In celebration of the launch of my new book, The DIY Pantry, which hit bookstores everywhere on January 1, January is “DIY Month” here at Nourishing Joy. Today's featured DIY item is Homemade Bouillon Cubes, one that features truly all-natural ingredients.
If you've ever purchased bouillon cubes from the store, you've likely noticed that it's extremely difficult to find brands that don't use MSG or other fillers and flavor enhancers, even those that are labeled as “No MSG added” or “all-natural.”
So, after I developed the homemade broth bouillon powder to include in The DIY Pantry and had been playing around with palm shortening to lengthen the shelf life of the homemade cake mixes in the book, I realized that the broth powder and the palm shortening just might work beautifully together to create homemade bouillon cubes.
And by adding in mushrooms, you've got a hearty, shelf-stable bouillon that can be used in nearly any dish that needs a bit of depth. I use these in everything from beef stroganoff to pasta sauces to drinking straight from a mug.
Oh, and one note about the long list of ingredients. This recipe is actually very simple and has only three ingredients: dried mushrooms, vegetable broth powder, and palm shortening. (Two if you're making plain vegetable bouillon cubes!)
The herbs and spices below comprise a minified version of the broth powder found in the book, so they make the recipe look longer than it really is. If you make a full recipe of broth powder and have it on hand, making these cubes is merely a measure-and-scoop endeavor.
Helpful Shroomin' Links
If you want to make these as homemade mushroom bouillon cubes, you may want more information:
- See our tutorial on how to dry mushrooms
- Visit Mommypotamus for a seriously rockin' introduction to how to grow mushrooms
- 32 grams / 1 ounce dried mushrooms - any variety - should yield 1 1/2 cups powdered mushrooms (see where to buy dried mushrooms)
- 10 tablespoons palm shortening (see where to buy sustainable palm shortening)
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth powder OR the following...
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (see where to buy nutritional yeast)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Grind dried mushrooms in a spice grinder, coffee mill, or high-speed blender until they form a fine powder. Set aside.
- Mix the broth powder ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Add in dried mushroom powder and whisk well. Add palm shortening and with a fork, smear the mixture together until homogenous. The mixture should easily hold its shape when pressed, so if the mixture is too crumbly, work in more palm shortening by half-teaspoons.
- To form cubes, scoop up the mixture by packed teaspoons and shape into flattened cubes, then wrap in 3x3" squares of wax paper, laying the cube on diagonally (as if the paper were a diamond).
- Store in a cool, dry place for up to six months or in the freezer for up to a year.
- Use 1 cube per 1 cup of boiling water.
- To make plain vegetable bouillon cubes, replace the 1 1/2 cups of dried mushroom powder with 1 1/2 cups broth powder, adding 1 teaspoon dehydrated bell peppers and 1/2 teaspoon dried lovage.