Loading... Please wait...

Dehydrating & Storing Vegetables

Posted by



How to Dehydrate and Store Vegetables 

Dehydrating vegetables is a great way to save your harvest and/or save money when your local grocery store offers deals you just can’t pass up; $7.99 for 25 lbs. of carrots?! Yes, Please! Don't forget you can also dehydrate frozen vegetables.
Aside from having your own stock of vegetables all year around, dried vegetables can be stored for well over 25 years when storing them in Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. Dehydrated vegetables have a unique flavor and texture and are best used as ingredients for soups, stews, casseroles, and sauces rather than stand-alone side dishes.
Selection & Preparation:
When drying smaller vegetables, such as peas or carrots, it is recommended that you use a mesh screen, this will prevent smaller foods from falling through the grates in the tray as they dehydrate.
Wash vegetables to remove dirt and debris. Trim vegetables to remove fibrous or woody portions or bruise and decayed areas, peel and slice using the preparation guide below.
Pretreatment:
The process of blanching involves subjecting vegetables to a high enough temperature to deactivate the enzymes. Blanching is necessary to stop the naturally occurring enzymes from causing loss of color and flavor during drying and storage. Blanching also relaxes the tissue walls so moisture can more readily escape during drying and enter during rehydrating. Blanching can be done in water or steam. Water blanching causes a greater loss of nutrients but is faster than steam blanching and achieves a more even heat penetration.

Stem Blanching: Fill a deep pot with water and bring to a boil. Place vegetables loosely in a basket or colander that will allow steam to freely circulate around the vegetables. Do not fill basket or colander with more than a 2 ½ - inch later of vegetables. Position the basket or colander in the pot, making sure it does not contact the boiling water. Cover with a close-fitting lid. Steam for the time indicated in the preparation guide below.
Water Blanching: Fill a large pot 2/3 full with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Place vegetables loosely in a basket or colander and submerge in the boiling water. Cover and blanch for the time indicated in the guide below. Water should return to a boil in less than 1 minute. If not, too many vegetables were added to the basket; reduce amount. Water blanch for the time indicated in the dying guide below.

Immediately after steam or water blanching, dip the vegetables in cold water to quickly cool them. Drain the vegetables and arrange them in a single layer on the dehydrator trays.Note: Don't have a dehydrator? Using your oven to dehydrate will also work!
Determining Dryness :
Vegetables do dry much faster than fruits. At the end of dehydrating period moisture loss is rapid. As a result, vegetables need to be checked often towards the end of the drying time to prevent over drying. Food turns brown when it is overdried.
Begin checking the vegetables at the beginning of the average drying time range. Remove a few pieces and allow to cool to room temperature. Test for dryness by breaking the pieces in half; most vegetables will be crisp when appropriately dried and will break easily.


Click on image below to print a handy Vegetable Drying Guide:


Storage:
Dried vegetables need to be properly packaged to prevent reabsorption of moisture and microbial deterioration. Pack food in clean, dry, airtight containers. Store packaged dried fruit in a dry, cool location away from light.

Before packing your vegetables in Mylar bags for long term food storage, pack them in mason jars with the appropriate size desiccant to remove any excess moisture that may have been left behind. After 24 to 48 hours, you can store in Mylar bags or keep in the mason jars with an oxygen absorber to maintain freshness. Dried vegetables can be stored in Mylar bags for well over 25 years if used with oxygen absorbers.


Start dehydrating and preserving your vegetables!


Desiccants

Oxygen absorbers

Mylar Bags


Click HERE to learn how to dehydrate fruits.


Have questions about dehydrating or long term food storage? 

Give us a call at (844)857-8277 or email us at customerservice@packfreshusa.com




comments powered by Disqus

Sign Up For Our Email Newsletter

FREE 1-3 DAY PRIORITY SHIPPING ON ALL ORDERS*
*Some smaller orders may ship via USPS First Class Mail. Offer vaild for shipping to all US destinations including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and US Territories.

View Cart Go To Checkout