Thursday, May 30, 2013

Found Food - 2

I got so excited to see Jen post about "found food" because this is one of the ways I have started saving money as well.  I have a freezer full of "bits and scraps" that are actually very useful.  I think this might be a continuous topic as we continue to find food.  My husband sometimes looks in the freezer with exasperation..."Seriously?  Broccoli STEMS?  Where is the pizza?"

I'm just brainstorming here, and I would love to know what you save for later.  I freeze:

  • Celery leaves and the tender yellow stalks on the inside of the bunch
  • Pieces of carrot that became too small to hold for when shredding (yes I shred by hand - can't afford a food processor yet!)
  • The bottoms of scallions (also can be regrown in water)
  • Onion tops, bottoms, and peels
  • Broccoli stems
  • Kale ribs
  • Corn cobs
  •  Green water from steamed vegetables
  •  Starchy water left over from boiling potatoes
  • I have a recipe that calls for 2 stalks of lemon grass but they come in packages of three.  So, I freeze the 3rd. 
  • And I will guiltily confess that I have received items from the CSA that I wasn't sure how to use, so I've tossed them in.  (My sincere apologies, Rutabaga.)

 When I need a fresh batch of vegetable broth for a delicious recipe like Smitten Kitchen's Baked Potato soup  I raid the freezer and toss my vegetables into my stock pot.

To my scraps I add:
3 bay leaves
1Tbl peppercorns
one full onion
carrot to taste
Salt to taste (don't overdo it here!)

Then I let this simmer on low for about 2 hours, longer if you tend to forget about it like me.  Your house might take on a distinct boiled celery smell.  This is distressing to some.  Power through it. 

You could simply use a colander to strain the chunks out of your stock.  But if you have the time or inclination, strain the stock through a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel squeezing out every drop from the soft vegetables.

Organic, low sodium vegetable stock is about $4 per quart.  That's $16 per gallon.  Using frozen organic bits and making your own will cost $0.50 per gallon.  Delicious, cheap, and less processed than anything you can buy.



  1. Inspired again!! I have a pot of roasted chicken carcass, onions and carrots that I boiled last week just waiting to be strained and frozen- now I have the motivation to actually DO IT!

  2. Oh my gosh you are going to love yourself when you thaw that for soup! Yum!