Eat Your Vegetables!
How often did you hear that growing up?
Dehydrating veggies, whether they are fresh from the grocery store or your garden, gives you your own private stock of peas, corn, celery, potatoes, etc. on hand -- all year 'round!
When you bring your fresh veggies indoors, you can attend to them right away... get them washed, and dehydrated. Trust me, this saves you valuable prep time in the kitchen at mealtimes. You can easily throw together a very satisfying vegetable soup in less than ten minutes tops! Now's the time to get going with dehydrating veggies - before rampant food prices take over. Dehydrating vegetables is VERY easy to do!
Click on the small pictures/veggie names below for instructions on dehydrating the vegetable of your choice.
And just below the links: There's some more important information on how many vegetables fill four dehydrator trays; along with the ideal temperature settings to use while dehydrating your veggies; vegetable preparation; and how do I know when the vegetables are done?
Vegetables are best dehydrated between 125°F and 135°F – any hotter than that and you may cause the dehydrated vegetables to get a hard crust - this is known as 'case hardening' and we need to prevent this from occurring. Case hardening prevents the inside of the vegetable from drying properly so don't be tempted to turn the food dehydrator on high to speed up the process!
Some vegetables can be washed and sliced and dried with no further preparation necessary. All frozen vegetables can be placed on your dehydrator trays with no further preparation.
Please use the dehydrating vegetable clickable pictures above for each specific vegetable.
Before opening your bag of frozen vegetables, throw the bag onto your kitchen counter-top a few times to loosen any frozen vegetables that may have frozen together in a clump!
If you have a few small persistent clumps, run the clump under cold water for a few seconds and that will fix it!
Or even easier than all that -- leave the bag of frozen vegetables unopened in your kitchen sink for about an hour and they'll be good for slicing, if and when necessary.
Certain vegetables like fresh carrots, need to have a generous spraying of lemon juice. We use lemon juice as a totally acceptable substitute for ascorbic acid (which is used by professional dehydrating plants), and lemon juice works wonderfully! Two reasons for spraying with lemon juice is to prevent the vegetables from darkening, and to prevent bacterial growth during drying.
...they don't stick together! If you think your dehydrated vegetables are dried enough, place the dehydrated vegetables in airtight bags (such as zip-lock bags), and let them hang around your kitchen for a day or overnight. This is known as conditioning and this enables the air and any moisture in the bag to distribute evenly – so that the dehydrated vegetables will be ready for vacuum sealing!
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