If you grew up vegetarian like I did, then you know how important it is to have a good vegetable broth. So many recipes call for chicken broth, and plain water just doesn’t cut it. Commercial vegetable broths and bouillons are not my favorite either. They usually have ingredients like hydrogenated oils that I’m not interested in eating, or they just taste weird. That’s why I came up with my own dehydrated vegetable broth to use in all my recipes that call for meat or vegetable broth (stock). The best part about this is that it’s so easy to make a lot at one time. Plus, you decide what vegetables to use – if you have a favorite vegetable broth recipe, use those veggies.
This dehydrated vegetable broth is so simple! You can make as much as you want (or as much as your dehydrator will hold, anyway). I suggest vacuum sealing some in a bag or jar to store if you have more than you’ll use in 6 months. Feel free to use more or less salt, or none at all if you like — you don’t get that option with store-bought bouillon. Just remember that some salt really draws out the flavors of the vegetables and also helps preserve it.
This is a great combination to try
- 7-9 tomatoes
- 1 bunch celery
- 2 medium potatoes
- 2 onions
- 1 leek
- 1 package mushrooms
- 1 bunch parsley
- 5 carrots
- 1 turnip
- 1 parsnip
- 3 heads garlic
- 2 bell peppers
Cut each vegetable so that you can easily chop it in a food processor or blender, no need to peel anything (not even the garlic).
Work in batches to finely chop all the vegetables, pouring them into one large bowl as you go.
I like to use a weight ratio of 1 pound of salt to 4 pounds of vegetables. It’s pretty salty, but when you only use 1-2 tablespoons in a big pot of water, its just right for me. Of course the amount of salt you use is up to you. This bowl weighs 2 pounds, so I have about 8 pounds of veggies here. That means I will use 2 pounds of kosher salt.
Mix every thing together, cover and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. This helps the flavors meld.
For this part you’ll need to cover your dehydrator trays with a solid material like plastic wrap or teflon sheets. You can also use cookie sheets in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. (I bought my Cabella dehydrator on Craigslist several years ago and I love it!)
Spread your veggies on very thinly. Remember, the thicker you make it, the longer it takes to dry.
Dehydrate at 130° F for 12 hours, then flip over and dry for another 6 hours.
Note: I’m not sure how long it will take in the oven, just make sure you are at the lowest setting. Solar dehydrators are also an option, but I don’t have experience with one “yet”.
After drying for 12 hours, take the tray out, place another sheet over the top, then another tray. Flip over and remove the original sheet to reveal the bottom of the veggie mix. You’ll notice that it is not completely dry.
About 6 hours later, the veggies should be completely dehydrated to a crisp.
Break pieces into a blender or coffee grinder and pulse until a fine powder forms. I recommend doing this outside if you can because it creates a lot of veggie dust.
When you are finished, store the powder in a jar. For long-term storage I use vacuum sealed bags. My 8 pounds of veggies produced 5 cups of dehydrated vegetable broth. That will last me about a year.