I love to cook from scratch with real ingredients, but I also love a good shortcut that gets me to a tasty meal ASAP. Don’t you? Commercial vegetable stock powder and veggie salt blends are a common pantry ingredient to help us, time poor home cooks but have you ever looked closely at the ingredients list? Monosodium glutamate (MSG) in its various guises, artificial flavouring, preservatives, anti-caking agents, wheat, canola oil, colouring etc. etc. In fact, a common brand lists salt, sugar and hydrogenated soy fat (what is that?), as the first three ingredients. No thanks!
Making a batch of homemade veggie stock powder is a far healthier solution and it’s so easy. It’s made purely with fresh, dehydrated vegetables, herbs and spices and good quality salt. All you need to do is chop vegetables and all you need is a food dehydrator and a blender or food processor. Best of all, you can be in total control of the ingredients you use. Choose organic or home-grown vegetables and enjoy a super tasty, stock powder that is nutritionally far superior to anything available commercially.
I really like the simple combination of vegetables in this blend because they work well as a base with all cuisines, but feel free to try other herbs and vegetables and come up with your own unique healthy homemade vegetable stock blend. You could add tomato, basil or sage for an Italian style stock, or lemon grass and chilli for an Asian flavour. Experiment. The possibilities are endless.
You also might choose to omit the garlic, onions and leeks for a low FODMAP version. Dehydration naturally retains the native flavour and the nutrients of every ingredient so even without these traditional flavoursome ingredients you’re guaranteed a tasty stock powder.
Your homemade stock powder is ready to use in any recipe calling for stock or broth, such as soups, stews, stir-fry, risotto, etc, but it also makes a great seasoning, so add it to burgers, crumbing ingredients or sprinkle a bit on salads. Any dish that needs an extra dose of flavour can be enhanced with homemade vegetable stock powder. It’s so handy and versatile you’ll wonder why you didn’t make your own sooner!
2 large carrots
1 large parsnip or swede
3 celery ribs
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves
1 thumb of fresh ginger root
1 thumb of fresh turmeric root
2 tablespoons of Himalayan salt
1. Wash and peel the veggies then slice into small uniform pieces.
2. Arrange the veggies on dehydrator sheets, in a single layer. Use dehydrator mesh liner sheets if you like. See the ‘dehydrating tips’ above for best results.
3. Assemble the dehydrator trays then switch the power on to med-high. 'Cook' for 8-15 hours (depending on the food dehydrator model you are using). Lower temperatures retain the nutrients but take longer to dehydrate.
4. Once all your veggies are dried, allow them to cool. This will only take a few minutes.
5. Add them to a blender or food processor and blitz until you get a fine powder.
6. Add the salt then pulse for a moment to incorporate.
7. Pour the vegetable powder into a medium sized glass jar and seal with a lid. It max approx. one cup of stock powder. Store in the pantry, away from direct sunlight or moisture for up to 3 months.