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HOW TO MAKE VEGETABLE STOCK POWDER IN A FOOD DEHYDRATOR

Barb Hodgens

Posted on November 08 2018

ADDITIVE FREE, VEGGIE STOCK POWDER TO THE RESCUE.

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!

TIPS FOR MAKING VEGGIE STOCK

  • Try to cut each vegetable to the same thickness so they dehydrate in approximately the same time.
  • Dehydration shrinks vegetables to a fraction of the size, so don’t cut them so small that they fall through the trays. I used removable mesh sheet liners under some that I cut quite small, but this is not essential.
  • Do not pile the vegetable pieces too thick. The dehydrator must have good air flow.
  • Some vegetables will naturally take longer than others. To avoid over-drying some vegetables, do not mix the vegetables on the dehydrator trays. If there are not enough trays for each vegetable, combine the ingredients you feel have a similar moisture content. 
  • When dried, each vegetable will have a different texture. Some become rubbery and flexible and some become more brittle. It all depends on their fibre content. The most important thing is you dehydrate your veggies until there is no moisture left in them.
  • Check on the trays after 12 hours. Remove the trays of vegetables that are dehydrated and leave the vegetables with more moisture for another few hours. I found the carrots, turnips and garlic took the longest to dehydrate.

 

Ingredients

2 large carrots
1 large parsnip or swede

3 celery ribs
1 leek
1 large onion
8-10 mushrooms
4 garlic cloves
1 thumb of fresh ginger root
1 thumb of fresh turmeric root
2 tablespoons of Himalayan salt 

Method

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.

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