- Vegetable peels
When we go to market we find some fresh vegetables which are big in size. Even though we do not require that big quantity of those vegetables, sometimes we will buy them as they look fresh and they are not sold in lesser quantities. For example a big pumpkin, a big ash gourd or a big bottle gourd are such vegetables which come in big sizes / lots. Having bought such vegetables we cannot consume them in one day. So wash those vegetables thoroughly and peel them. Cut the vegetables into required size pieces and store them in zip-lock bags. Freeze these vegetable bags and use the quantities required in your daily cooking. Click here to visit my earlier videos on
Remember to consume any vegetables at the earliest.
When we peel these vegetables, we usually throw away those peels. As we all know, most of the vitamins lie just beneath the peels of any vegetable. So it is healthy and economical to use these peels and prepare vegetable stock!!!
Here I have used pumpkin peels, ash gourd peels, seeds & Some flesh surrounding the seeds of pointed gourds, carrot peels, peels of chayote and ridge gourd and stalks of curry leaves. Collect the vegetable peels used in your daily cooking and pack them in a zip-lock bag or a plastic container and freeze them. When sufficient quantities of peels are collected prepare vegetable stock. At times wilted vegetables lying in the fridge for long time can also find their way to this preparation. Ensure not to put rotten things.
Before making stalk thaw the frozen peels. If the size of the peels are big chop them to small pieces. The measurements for the stock are given below:
- Vegetable peels / stalks / seeds and flesh around them etc – 500gms
- Water - 1 1/2litres (1500ml)
To prepare the stock use a deep and broad vessel. Here I have used a pressure cooker to prepare the stock.
Take the pressure cooker pan and add the vegetable peels etc. Add the measured water and place the pan on heat. Heat the pan on high flame for the water to boil. When water starts boiling reduce flame to medium and cover the pan with the lid. Remember not to put the weight on the pressure cooker lid. Cook the peels for 30 minutes. Remove lid and check. If the peels become transparent then it indicates that the stock is done. Here it appears that the peels need some more cooking. Cover the pan and cook for 30 more minutes on medium flame. After 30 minutes open the lid and check the peels. When the peels look transparent there is no food value left in them. When done switch off the flame. Cover the pan and allow it to cool to room temperature. When the stock has cooled completely, strain it. Place a strainer in a bowl and add the peels and stock into it. Press the peels with the back of a ladle and extract the stock. Pour the stock in a clean jar or a bottle. Store the stock in refrigerator if using it within one week or in freezer if it takes longer time to use it. Use this vegetable stock in your daily cooking. For example replace water with the stock while preparing sambar or any gravy preparations—this enhances the taste of the dish. Use this stock to dals for the extra taste. Prepare soups with the stock and enjoy.
So you all have learnt to make a healthy vegetable stock with the peels of the vegetables used in your daily cooking. But remember not to add just ANY peels to prepare this stock. For example papaya peels, banana flower leaves, elephant foot (Yam) peels etc. Use your discretion and use all consumable vegetable peels to prepare the stock.
Points To Remember:
As I have mentioned in the beginning, if big size and large quantity of vegetables are purchased store them in freezer. However it is advisable to use those cut vegetables as early as possible. Generally we get pumpkin, ash gourd and bottle gourd in big sizes. Other vegetables we can purchase as per our requirement. Use the above vegetables in preparing, pumpkin curry, ash gourd dal, bottle gourd dal, bottle gourd curd chutney, sambar, mukkala pulusu, gavial, molakuttal and many other preparations. Within a week they will be finished. To the extent possible use fresh vegetables rather than frozen vegetables while cooking. Under unavoidable cases only store vegetables for long durations in fridge and try to consume them at the earliest.
Collect the peels of the vegetables used in your daily cooking and store daily in freezer. After one week prepare vegetable stock with these peels. Nothing goes waste isn’t it?
After bringing vegetables from the market we store them in fridge. At times we forget certain vegetables in fridge and they get wilted away. Such vegetables will not be good to prepare a dish—but do not throw them away—use them to prepare vegetable stock.
Usually vegetable stock is made by boiling and cooking fresh vegetables and throwing away those cooked vegetables after straining. It pinches a lot to throw away vegetables though we know that they still contain some food value, but won't be tasty. Therefore preparing vegetable stock with peels is a healthy, nutritious and economical way of using the vegetables.
Use the stock in various preparations of your cooking and enjoy all the benefits. I use it while making Dals, Sambars, Pulusu, Molakuttal, Soups etc. I add the stock instead of water and my stock is exhausted in 2-3 days of preparation.
While using vegetable stock while cooking the final product comes out to be a bit black or grey, if you are using iron pans. This is because the iron leaches and reacts with the stock. It is very good for health because you body would be getting the required iron which it can easily absorb from the recipe. If you don't like your dish to be black don't use iron pans while using vegetable stock.
Points To Notice:
Unless a recipe demands it (which is rare), vegetable stock needn’t be prepared with fresh vegetables. It can be made with the peels etc as described above.
Ensure not to put rotten things
Use your discretion to decide what peels, stems and vegetables to add to the stock preparation
Consume the vegetable stock at the earliest.
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