This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I’ll receive compensation at no extra cost to you.
7 Tips for Dehydrating Vegetables
Whether you’re dehydrating vegetables to save storage space and money, have a lightweight source of food when hiking or bugging out or simply like the idea that dehydrated vegetables retain 95 percent or more of their nutrients, knowing a few of these tips can make the process easier and the learning curve less steep.
This last decade has been unkind to many people’s pocketbooks, as we saw a major plunge in the economy. There’s been civil unrest in the streets and threats of a major disaster all around. There’s also been an increase in natural disasters and anyone with sense knows that you can’t depend on others or the government for help, you need to be self-sufficient. Perhaps that’s the reason there’s more interest in gardening and the sale and use of dehydrators have become so popular.
Dehydrating food is one of the oldest methods of preservation around, dating back to 12,000 BC where air drying, sun-drying and smoking were techniques used. One way to store food safely and enjoy the bounty of a garden or the special prices of the farmer’s markets in the summer, is to dehydrate your own food. Here are some tips for drying successfully and having delicious vegetables all year around. Some use modern techniques such as a dehydrator and other use ancient ones you can do without electricity.
- You don’t have to cook all the vegetables before you dehydrate them. The key is the answer to the question, “Would I eat this vegetable raw?” Make sure you clean them well and cut them in thin, uniform slices for the best results.
- For those veggies you eat cooked, such as green beans and peas, they come back to life better if you steam them about eight minutes before drying. Carrots keep their color better if you steam them first, but you can also dry them without doing this. This also makes the vegetables more tender when rehydrated, so you don’t have to cook them as long.
- If you’re using a store purchased dehydrator, you can mix vegetables, as long as they’re cut appropriately the same size. Also, avoid mixing strong smelling vegetables with others in the tray. You don’t want all your carrots tasting like onions.
- Don’t add fresh vegetables to the dehydrator once you’ve started drying others.
- When dehydrating potatoes, don’t forget to soak them in a salt brine first to prevent browning. Dehydrated potatoes are real space savers and easy to carry. They weigh 1/5thof the weight when dried.
- You can pre-dry some vegetables in the sun, such as tomatoes, and finish them off in the dehydrator later, saving electricity. Hanging green beans by a string to dry is another space saver.
- Onions dry well and can be stored in a number of ways. Grind them and mix with salt for homemade onion salt, store in slices for stews or make onion flakes after you dry them.