Give your scraps a second life!
Waste reduction really is important. We’ve discussed it before, and we’ll discuss it again. The ongoing battle with waste in our everyday lives can be daunting. But it all starts small, with simple steps.
Did you know you can make your own stock with commonly wasted food scraps? You can reuse chicken or turkey bones, along with the ends of vegetables, to make a flavorful stock. Keep a container in the freezer for these types of food scraps, then you can make a stock anytime! My scraps container always seems to fill up so quickly… So I’m always making fresh stock! So useful to have on hand.
Save your scraps!
- Chicken and turkey bones
- Carrot and celery ends
- Rinds from hard cheeses
- Savory herbs on their last leg
- And add dried mushrooms and spices—like peppercorn—to jazz up your broth!
A homemade stock comes with homemade benefits! You’ll give second life to leftover bones and vegetable ends that would typically fill the landfill.
Stock vs. Broth
So what’s the difference between stock and broth? Well, broth is generally made with meat and vegetables. Whereas stock is made with the bones of chicken, beef, or turkey and vegetables—and stock is generally cooked for a longer period of time. Stock (a.k.a. bone broth) is purported to be a health elixir that can cure all, from the common cold to osteoporosis. Let’s take a closer look.
Proponents claim that drinking bone broth can improve skin, hair and nail strength due to the collagen from the cooked bones. Boiling bones does yield collagen—a type of protein made up of several amino acids—but we don’t absorb collagen altogether, we absorb individual amino acids. And our bodies will use amino acids where needed. Keep in mind, our bodies (including hair, skin and nails!) need amino acids to repair themselves, but if other parts of our bodies have a greater need, the amino acids will go there first.
Bone broth has also been claimed to improve immune function. Studies do show potential benefits of eating chicken soup (especially made with stock) while you’re sick. So, drinking bone broth may aid in lessening cold symptoms and help you recover faster, but it’s certainly not an effective alternative to the flu shot…
Further proposed benefits include reducing inflammation, building muscle and improving mood. The benefits of bone broth have not been extensively researched, so it’s difficult to know if these benefits hold true for us. Either way, drinking/using bone broth (stock) will provide you with some awesome nutrients!
- Amino acids
So what’s the verdict??
Well, it may not be a miracle food… But it does contain LOTS of nutrients and may improve immune function. All in all, bone broth and stock can add loads of flavor to soups, rice, chicken, essentially anything! Even our one-pot Mediterranean pasta!
Making stock at home is super easy and is such a great way to give those food scraps a second life. Try out our simple poultry stock recipe! This recipe is flexible, allowing you to use whatever you happen to have on hand!Print
Super easy and flavorful. Perfect for soups, rice and just about anything else!
- Bones from 1-2 chickens or 1 turkey (I’ll also add the giblets, but this is optional)
- Vegetable scraps – I usually accumulate scraps (the ends of celery, carrots and leeks). I wait until I have filled a 1/2 gallon bag with scraps before making stock
- 3 cloves garlic, whole
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs parsley (or whatever I’ve accumulated)
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups water (depending on the size of your slow cooker)
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook over low heat for 12-24 hours.
- Once cooked, strain and store in a glass container – a large mason jar will do the trick!
Flexibility is key with this recipe. Just keep a container/bag in your freezer and add the ends of carrots, celery and leeks as well as the bones from chicken or turkey. Once you’ve accumulated enough bones and about a 1/2 gallon bag full of vegetables, it’s time to make your stock!
Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days OR store in the freezer for 6-12 months. Be sure to let the stock cool before putting in the freezer (if you’re storing it in a glass container). Do not put hot stock in the freezer in a glass container.
What do you like to use stock in? Comment below and let us know!
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