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Can I freeze vegetables for future stock making?

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Today I generated some celery and carrot trimmings. I don't have immediate plans to make stock. Can I just freeze these things up for future stock making? I don't know why I haven't thought of this sooner. What about onion trimmings also? TIA

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  1. Blanch, shock, drain, freeze.

    1. Oh absolutely! I stockpile (no pun intended) polar ends of onions and carrots, thick green leek tops, broccoli and cauli trunks, and dried-out mushroom stems. I stash them in a plastic grocery store produce bag or a gallon-sized zipper lock bag, and when the bag is full, I empty it into the stockpot and barely cover with water and simmer for about an hour. Depending on how the finished stock tastes, I might reduce it or mix it with chicken stock. I usually end up re-freezing most of the stock, figuring that it's OK because the veggies have changed form (i.e., it's OK to freeze raw hamburger, then thaw it to make spaghetti sauce and then freeze that).

      Do be careful with the same strongly-flavored veggies you'd use sparingly if fresh: members of the cabbage family, shells of winter squash, asparagus stems, etc.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Erika L

        Erika, do you do what pikawicca does? My plan is to use it/them when making chicken stock.

        1. re: c oliver

          No, I just keep adding raw veggies to the bag as they're generated.

      2. Yes! I routinely pitch bits of leeks, carrots, green onion, nice looking onion peels/skin, and mushroom stems into ziploc bags and then into the freezer. I don't blanch them or fuss with them at all. I usually pull the frozen odds and ends out for when I'm making stock from a chicken carcass.

        1. I often serve fennel and freeze the stalks and fronds in a baggie after trimming them from the bulb. I also freeze broccoli stalks anytime I make a dish that calls only for florettes.

          1. I have two one gallon ziplocs i the fridge one for veggie bits ( carrots,onion,herb bits, celery, carrot peels basically anything) and one for chicken parts. Once the bags are full it is time to make stock. I do not blank or anything, just pop the raw veggies in the bag.

            1. I also save most vegetable trimmings and some herb stems in a ziplock in the freezer. (I reuse the bag - when it gets full, I make stock, then put the empty bag back in the freezer.) I do leave out trimmings from all the cruciferous vegetables - cabbage, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, etc., because they get unpleasantly sulferous (ie smelly) when you boil them for a while. I do not bother to cook them before freezing. After I cook the stock and strain out the veggies, I reduce it down to 1/4 of its original volume, then freeze it in ice cube trays. An ice cube is about a tablespoon, so one ice cube can be reconstituted into 1/4 cup of stock.

              Adding a few dried mushrooms to the vegetables before you cook them, and a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to the stock after it's been cooked, helps give the stock more depth.

              1. There is no need to blanch trimmings before freezing. If the brown skin is still on ends of onions, it can stay on. Using a vacuum sealer, or sucking the air from the baggie with a straw is helpful in preventing freezer burn and ice crystals.

                1. Yes, like others have said, just toss everything into a bag and freeze.

                  1. When I don't already have quarts of stock in the freezer, as now, I do save my onion skins and tops and carrot shavings and other vegie scraps and throw in a bag and freeze. When I make stock, I find that browning the bones and vegie scraps in the oven or under the broiler helps add flavor and color. Don't keep them forever -- freezer burn is an issue. If you are going for clarity and going for restaurant or cooking school quality for your consomme, then you won't use peelings or scraps or frozen product. But for taste and the vast majority of us home cooks, it is a good frugal use of produce.

                    1. I know I'm bumping this thread, but I have another tip, especially since spring is coming: pea pods! Pea pods make such delicious stock, especially combined with chicken bones and a pinch of saffron. So good in spring and summer soups!! And shelling peas from one meal can quickly create a good stockpile (yes, Erika L, that was a lovely pun).

                      Debs
                      www.seattlelocalfood.com

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: seattledebs

                        Good springtime idea. Thanks