Stock me, it’s vegetables!

Vegetable stock 2Yep, I know it’s vegetables! They are not the most interesting food to many people. Personally, I love them and think we should all be eating a lot more. Homemade vegetable stock is an amazing immune boosting liquid. It contains plenty of vitamins and minerals that are essential for our bodies to thrive.

The main bonus for me as a mother is that it means I can get more vegetables into my son without him realising. He is not the best veg eater so I try to hide them in the food. Watch out for my bacon pasta recipe. There are lots of vegetables in this and no one will even know they are there.

Another added benefit of making it at home is it won’t contain any nasty ingredients. (Unless you put them in  there. Hee, hee!) It is also one of the quickest ways to detox and is very easy on the stomach. However, if you suffer with irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea then go easy on the onions, leeks and garlic in this recipe. These types of vegetables can irritate the stomach if you have too much.

Makes 2 – 3 Litres

Equipment needed

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Slow cooker
  • Large measuring jug
  • Ladle
  • Colander
  • Muffin tins or yorkshire pudding tins
  • Freezer

Ingredients

  • Leek x 1 large
  • Onion x 1
  • Carrots x 2
  • Cerely x 2 sticks plus leaves optional.
  • Tomatoes x 2
  • Garlic x 2 cloves
  • Water x 2 litres
  • Peppercorn x 6
  • Rosemary or thyme x 2 sprigs

Method

Start by washing and cutting your vegetables. Cut your vegetables in half then make sure they fit into your slow cooker and then place them at the bottom of the cooker.

Normally I throw the ends of the vegetables into the stock and if you have the leafy part of the celery then put this in as well. Then add the water, peppercorns and rosemary or thyme. Finally turn the cooker on. Put it on high for two hours and low for four.

The best part about putting your stock in a slow cooker is you can just leave it. You do not have to worry about the water boiling away like on the stove. Although, if you don’t have a slow cooker then you can always put your stock in a large pan on the stove. Bring it to the boil for five minutes and then let it simmer for 30 minutes.

For me the slow cooker is the quickest, easiest way to make stock. To store the stock once you have cooked it, place the colander over the jug and then ladle in the stock. Once you have a jug full, leave to cool for half an hour. Then pour the stock into the muffin or Yorkshire pudding tin. The same method applies when you cook it on the stove too.

Don’t fill them too much as you will need to put them into the freezer. The Yorkshire pudding tin we have holds six yorkshires so each hole is about 250ml of stock. Every Yorkshire pudding tin will be different. If you would like to know how much yours holds, pour water into it first. Then pour the water into a measuring jug.

When placing them in the freezer make sure to clear a big enough space to put the tins down. I know this may seem logical but I have tried to put the tins in on top of everything else in the freezer and I have had a terrible accident. Stock all over the floor and inside the freezer.

So nowadays I clear a draw. Then I stack the Yorkshire pudding tin and muffin tin on top of each other. Next, I open the door to freezer and slide the empty draw wide open and carefully place them into the freezer.

If you have a draw that is not to complicated to take in and out of the freezer then please feel free to do so. Our freezer draws tilt slightly when taking them in and out and this makes me spill the stock.

Finally once the stock has frozen, take out the tins and leave to defrost a little but not thoroughly. If you want to get the stock out quickly then place the muffin tins under a tap, like you would with ice cubes and they should come out easily. Then put the block of stock into resealable plastic bags and place back into the freezer. All you need to do after that is take out a piece when you need it.

A brilliant alternative to shop bought stock!