Turning Compost into Nourishing Adaptogenic Vegetable Stock
A new year is about to begin which offers each of us a fresh start. The feeling of hope and renewal is tangible and tantalizing. The new year has always been one of my most sacred and coveted gifts. I love dreaming about the transformation and beauty that lies ahead and often set intentions for what the next year will hold. Reducing my waste and environmental footprint is weighing heavy on my mind as I walk into 2020. There are so many questions on my mind: How can I better serve and protect our sacred Earth? What consequences do my actions have? How can I make a positive change in my global community? There are a million unique ways to answer these questions, but one way to have a positive impact is composting all food waste.
Composting is an essential step on the journey towards reducing our waste and environmental footprint. Food waste that ends up in a landfill releases methane - a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide - and is one of the most significant contributors to climate change. When we compost our food scraps instead of sending them to the landfill, it can be used as fertilizer on cropland and improves soil health and productivity. It is a simple way to make a positive impact that has lasting effects.
I like to try and get one more use out of my vegetable compost before sending it away to be turned back into soil. There are still essential nutrients in the produce that we may not view as edible: the ends of cucumbers, zucchinis, carrots, or celery; the stalks from kale; or the skins of potatoes. I throw these odds and ends into a bowl and store it in the freezer until it is full. Once there is a substantial amount and it is ready to be taken down to the compost I throw it into a large stockpot and transform it into a nourishing vegetable stock that can be used year-round as a base for soups, stews, or sipped on like a warm tea.
Vegetable broth is loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vital minerals found in vegetables. Adding adaptogens to your vegetable stock increases the healing benefits of the broth. Adaptogens, like Reishi or Ashwagandha, help to counteract the effects of stress in the body. Adaptogens work with the nervous system to calm the negative effects stress can have on neurological, endocrine and immune systems in the body. Combining broth with sacred adaptogens is a powerful way to fight off diseases and maintain vitality and vibrant health.
Nourishing Adaptogenic Vegetable Broth
Fill a large stockpot with filtered water and add your bowl of vegetable compost
Set your stovetop or crockpot to low and allow it to simmer for 4 hours. This slowly infuses the water and turns it into a vegetable stock filled with vitamins and minerals
After four hours, strain the veggie scraps from water and place broth back on the stove. Slowly add in any adaptogenic Sun Potion herbs that are calling to you. I particularly like the way mushrooms work with this recipe. Here I added Reishi, Ashwagandha, and Jasmine Tocos... but feel free to be creative and try different combinations or use what you have on hand!
Once the herbs have dissolved and infused into the broth, take the stockpot off the stove and let it cool. You can use the broth right away or pour it into glass jars and freeze for future use.
If you want to sip on a warm adaptogenic broth: pour hot broth into a mug, add a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of cayenne, and enjoy!
May your cup be full and your heart filled with gratitude.