I’ve talked about several methods of preserving a variety of vegetables from your garden. My newest experiments have been with dehydrating and I’m continually looking for more to do with that.
Dehydrating offers a variety of benefits, including long-lasting storage and saving space over freezing the vegetables. It also makes combining various foods easier than once they are frozen or canned.
With the ease of grabbing a handful of carrots or green beans whenever they are needed, I wanted to do more than just add the ingredients to a recipe I was cooking. With a variety of vegetables dehydrated, the perfect use was to create a garden-fresh dehydrated soup mix.
This was a fun creation because there are so many options. I decided to start with a beef vegetable mix in a pint jar.
To fill the jar, I added a quarter cup each of carrots, green beans, potatoes, onions, corn, celery and sun-dried tomatoes. To complete the jar, add 1 tsp. garlic powder, five beef bullion cubes and 30 dried basil leaves.
There are several fun things about this recipe.
One is simply creating the mix. I like to layer mine in the jar, mixing up the colors. You also could mix everything together then fill the jar for a colorful mixture throughout.
Another fun thing is you can experiment with it as much as you would like. Don’t like corn? Add peas instead. Want more tomatoes? Put more in and reduce something else.
You also can adjust how much seasonings are in there. I started with three bullion cubes, which was good. But I wanted a richer beef flavor so I increased it to five. You also could try making it with chicken bullion for a different flavor.
Other herbs also are an option. Thyme or rosemary seem like they would be good substitutes for the basil. It’s all up to your own personal taste.
Another fun thing is this makes a unique and personalized gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend or relative. Tie on a bow and attach the cooking instructions, and you have a tasty present ready to give.
Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!
Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at email@example.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.