When dehydrating vegetables, we show our top 16 choices, below.
Click an image and read all about that individual vegetable and how to dehydrate it properly.
Whether they are fresh from the grocery store or straight from your garden—it's an easy and convenient way to preserve your harvest, or simply to have healthy snacks on hand—all year round.
Dehydration is a method of food preservation that removes water from the food, thereby inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Dehydration has been used for centuries to preserve food.
Fruits and vegetables are naturally dehydrated when they are dried in the sun or air. Commercially dehydrated foods are often freeze-dried or dried in electric dehydrators.
It's a simple process that can be done with or without a dehydrator. If you plan to store your dried foods for any length of time, I highly recommend the Excalibur dehydrator and the Nesco brand, too. Air circulation is important and both these brands do an excellent job of drying food.
They will remove more moisture from the food than simple air-drying and help to preserve it for a longer period. My Excalibur dehydrator is square and the Nesco is round. Both work equally well, whatever shape they are.
Three methods can be used to dehydrate vegetables: air drying, solar drying, and using a dehydrator.
Air Drying: This is the oldest and most traditional method of drying foods. They can be air-dried indoors or outdoors, depending on the climate and time of year.
Solar Drying: Solar drying is a great way to dehydrate food if you live in a warm, dry climate. Solar dryers can be purchased or made at home.
Dehydrator: These are electric appliances that are specifically designed for drying foods. They come in a variety of sizes and types, so it is important to choose one that will fit your needs.
Yes! Green beans are a great choice! It is often easier to dehydrate the frozen variety than fresh ones.
Frozen vegetables are already blanched (a process of scalding in boiling water or steam to kill enzymes. More about blanching later on), so they do not need to be blanched before dehydrating.
Simply place them on the trays and dehydrate them according to the vegetable's individual dehydrating steps listed inside my 16 top vegetables (click on an image below to learn about that particular vegetable).
Frozen veggies will take less time to dehydrate than fresh ones. Start checking for doneness after about 6 hours for most vegetables.
Just about all varieties can be dehydrated. Some have more prep steps than others. Our sixteen most popular ones are shown above. Visit their specific instructions by simply clicking on any of the images.
It's interesting to note that dried veg won't last as long as dried fruits. Why is that?
Fruits naturally contain more sugar and acids which act as preservatives inside them. If you store vegetables after dehydrating, they can last months, if not years, if you dry them the right way. Follow our Six Simple Steps.
Yes, they are totally healthy. In fact, by dehydrating them you'll have more nutrients remaining than if you just simply placed the fresh veggies in the refrigerator. How neat is that?
When fully dehydrated, they become more concentrated in vitamins and minerals. This is due to the water inside the vegetable evaporating, leaving behind the trace elements.
In some cases, yes. Potatoes come to mind. You boil them as you would if making boiled potatoes, then refrigerate them overnight. Why do that? Cold potatoes are much easier to slice! Then it's a case of placing your sliced potatoes on the trays.
I don't consider blanching to be cooking. We blanch certain veg before dehydrating for a couple of reasons:
When you skip blanching, you may end up with hard skins and wet centers after dehydrating. This is known as 'case hardening.' Avoid this at all costs. How? By blanching!
watch this fun time-lapse video
of fruits and vegetables dehydrating!
Wash the produce and cut it into evenly-sized pieces. Dip small quantities of them into rapidly boiling water for a few minutes.
Transfer to a big bowl of iced water for a few seconds to stop the cooking process. Now you're ready to place them on your trays. Blanching is an important step.
Leafy greens and cabbage do not need to be blanched before dehydrating. However, most other vegetables should be blanched to inactivate enzymes that can cause the food to spoil. Blanching also helps to retain the color and flavor of the vegetables.
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 later on!
You can easily throw together a very satisfying vegetable soup in less than ten minutes tops!
Now is the time to get dehydrating—before rampant food price increases completely take over. Plus, it's very easy to do!
Click here for a general guide on how many fresh (or frozen) veggies to buy to fill 4 dehydrator trays.
When dehydrating vegetables, arrange them in a single layer. Don't let them overlap. Of course, arranging in a single layer means using more trays.
Most veggies are best dehydrated between 125°F and 135°F—any hotter than that and you may cause them to get a hard crust—known as 'case hardening' as mentioned earlier, and we need to prevent that from occurring.
When dehydrating vegetables, please be aware that case hardening prevents the inside of the vegetable from drying properly, so don't be tempted to turn the machine on high to speed up the process!
Mushrooms are the one vegetable that needs special attention. Read more about mushrooms here.
Some veg are simply washed, sliced, and dried with no further preparation necessary, such as onions, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini, for example.
Simply place any frozen vegetable of your choice on your Nesco or Excalibur trays with no further preparation.
Before opening your bag of frozen veggies, throw the bag onto your kitchen countertop a few times to loosen any frozen clumps.
If you have a few persistent clumps, run the clump under cold water for a few seconds and that will make it easy to break apart.
Or even easier than that? Leave the bag of frozen vegetables unopened in your kitchen sink for about an hour and they'll be good for slicing, if necessary.
When dehydrating vegetables, like fresh carrots, need a generous spraying of lemon juice. We use lemon juice as an acceptable substitute for ascorbic acid, which is used by professional dehydrating plants. Lemon juice works wonderfully!
Two main reasons for spraying with lemon juice are to prevent them from browning. This is known as 'oxidation.'
The second reason for spraying with lemon juice is it helps prevent bacterial growth during drying.
... they don't stick together! While you are dehydrating veggies—and you think they are dry enough—place the veggies in airtight bags (such as Ziploc bags).
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! This is step four of the Six Steps.
Learn the Six Simple Steps by opting into our free special seven-part mini-series.
The shelf life of dried food varies on your method of storing. To learn more about how to safely store your goodies, read all about Safe Food Storage here.
You'll learn about vacuum-sealer bags, Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and more. Using oxygen absorbers greatly increases the shelf life.
For long-term storage, follow our guide at the above link (Safe Food Storage).
Dried vegetables are a great way to add nutrition and variety to your dog's diet. Dogs love the taste, and dried veggies are a healthy and nutritious treat.
ONE CAVEAT: NO ONIONS, ever. They're poisonous to dogs.
Dehydrated vegetables are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also low in calories and fat, and they are a healthy snack for dogs.
You can dehydrate your own vegetables at home, or you can purchase dehydrated vegetables from a pet store.
When dehydrating vegetables, it is important to use a dehydrator that is designed for dehydrating food. You can dry vegetables in a dehydrator by placing them in the dehydrator on a low setting for 12-24 hours.
Once the vegetables are dehydrated, you can add them to your dog's food or give them as a treat. Dehydrated vegetables are a healthy and delicious way to add nutrition and variety to your dog's diet.
If you are more "hands-on," you may want to try making your own dog food by reading how to Make Your Own Dog Food here.
Here is the easiest way you can incorporate dehydrated veggies into your dog's diet. Simply add them to your dog's regular food.
This is a great way to add some extra nutrients and fiber to your dog's diet. Simply mix the dehydrated vegetables into their dry (or wet) dog food. Voila!
When it comes to the keto diet, one of the most important things to keep in mind is your net carb intake. Net carbs are the total carbs in a food minus the fiber content. On a keto diet, you want to keep your net carbs as low as possible.
Dried vegetables are a great way to reduce your net carb intake while still getting the nutrients your body needs. Plus, they are easy to store and can be used in a variety of recipes.
You can check the carbohydrate value of vegetables (and fruits) by consulting the Glycemic Index.
The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100. It's based on how quickly and how much the foods you eat raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high glycemic index, like white bread, are digested quickly and cause substantial fluctuations in blood sugar.
Dried vegetables have a distinctive taste that is different from fresh or frozen vegetables. Some people say that they have a sweetness that intensifies when they are cooked.
Dehydrated vegetables are a great way to add nutrition, flavor, and texture to your meals. They can be used as toppings or added to sauces, dips, and other dishes.
While soup is a delicious and satisfying meal, it can also be time-consuming to make. One way to speed up the soup-making process is to dehydrate vegetables beforehand.
When we dry vegetables, it removes the water content, leaving behind only the nutrients and flavor. This means that they can be rehydrated quickly and easily, without having to go through the lengthy cooking process.
In addition, they take up much less space than their fresh counterparts, making them ideal for storing in small spaces.
To dehydrate vegetables for soup, simply wash them and slice them into thin pieces. Then, spread them out on a dehydrator tray and set the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drying times will vary depending on the vegetable, but most will be ready within 10-12 hours. Once they are dried out completely, simply store them in an airtight container until you're ready to use them.
With a supply of dehydrated vegetables on hand, you can enjoy a bowl of soup any time you like - without all the hassle!
Drying your own vegetables is a fun and easy way to add healthy snacks to your backpacking menu. Not only are dried vegetables lightweight and easy to store, but they also pack a powerful punch of nutrients.
When selecting vegetables for dehydration, look for firm, ripe produce that is free from blemishes or damage. Wash the vegetables thoroughly, then slice them into thin pieces that will dry evenly.
For best results, dehydrate the vegetables in a food dehydrator or oven set to a low temperature. Once dried, the vegetables can be stored properly in an airtight container and enjoyed as needed.
Dried veggies make a great backpacking snack that is both nutritious and delicious.