Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Make veggie stock

I keep all my veggie peelings in the freezer to make a veggie stock. When I feel as if the container of peelings is about to burst I know its time to use them.

Many people will say “yuck, I can’t eat that” because it isn’t the pretty part of veggies.  Onion skins, carrot tops, wilted celery, and parsnip scrapings don’t look or sound appetizing but they really are good for stock making. As long as it isn’t a rotten part then its all good.

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This all went into a stock pot with water added.  I let it very lightly simmer for about 4 hours.  Adding water as needed to keep it just above the peelings.

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I also put in some fresh peelings from what I was putting into the freezer that day.  Adding salt or other flavoring is optional.  I’m on a salt restricted diet so I didn’t use any salt.  I prefer to keep my stock plain so it can be flavored when I flavor whatever recipe I use it in. After the simmering had pulled out all the nutrition it could; I strained it through a clean cloth to catch any stray bits and keep it clear.

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From this I got 7 pints of stock, I could have made more by adding water but it would have made the stock weak.  To fill the canner for a full load I added three jars of plain water.  I never know when I might need some sterile water.

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Veggie stock must be pressure canned if you want it shelf stable but freezing it also works.  If you plan to use it within a few days then just put it into the fridge.

Now if you are squeamish about using veggie peelings for making your own stock then you don’t know where the boxed and canned stock sold in stores comes from. Stock is made so that every bit of edible nourishment is removed from food before what’s left is put into a compost or trash can.

Anyone with a low income really should make their own stock. Providing you have a way to cook it of course.  Why pay about $3 for a box of veggie flavored water when you can make it yourself for almost nothing? I’d much rather use my $3 toward something else. Like the cost of meat.  These days we must do all that we can do to live within our means because I don’t see the gap between the have and the have not getting any smaller.


4 comments on “Make veggie stock

  1. Sarah Severns
    April 6, 2015

    Hi NaNa,

    great post. I am a culinary school graduate, and one of the most memorable days in the classroom was making gelatin from scratch. Yuck, then yum. As a society we have let others take over even the simplest of kitchen duties, muffin mix, Bread, stock, premade hamburger patties. We pay out of pocket and environmentally for the tasks that are simple and gratifying to do ourselves.

    I like the idea of sterilizing water for emergency back-up and to utilize your canner more efficiently.
    Enjoy your posts!

    Sarah in KS

    • Na Na
      April 7, 2015

      You’re right, we have all (well most) been paying for convenience since WW2 ended. 😉 I can almost see your face when you tasted self made gelatin for the first time. I bet it was a complete taste surprise. I like to keep a few jars of the water for things like cleaning a wound or when there is a boil water advisory. I was out of jarred water when my water froze during the winter. I hated having to resort to water in plastic bottles.

  2. Frugalwarrior2
    April 6, 2015

    I pay .50 a can on sale but this is very informative. I never thought about how they made it to be honest. Can you use potato peelings or no because of the eyes?

    • Na Na
      April 7, 2015

      I didn’t really look around for prices of stock. I was shopping with a neighbor who was looking for something which took us down the isle with soups in it. I happened to see the boxes of stock which I believe are about a quart? I saw those at Kroger for $2.98 a box. Maybe the veggie stock is cheaper than the chicken or beef. I didn’t really look that closely.

      You could put potato peeling in your stock but I recommend using only fresh peelings. I would not recommend freezing potato peelings for stock. Potatoes must be partially cooked before freezing or else they turn black. Pre-cooking defeats the purpose of making stock. I would cut off the eyes and not use those. But, I guess they would be ok to use because a restraunt called Golden Corral here in Louisville leaves the eyes in their mashed potatoes. People eat them every day.

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