs




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5 comments:

  1. Your super easy vegetable stock sounds just that, Lou - very easy and a way to use the vegetable peelings most of us just toss. Quite clever and obviously delicious. Thanks so much for telling me about how you make your vegetable stock.

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  2. This is really fabulous Louanne! I truly appreciate you sharing how to make this easy vegetable stock. I have really struggled with recipes for vegans since my daughter and son-in-law have chosen this very strict diet. I don't like the canned broths at all and I have yet to find a really good store bought stock. I love that I can make this ahead of time and freeze it too. That will make the holidays so much easier! This may seem basic and easy to some, but for those of us who have cooked with animal products all of our lives, it is hard to know what will be good instead of completely tasteless.

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  3. You must have been reading my mind, Lou. I tossed out carrot ends the other day and thought no, I should be saving these. Then yesterday we had a rainy day so I fixed soup. I've never made my own stock, but the only way you could make it sound easier is if you knocked on my door with a spare container for the freezer and did it for me! Now, I have to say that I never would have thought about actually using onion skins, but I'm sure that would add both color and flavor. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  4. Oh this is wonderful and yes you should start a compost pile with what's left after your stock is cooked. As to the onion skins, worms don't like a lot of onion, but some is okay. If you were making onion soup, I would consider disposing of the skins, but if there are just a few in there, go ahead and make your compost happy! I can imagine that this vegetable stock would be so versatile to use. Thanks Louanne, I will have to keep a container for my peelings.

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  5. I started doing what you suggested here a while ago and it's absolutely an excellent idea. In fact being summer I haven't made a soup in a bit, but now you have me in the mood to use my veggies in the freezer. Until I learned about doing this I had been tossing out my vegetable peelings! - sometimes I still forget to save them - your article is a nice nudge reminding me to get back at it!

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