A great way to preserve the summer's bounty is by turning into shelf-stable, ready-to-use vegetable stock powder! This method doesn't require a dehydrator and is simple and easy to do!
In the instructions I have outline exactly what I used for my vegetable stock powder, but you can use *whatever vegetables you have on hand. With my simple formula, this recipe is adaptable to whatever quantity of vegetables you have.
*When designing your own Vegetable Stock Powder, 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.
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. See a list of suggested vegetable additions in the ingredient list! Also, feel free to add fresh herbs you 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.
Step 1: Prepping the Vegetables
Vegetable Stock Powder Ingredients
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 pan.
Add sea salt in the amount of 5% the weight of the vegetables. For example, the weight of my vegetables was 410 grams, so I added 20.5 grams of sea salt. (*Edit: you can use as little as 2% salt by weight if you'd like it less salty.)
Other great vegetable stock additions:
-herbs like rosemary and thyme
Step 2: Cook and Bake the Vegetables
Cook the vegetables in the pot, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Water will leach out of the vegetables, evaporate, and then the mixture will eventually appear drier looking again.
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 90-120 minutes, stirring every 30 minutes, or until the vegetables have darkened just a little and completely dried.
Step 3: Powder the Vegetables
Transfer the dried vegetables to a blender, coffee grinder, or food processor and pulse until a powder has formed and little to no visible pieces exist. This took about 30 seconds for my batch.
Store in an airtight container. Rehydrate by mixing 2 tsp into a cup of hot water.
Add to homemade soups and stews, or flavor broth to cook rice, quinoa or other grains. Use as a marinade flavoring for steak or chicken. Use anywhere you would use broth or stock!