Before I started my Clean Eating journey several years back, I always used store-bought stock cubes for cooking – yes, the ones that are jam-packed with chemicals and preservatives. When I made the decision to change my diet, I set out to find a “cleaner” stock powder, and ended up switching to an organic vegetable stock flavored with yeast extract instead of glutamate. Yeast extract is obtained from fresh yeast and is a popular seasoning for organic products. In addition to having its own savory, umami taste, yeast extract works as a powerful flavor enhancer.

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Since I use a lot of vegetable stock for cooking, I wanted to see if I could make a yeast-free stock, flavored with vegetables only. To do this, you just let leftover vegetable pieces, herbs, and spices simmer in a large pot for an hour, pour through a sieve, and there’s your stock, which can be used right away or frozen or preserved in jars. But since, as I said, I use a lot of stock, this solution doesn’t work for me in the long run – and I only make this “fresh” veggie stock if I have time (and vegetable scraps lying around).

My favorite vegetable stock is Homemade Instant Vegetable Stock, which is super easy to make. The vegetables are just dried (and thus preserved) and mixed with salt.

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My three sugar-free, yeast-free, flavor enhancer-free, and preservative-free stocks are presented here in detail. They all use the same basic ingredients, but are made in different ways:

Liquid Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:

  • 500 g vegetables and herbs (carrots, onion, wild garlic or Bärlauch, lovage, celeriac, spring onion, parsnips)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Wash the vegetables and herbs. Dry and peel, if necessary, then dice or cut into rings.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the vegetables for 1–2 minutes. Deglaze with 1.5 liters of water, then add the herbs and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil and then simmer at a low temperature for around 60 minutes. Pour the vegetable stock through a sieve into a container.

3. The cooked vegetable stock can be stored in the fridge for about 3 days. Frozen, it will last for about 6 months. A larger portion can be frozen in a freezer bag; ice cube trays are suitable for small portions.

Alternatively, the stock can also be kept in jars for approx. 3 months. Sanitize the jars with boiling hot water. Then pour the still-hot vegetable stock into the jars, close the lids, turn upside down and leave on the lids for 5 minutes. Then turn the glasses over again and store in the fridge.

Dried Instant Vegetable Stock

Ingredients:

  • 500 g vegetables and herbs: carrot, onion, garlic (or Bärlauch, aka “Bear’s Garlic”), lovage, celery root, spring onion, parsnip
  • 40 g salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 75–80˚C (fan setting) or set up dehydrator.

2. Wash vegetables and herbs, then dice or slice into rings.

3. Line two baking trays with baking paper and spread out vegetables in one layer.

4. Let veggies dry out in oven for 90–120 minutes. The exact time depends on the oven’s settings, temperature, and the thickness of the vegetables. Drying may also take longer than 120 minutes. If necessary, leave the oven door wide open so that moisture can escape.

5. Combine dried vegetables and salt. If desired, pulverize mixture in a high-speed blender.

Also check out the recipe for my Autumn Pumpkin Instant Vegetable Stock Powder!

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Salted Vegetable Stock Paste

Ingredients:

  • 500 g vegetables and herbs: carrot, onion, garlic (or Bärlauch, aka “Bear’s Garlic”), lovage, celery root, spring onion, parsnip
  • 70 g salt

Directions:

1. Wash the vegetables and herbs. Dry and peel, if necessary, then dice or cut into rings.

2. Blender in a high-speed blender, combining the salt with the paste.

Selbstgemachte Gemüsebrühe eingesalzen13. Sanitize the jars with boiling hot water. Fill jars with stock paste, close the lids, and store in the fridge.

The salted vegetable stock will stay fresh for 1 year.

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By the way: I highly advise that you use wild garlic or Bärlauch (bear’s garlic) and lovage for your vegetable stock while they’re in season (Bärlauch: March to May, lovage: March to September). Personally I love bear’s garlic and lovage – otherwise known as “Maggikraut” since it’s reminiscent of the signature seasoning of Maggi instant stock, which is super well-known here in Germany. Both of them are perfect for veggie stock!

As mentioned, the second version – the Dried Instant Vegetable Stockn – is my favorite. I make a huge batch just once a year – always in spring, when all of the herbs and veggies are in season – and use it all year round.

Have fun experimenting and enjoy! :-)

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