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Is your fridge bulging with seasonal vegetables you don’t know how to use up? Try some home-made vegetable stock cubes: easy to make in a few simple steps, a home-made stock cube is nothing but an extract of vegetables and salt, perfect for adding flavour to dishes or for using as an excellent vegetable stock.
Easy to make, even if you do not own a food processor, home-made vegetable stock cubes are also more genuine than their industrially made counterpart. Unlike those you find on supermarket shelves, in fact, a home-made stock cube certainly does not contain glutamate, a food additive widely used in the industry to add a sapid flavour, but which may also cause allergic reactions in some people. Without forgetting the flavour that only seasonal vegetables can offer: our main advice is to vary the ingredients according to the season when you prepare your stock cubes or extract. In this way, you are sure to use quality ingredients and vary the flavours. Here then is how to prepare home-made vegetable stock cubes or extract even without the use of a food processor.
- Put 1 kg of seasonal vegetables in the blender (it is preferable to avoid those with too strong flavour, such as broccoli and cauliflower), herbs to taste, garlic, basil etc.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables to a non-stick pan together with 200 g of salt.
- Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring as little as possible, until the water from the vegetables has evaporated.
- Put the vegetables, still hot, into jars and add a drizzle of oil. As well as being stored in the fridge in glass jars (yogurt glass jars also suit the purpose, so long as they have been thoroughly washed and sterilized), home-made extract can also be frozen: in this case, after filling the containers with the hot vegetables, do not add any oil and wait until they are cool before freezing. If, on the other hand, you prefer the traditional single portion stock cubes, just put the vegetables into ice cube trays and follow the same procedure. A drizzle of oil may only be added once you have removed the jars from the freezer, ready for use.