I love having things in my kitchen that make it quick and easy to add tons of flavour to my cooking, but I hate all the weird ingredients that I find at the grocery store. This easy homemade vegetable bouillon gives me all of the flavour with none of the weird ingredients, best of all, it is made using left overs from the garden!
What is vegetable bouillon?
Bouillon is a highly concentrated broth, that is season and then cooked down. You can common find it in the grocery store as a powder or a paste. It is often added to hot water in order to make a quick and easy broth substitute.
Often though, if you are reading labels at the grocery store, you will find ingredients other than vegetables, water and salt in the bouillon. Some include corn starch (or other starches), added sugar, palm or vegetable oils, just to name a few. Those ingredients are a hard pass in this house.
Luckily, making your own bouillon substitute is fairly easy and a project you can complete in a weekend. Don’t be scared off by the timeline, most of that time you will be working on other projects.
How to make vegetable bouillon
Confession, this isn’t a true bouillon. We will not be making a vegetable stock and then cooking it down for hours and hours before we finally dehydrate it. This is a bouillon wanna be, that will be a substitute for store bought bouillon and use up some of those last vegetable from the garden.
We are going to be taking what we have left from the garden and running it through our dehydrator. Once everything is dehydrated to the point that it is crispy, we will grind the vegetables in the blender until they are a fine powder. Finally we will mix the powder together and store it in an air tight glass jar for future use.
What to use in your vegetable bouillon?
The beauty of the recipe is that you could use almost any vegetable that you wanted. This year, I took some of my under performing crops from the garden and turned them into bouillon. This recipe includes celery, onions and garlic.
Some other vegetables you could include would be leeks, parsnips, fennel, carrots or carrot tops, onion tops, green onions, tomato skins left over from canning tomatoes. You could also add herbs. Parsley, lovage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, would all be delicious.
I would really just encourage you to think about how you might use the bouillon powder and add anything you find delicious. Take a look in your garden and see what might need to be used up. This is really a choose your own adventure kind of project.
Dehydrating vegetables for your bouillon
Once you have decided what vegetables you are going to include in your bouillon you are going to dehydrate them.
In order to dehydrate your vegetables you are going to want to make sure they are clean. So give them a good wash. Then you want to chop them into even pieces and lay them out on the dehydrator tray. If you would like more detailed instructions about how to use a dehydrator, check out this post where I go a little more in depth about dehydrating garlic.
Making the vegetable bouillon powder
Once all of your vegetables have been dehydrated until they are crispy, you are ready to turn them into powder.
I like to grind the vegetables up one type at a time, just so I can see how much of each in going to end up in the final power. If you feel like there is too much of a certain vegetable, just add the remaining powder to a separate container and use it like you would any other spice.
I used the dry container for my Vitamix for this. But really any blender or food processor would work. If you are not using a high powered blender, like a Vitamix, you might just need to scrap the container down and process again.
I stuff as much as I possibly can into the blender. Not because I feel like it works better, I just want to do as few batches as possible. But the goal of the processing is to have a consistent size. Once you are done processing the vegetable, add it to the jar you are going to store you vegetable bouillon in.
How to use vegetable bouillon powder
I like to think of this vegetable bouillon powder as kind of an all purpose seasoning. Seasoning salt, but without the salt. Though you could add salt to this and then save a step seasoning in the future.
The vegetable bouillon can be added to soups, stews, braises, meatballs, meatloaf, and hamburgers. You could mix it with some sour cream and mayo for a tasty garden dip. Maybe you would like to use it to rim the glass for your Cesar Sunday.
This could really be added to anything you think could use a boost of all around flavour. The possibilities are endless. Give this recipe a try and then tell me in the comments how you decided to use your easy homemade vegetable bouillon powder.