A great way to preserve the summer’s bounty is by turning into shelf-stable, ready-to-use vegetable stock powder! Also perfect for using up past-their-prime vegetables in the back of the fridge. This method doesn’t require a dehydrator and is simple and easy to do! Although you can make a larger quantity faster with a dehydrator —> I love this one dearly!
In the instructions I have outline exactly what I used for my vegetable stock powder, but you can use (almost) whatever vegetables you have on hand. With my simple rule-of-thumb, this recipe is adaptable to whatever quantity of vegetables you have.
If designing your own Vegetable Stock Powder (and not following my recipe below), try to maintain a good ratio of vegetables. For example, use amounts that you would actually use if you were making soup. Don’t use 4 whole onions and only two carrots. Or an entire pound of carrots and only two stalk of celery. I use a simple combination of onion, celery, carrot and tomato. Other great vegetable stock additions: mushrooms, leeks, kale, cabbage.
Also be mindful about the color of the vegetables- things like purple cabbage or red beets will overtake the color of the finished powder and then the color of whatever you put the powder in. Also, feel free to add fresh herbs if you’d like- I chose not to, in order to keep my Vegetable Stock Powder fairly neutral so it is usable in a great variety of dishes with different flavor profiles.
Vegetable Stock Powder
2 stalks of celery
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/2 clove garlic
5 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 small tomato (mine was yellow)
sea salt, according to weight
Roughly chop the vegetables and then use a food processor or blender to finely chop the vegetables. Feel free to chop them by hand if you are ambitious, just make sure they are confetti-esque.
Place the chopped vegetables in a medium-sized pot. Add sea salt in the amount of 2-3% the weight of the vegetables. For example, the weight of my vegetables was about 400 grams, so I added 8 grams of sea salt (2%).
Cook the vegetables in the pot over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Water will leach out of the vegetables, evaporate, and then the mixture will eventually appear drier looking again. This helps meld the flavors and evaporates a lot of the moisture more quickly. If making a bigger batch, cook until the water is leached out and then the mixture becomes dry looking- the more vegetables you use, the longer this will take.
Transfer the cooked vegetables to a parchment-lined baking pan and use a spatula to spread as thinly as possible, no thicker than 1/8-inch. Bake at 250F for 120-240 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have darkened just a little and completely dried. If you are making a bigger batch, this will take much more time. Alternately, use a dehydrator (with lined trays) for this step.
Transfer the dried vegetables to a blender or coffee grinder and pulse until a powder has formed and little to no visible pieces exist. This took about 30 seconds for my batch.
Add to homemade soups and stews, or flavor broth to cook potatoes, rice, quinoa or other grains. Use as a marinade flavoring for steak or chicken. Use anywhere you would use broth or stock. Make dips and dressings. Take camping and hiking!
Store in an airtight container.
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