$0 Crockpot Vegetable Stock
It’s true that not many things in life are free, but eating a diet full of delicious vegetables does give you access to free vegetable stock. Oh and I forget to mention, it will be hands down the most incredible vegetable stock you’ve ever tasted in your life (and therefore the best $2 and 40 Minute Vegetable Soup you’ve ever tasted!). Why? Because not only it is made from your favorite vegetables, it’s served with the good feeling of knowing you did something to combat food waste today.
Ingredients (~10 1-cup Servings):
- Vegetable scraps from food prep that you used to throw in the trash
- Celery leaves, carrot tops, onion and zucchini ends
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp of whole black peppercorns
- Any other spices you want!
- Gallon-sized freezer bag
- Soup spoon
- ~8″ Fine mesh strainer (check out Apartment Chef Tools for recommendations)
- Plastic storage containers
- Over time, fill up the gallon-sized bag with vegetable scraps. Store the bag in the freezer in between cooking sessions.
- Fill up your crockpot about 75% full with vegetable scraps, add bay leaves and peppercorns, then fill to the top with water.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 5-6 hours.
- Push down on vegetables with the back of the spoon to extract all possible flavor.
- Discard large solids that can be easily and salt to taste.
- Pour remaining small vegetable scraps and broth through the fine mesh strainer into plastic containers. Discard all solids.
- Enjoy within a couple days or store in the freezer until needed!
Total touch time = 12 Minutes (2 minutes to prep, 10 minutes to store)
Step 2 – This is what my frozen vegetables look like before adding water and turning on the crockpot:
Step 4 – I’m serious, we’re getting the most out of these veggies.
Step 5 – I recommend storing the broth in roughly 2-cup increments so you don’t have to measure it once you’re ready to use it. You can just grab what you need and go.
- Vegetable scraps ~ negligible
- 3-4 Bay leaves ~ negligible
- 1 tsp of whole black peppercorns ~ negligible
Total Cost entire crockpot of vegetable stock ~ $0!
At my grocery store, organic vegetable stock costs at least $2. On its own, this $2 savings does not seem like a lot but let’s say you make soup or rice and anything requiring vegetable broth 10 times per year. That’s $20 right there – that’s enough to purchase your own domain name on WordPress for more than 6 months! By making small tweaks to what you buy and how you shop, these small saving start to add up. A couple dollars here and there can easily add up to $50+ per month. That’s over $600 per year. I don’t know about you, but there are a couple trips I could definitely spend that money on! For more cost savings tips be sure to check out my Meal Prep Tips post!
As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!
Time to get thinking about your next homemade soup!