Stock cubes are an essential for me because I cook most of mine and my family's meals from scratch. They're handy for adding to a huge variety of different recipes to enhance the flavour and although I do use the chicken and beef flavoured ones from time to time I have been using the vegetable stock cubes recently.
I buy the oxo branded vegetable stock cubes, mainly because this is an affordable brand and it's also a brand I remember my mum buying when I was younger so I suppose it just made sense to buy oxo branded stock cubes instead of some obscure brand. These stock cubes are currently priced at £1.20 for a box of 12 cubes in tesco, however there is a long term offer which is 3 boxes of 12 cubes for £3.
You can also buy bigger packs which contain 24 cubes and this retails at £2.50. A box of 12 cubes lasts me for at least a few months on average so I think that these are good value. The stock cubes come in a cube shaped cardboard box and they're neatly stacked on top of each other inside. The box is green however if you buy the chicken version the box is yellow and the beef box is red. The box has got information on it such as ingredients etc and the stock cubes are individually wrapped in a thick green foil with oxo branding on.
The foil is easy to remove and not fiddly and the stock cubes them selves are an earthy green colour. They can either be added whole in to a soup to dissolve or they can be added to boiling eater to make a stock. I tend to add them into water and to quicken up the dissolving process I crumble them up as if I add the whole cube into the water it takes a little bit longer to dissolve but the difference isn't that much. The stock cubes have no real smell to them when in solid form, but as soon as they begin to dissolve there is a really nice smell, it is hard to describe but it smells like home cooking.
The stock cubes add a bit of extra flavour to soups and stews and I haven't found them to be too salty or anything like that. They don't add any chemical taste either but something that I found out recently is that they contain msg (monosodium glutamate) which is a flavour enhancer and it is proven to be a very unhealthy food additive, so I think that once I've used up this box of the stock cubes I will be switching to a different brand and I think it is strange that something as innocent as stock cubes actually contains msg!
The other ingredients in the stock cubes are mainly herbs and vegetable flavourings but there is also sugar, dried glucose syrup and salt so these certainly aren't the healthiest stock cubes around, but because they're only small and I only use one for each recipe that I use, I am not going to worry about the ingredients too much. The stock cubes can be purchased as a lower salt version but I have always bought the original version.
All in all these stock cubes do make a meal that bit tastier and they are very versatile and quick and easy to add into meals, but because of the ingredients I am knocking three stars off, I think that the fact that the manufactures have put salt, sugar and msg into a vegetable stock cube is awful and I don't think that many people realise this, I know that I certainly didn't until recently which shows that it pays to read the ingredients labels!
I will confess to being a bit of a foody. Though I am certainly no Masterchef, I really enjoy cooking and take a bit of pride in doing simple things well. My pet hate is ready meals and I do everything I can to avoid them at all costs!
Oxo Vegetable Stock Cubes are a really easy and convenient way to add a hit of savoury flavour to a whole multitude of dishes. They are also fairly diverse. You can dissolve a cube into 350 ml of boiling water and you will have a rich and tasty stock which makes a fantastic base for soups, sauces and risottos. I am a massive fan of mince (especially pork or chicken) and by adding an Oxo Vegetable Stock Cube to the mince you enhance the flavour tenfold!
Alternatively you can crumble a dry cube over meat or vege's as a seasoning before cooking. This works especially well with pork chops or frying steak and gives the meat a bit of extra zing.
Nutritionally speaking Oxo Vegetable Stock Cubes are fairly sound. They have a low calorie and fat count. Beware of the salt levels though as one cube provides 21% of your RDA of salt - I would rarely put salt and a stock cube into the same dish.
In terms of price Oxo Vegetable Stock Cubes are very reasonable, retailing at about 55p for a pack of 12. There are cheaper supermarket versions of this product but I would recommend paying the 10p extra and going for the Oxo variety.
Oxo Vegetable Stock Cubes are a really easy and convenient way to add a savoury hit of flavour to near enough any dish. They are reasonably priced and the packaging is completely recyclable. I recommend them whole heartedly to everyone!
My mum has started a healthy eating kick this week to bring the new year in and I've decided to join her for a couple of weeks because I've eaten so much crap over Xmas that I am craving healthy low fat food.
Today she made a huge batch of vegetable soup to freeze so that there is always something homemade and healthy in there and when she was boiling the vegetables she added a couple of these Vegetable Oxo cubes to add some extra flavour.
It's hard to describe the taste of them except that they taste a bit vegetabley when they have been dissolved in boiling water. These cubes don't crumble as easy as the beef ones but all you have to do is drop the whole cube into hot water and it will dissolve quite quickly.
The flavour of the vegetable Oxo cubes are made up of different extracts according to the back of the box including onion, celery, carrot, potato starch and herbs. They smell proper herby but I don't think the taste has got much herbs to it, I think all the different things must mix up together to create this yummy vegetable flavour when you use the cubes in soup and stuff like that.
I always use a vegetable Oxo when I'm boiling rice too as this gives the rice a bit of an extra flavour and stops it tasting so starchy.
The main ingredient in vegetable Oxos is salt so if you're on a low salt diet then I deffo wouldn't recommend you use too many of these. I know this because my aunt is on a very strict low salt diet and she can't have these Oxos or the chicken ones at all, she's ok with the beef ones in moderation though so it might be worth looking at that variety if you think these are going to contain too much salt for you.
They don't taste salty to me though and really I think the beef ones have deffo got a much saltier taste to them.
We always buy the boxes of 12 vegetable Oxos and that's about £1.00, but if you look round the supermarkets you'll usually find one that has got them on special offer. At the minute Sainsburys are selling the 12 boxes on 2 for £1.40 special offer so definately worth looking out for the offers.
Oxo cubes have been around since 1910 & I've used them for many years in my cooking as, in my opinion, nothing else compares to the taste or quality of either the beef or the vegetable stock cubes.
Luckily they're available in boxes of 12 - 2 for £1 - in one of our local pound shops so I've been able to stock up (excuse the pun!). Each box weighs 71g & contain little cubes all neatly wrapped in green & silver foil just waiting to be used. Both the beef & vegetable stocks are available in tubs but I find it uniquely satisfying to undo these little treasures.
Although we're not strictly vegetarian in our family we don't eat a great deal of red meat preferring chicken but mostly vegetables & I like to make soups from seasonal vegetables plus pasta dishes, casseroles & stews. By adding a stock cube or two I find the taste of the vegetables is brought out & the overall dish is much tastier & the flavours are more blended & have an even better colour than using veg on their own.
Oxo cubes are so easy to use & although they don't taste as good as home-made stock, they are a quick way of adding flavour. It's advised that you just crumble into cooking food but I like to add to a little boiling water & then add to the pan or slow cooker to avoid any lumps. It can also be consumed as a drink but I haven't tried this yet as I associate it with being poorly as a child lol!
All the nutritional information is provided on the side of the box - I won't list everything but if you are watching your weight, like me, you'll be pleased to know there are only about 5 calories per serving (made up), 4.9g fat but 41.4g carbohydrate & a 1.23g of salt equivalent.
The ingredients are listed on the bottom of the box & include yeast extract, celery flavouring, dried herbs, dried tomatoes, vegetable oil etc. Allergy advice : contains wheat & gluten.
- convenient to use.
- adds flavour & colour to food dishes be they meaty or vegetable.
- relatively healthy but contain a high salt equivalent.
- can be used for instant drinks.
- great to have in stock.
Now I have been buying OXO cubes for years as my mum has and my dear nan did. They are so versatile and can be used for many different cooking dishes.
Now the vegetable cubes come in the usual little square package in silver foil with OXO written all over it in green writing. It is very handy that each cube has the different coloured writing on as I keep my OXO cubes in a OXO tin that I got free some years back and it holds about 50 cubes. So at a glance I can see what ones I need that day for that particluar meal. Red for Beef OXO, Golden for Chicken OXO, Green for Vegetable OXO and Purple for Lamb OXO.
These great little cubes can be found in several different size boxes,
6, 12, 18 and 24.
Now the idea of these little cubes is that first you put the kettle on and boil it up then get your cube ( if having this as a hot drink !) and pour in 190ml of boiling water into your mug and crumble the cube into the water and stir. As an alternative you can crumble your cubes directly onto the boiling water in the saucepan or crumble into your casserole.
These little cubes crumble really easy much better that if you try some of the supermarkets own brand, but be warned as if somehow they have got slightly exposed to damp or air it will be a bit like trying to crumble a jelly as they go all tough and squiggyand are impossible to crumb!!
Some people find that they can be a bit to salty for them, but I find them to be fine. They do add a special flavour to many different meals and one of my favourites that I seem to be doing all the time at the moment is ( usually mostly in the winter. but this summer as well!) when cooking some vegetables for our dinner I cook double the amount of veg and with the half thats left I add 4 vegetable cubes and blend it all up to make a veggie soup for the next day. If you chuck in a couple of boiled potatoes as well it goes really thick and the OXO cubes season this just right without having to add anything more!
OXO have been around for a very long time since 1900 although it was made before this in 1840-1899, but didn't receive it's name OXO until the later date. Even Florence Nightingale praised it for its health and strength
aids. In 1908 this was the caterers for the London Olympics and was handed out to the runners. It was in 1910 that the cubes were produced and made available to buy. If you were born around the mid fifities like myself then you would have grown up with the very well known OXO advert with "Katie" in for the following 18 years. After that from 1983-1999 then you will have definitely seen the adverts with the great Lynda Bellingham and the OXO family that everyone got to love!!
Each little cube has;
~~~16 Calories ~~~
Allergy Advice; Contains wheat, gluten and celery.
These retail roughly at about 6 for 65p, 12 for 78p and 24 for 1.40, but having said that I have been buying my vegetable cubes from the 99p shop as 2 boxes of 12 are just 99p!!
You can buy this as a concentrated liquid stock which you just pour out of the bottle, but I found that I got through this so quickly that it didn't work out to be very good value in the end. Also which is good news is that the do a salt reduced jar of granules of this as well. This contains 25% less salt than the standard cubes. I haven't tried this yet as I do enjoy just standing there just crumbling my cubes as needed!!
So this is a firm favourite in my cupboard as it can be crumbed in many dishes like Savoury Rice, Leek and Gruyere Tortilla, Herby Roasted Potatoes, Shepards Pie and of course the old Spag Bol as well!!
So get out there and start crumbling!!!!!
ps. sorry about the over use of the words crumble and crumbling!!
This is a really tasty and useful stock cube. It is great when making vegetable soups but can also be used to give flavour for any meat dish you make.
For instance when I fry off mince for spagetti I crumble a stock cube over the meat when it has cooked to give it that extra bit of flavour.
You can make a really tasty cheap vegetable soup by adding two chopped carrots, 1 small parsnip, 1 small leak, 1 small onion and about a quarter of a small swede, two vegetable stock cubes and about 3/4 pint water in a casserole dish with about 3/4 pint water and place in the oven (230 degrees C for about 1 hour 30 mins) or cook in a pan (with a lid) on the hob over a medium-low heat for about an hour - until all the vegetables are soft. When the mixture has cooled you can either put the whole lot in a food processor (or use a a potato masher (or even a fork)), and make the mixture as lumpy or as smooth as you like. Cut yourself off a thick chunk of bread and butter and enjoy (you may wish to add some salt and pepper).
I have just made a delicious turkey stew using Vegetable Oxo cubes as I'd run out of the Beef variety, the results were excellent and I shall certainly use these cubes again as I found the flavour didn't overwhelm the delicate taste of the turkey.
I regularly use them in vegetable soup and sometimes crumble one into a spaghetti bolognese or vegetable lasagne. Also try adding one to the water you're boiling your veg for dinner in, the vegetables don't particularly soak up the flavour of the cube but there is definitely a minor difference in that this rounds off the natural flavours of them more.
On the side of the box it tells me to dissolve one Vegetable Oxo in 130ml of boiling water, although this wouldn't give a very flavoursome gravy at all in my opinion and for this reason I don't tend to make gravy with these and much prefer the beef ones for pouring over a dinner. Sometimes I do add one to a normal meaty gravy though as this gives a mild herby flavour to the gravy which can be pleasant with certain foods like chicken.
The cubes themselves are easy to crumble and the foil is easy to remove, I find these easier to crumble than the beef Oxos as they are a drier cube and break up into quite a fine powder. The cubes also dissolve well, I've added them to cold water before and stir easily into the water as it heats up. If there's a downside it's that the cubes are rather salty, I rarely use just one (and often up to three in a stew) so this makes the salt content of them very high indeed.
I find them an extremely versatile product to have in the cupboard, you can do even more with these than you can with the beef ones which are really relegated to meat dishes. These Vegetable Oxos can be used to compliment meat, poultry and even added to milk to make a delicious white sauce for serving with fish and every time I've had excellent results with no overpowering flavour even if the finished result is saltier than if I'd used my own vegetable stock.
You can buy Vegetable Oxos from anywhere that sells the Oxo range, prices will vary depending on if you go to Tesco or your local shop. They are available in boxes of 12 and 24, I usually buy twelve in the pound shop which is a few pence cheaper than in the supermarket so it's worth looking in there.
Cost (Sainsbury's @ 23.9.08): 72p for a 71g box containing 12 cubes
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100ml of made-up stock):
- of which sugars: 0.2g
- of which saturates: 0.1g
Salt, potato starch, wheatflour, flavour enhancers (monsodium glutamate, disodium 5'ribonucleotides), flavourings (contains celery), onion extract, dried glucose syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, carrot extract, yeast extract, tapioca dextrin, dried tomato, dried herbs (parsley, thyme, bay), sugar
Contains wheatflour and celery
Campbell Grocery Products Ltd, P O Box 1086, Hardwick Road, Kings Lynn, PE30 4BF
Do not use if inner foil is broken or torn
Suitable for vegetarians
Oxo Vegetable Cubes come in a green box, which bears the standard Oxo logo in white, with one letter on each of three sides of the box. The cubes are tightly packed inside, individually wrapped and sealed in silver foil, with the word "Oxo" on all sides of each cube in green lettering. Instructions on the top of the box state "sprinkle a vegetable Oxo cube onto oiled vegetables before roasting".
Ever since I discovered Oxo Vegetable Cubes, I have always used them in preference to the meat varieties, as they have a milder taste all round, and I find them much more versatile for flavouring different dishes.
Oxo Vegetable Cubes are suitable for vegetarians, and there is an instruction on the box to crumble one cube into 130ml of boiling water for making a tasty gravy; there is also a recommendation to crumble one cube into rice before boiling, to give the rice a good flavour.
I don't personally find Oxo Vegetable Cubes to make a good gravy on their own, and even if they did, such gravy would still need substantially thickening which would detract from the existing flavour somewhat - under those circumstances, I'm sure using two cubes instead of one would result in a much tastier gravy when thickening is necessary.
I use Oxo Vegetable Cubes for many different things; for instance, I crumble one or more into my homemade dishes such as risotto, spaghetti bolognese, shepherd's pie, stew & dumplings, plus I use one with Bisto when making ordinary gravy to go with a roast dinner.
The flavour added to gravies, soups, stews etc. by using one or more of these vegetable cubes is delicious, and I never cook anything involving sauce or gravy these days without them.
The only down-side is that they are rather high in salt, and as more than one cube is often needed to produce the desired flavour strength, it results in taking in more salt than perhaps is good.
Overall though I would highly recommend Oxo Vegetarian Cubes as an essential part of any kind of sauce or gravy which needs a subtle, yet very tasty addition. For recipes where the main flavour of the sauce or gravy is something like garlic or onions, only one cube will be needed, just to add a subtle richness, but for pouring-style gravy, I'd definitely recommend using at least two cubes - depending on the volume of liquid required to make your desired amount.
All round, a very good and economical product, and for quality and versatility of flavour and use, is superior to the other varieties of Oxo Cube.
Thanks for reading!
Stock Cubes for soup, stews, rice or your favourite sauce.