There’s so much to love about dehydrating vegetables. Once dehydrated, they take very little room to store. Nutrients aren’t destroyed as they are with canning. If the electricity goes out for an extended time, nothing is spoiled. And dehydrated veggies can store for years.
Most vegetables can be dehydrated; some require blanching first, but for many vegetables, prep is as simple as chopping or slicing. If I’ve never mentioned that I love simple, well, now would be the time.
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Two important factors are necessary for dehydration to take place – heat and air circulation. The heat pulls the moisture from your vegetables, and air circulation moves the moisture so that it can evaporate. Therefore, where you place your dehydrator is an important factor. Using it in a very damp basement, for example, will prevent proper drying.
For the most successful results, be sure to use vegetables at the peak of their ripeness. Freshly harvested from your garden is ideal. The low temperature used in dehydrating vegetables helps to preserve nutrients.
There are many ways to dehydrate including sun drying, oven drying, or using an electric dehydrator. I’ve used all 3 methods, and I definitely prefer dehydrating vegetables in my Excalibur Dehydrator. With 15 square feet of space, I can get a lot done at once. I’m not heating up the house, and I’m not dependent on the weather. Still, sun drying and oven drying are not to be discounted; they are both very effective methods of dehydration.
Time and Temperature
Vegetables are generally dried at 125°F/52°C. Higher temperatures may cause the outside of the vegetable to harden while the inside remains moist, causing spoilage. There are some exceptions, so be sure to follow your recipe.
How long it will take to dehydrate depends on several factors. The higher the humidity in the air, the longer it will take vegetables to dry. Your weather forecast is one way to determine humidity. An indoor humidity monitor is another.
Foods, like tomatoes, that contain high amounts of moisture will naturally take longer to dry. And, of course, the size and thickness of your vegetable will be a factor. Individual recipes can guide you, but times can vary dramatically based on these variables.
Storing Your Dehydrated Vegetables
Be sure to allow your vegetables to cool before packaging and storing. Any clean, airtight container will work. While you don’t want to re-use jars from store-bought items for canning, they are perfectly fine for your dehydrated vegetables. Zip-lock bags also work well.
Label your containers with the item and date. I measure my vegetables before and after drying them. I mark this information on the label as well to give me a better idea how much to use. For example, on my dehydrated peppers label, I have marked “1/4 cup dry = 1 cup fresh”. That way, when I’m adding dried peppers to chili, I know that if the recipe calls for 1 cup of fresh peppers, I just need to add 1/4 cup of my dry peppers.
After packing, don’t store your containers immediately. Check them after 24 hours or so to be certain that no moisture has formed. If all is well, you can then store them in a cool, dry, and dark area.
A to Z Guide to Dehydrating Vegetables
Dehydrating Asparagus from Preparedness Mama
Crispy Green Bean Chips from Whole New Mom
Dehydrating Beans from Easy Food Dehydrating
Drying Broccoli for Food Storage from Joybilee Farm
Dehydrating Beets from Backyard Homesteading
Dehydrating Cabbage from Rural in the Urban
How to Dry Sliced Carrots in Your Oven from Mom Prepares
Dehydrating Carrots from Growing in His Grace
Air Dehydrate Celery Leaves from Little Mountain Haven
Dehydrating Celery from Simply Healthy Home
Dehydrating Corn from Simply Canning
Dehydrating Cucumber Chips from Tenth Acre Farm
How to Preserve Eggplant from The Free Range Life
Dehydrating Eggplant from Pinch of Prepping
DIY Garlic Powder from Joybilee Farm
How to Dehydrate Garlic from Mama Kautz
Dehydrating Swiss Chard in the Oven from LearningAndYearning
DIY Greens Supplement Powder from Joybilee Farm
Cheesy Garlic Kale Chips from Happy Mothering
Garlic Herb Raw Kale Chips from Recipes to Nourish
Dehydrating Kale and Greens to Preserve Your Harvest from Green Talk
Dehydrating Okra from Fresh Bites Daily
How to Make Your Own Onion Powder from Simply Healthy Home
How to Make Your Own Dehydrated Onions from Mom Prepares
Dehydrating Onions from Living Life in Rural Iowa
Dehydrating Peas from Easy Food Dehydrating
How to Dehydrate Sweet Bell Peppers from Mom Prepares
Freezing and Drying Peppers from Tenth Acre Farm
How to Dehydrate Peppers for Food Storage from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
How to Dehydrate Potatoes from One Hundred Dollars a Month
How to Dehydrate Shredded Squash from Chickadee Homestead
How to Dehydrate Sweet Potatoes from One Hundred Dollars a Month
Sun-dried Tomatoes from LearningAndYearning
How to Make Tomato Powder from Ever Growing Farm
Dehydrating Tomatoes from Schneider Peeps
Winter Squash “Fruit” Leather from Eat Beautiful
Dehydrating Pumpkins from Growing in His Grace
Dehydrating Zucchini for Winter Use from LearningAndYearning
Zucchini Chips! 5 Healthy Easy Versions from My Healthy Green Family
3 Easy Ways to Preserve Zucchini from Grow a Good Life
September is National Organic Harvest Month
September is National Organic Harvest Month and to help you make the most of your harvests, I’ve teamed up with these other amazing bloggers. Please be sure to check out their tips and more: Rachel from Grow a Good Life – Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living – Teri from Homestead Honey – Chris from Joybilee Farm – Shelle from Preparedness Mama – Angi from SchneiderPeeps – Janet from Timber Creek Farm