Dehydrating Cucumbers the Right Way
Dehydrating cucumbers can be fun. It is among the easiest vegetables to dehydrate. Dehydrated cucumbers constitutes a healthy snack for the person on the go who wants to eat healthy.
Cucumbers are rich in minerals and vitamins. This is one of the reasons that cucumbers are considered among the highly healthy foods. Therefore dehydrating cucumbers in such a way that the minerals, vitamins and enzymes are preserved is important. Having them available all year round is a big advantage that is made easier by dehydrating it.
Cucumbers have large water content. As a result of the large water content, cucumbers are among the easy to rotten vegetables. This makes dehydrating cucumbers a very important exercise. Dehydrating cucumbers the right way helps prolong their shelf life.
This detailed guide on dehydrating cucumbers will help you dehydrate cucumbers effectively.
Steps in Dehydrating Cucumbers
- Select fresh cucumbers
- Clean the cucumbers
- Slice the cucumbers uniformly
- Spread the cucumbers evenly
- Pack the trays into the dehydrator
- Set the temperature of the dehydrator
- Watch out for dryness of the cucumbers
- Package the cucumbers appropriately
The detailed steps in dehydrating cucumbers as outlined above are giving below.
You start with selecting the cucumber to dehydrate. In order to get best results, do use cucumbers that are fresh. Cucumbers that have shown signs of decay do not give satisfactory result.
After selecting the cucumbers, clean them very well. This can be done simply by washing the cucumber a number of times with clean water.
Slice the cucumbers either 1/8” thick or a little thicker. It should be noted that the thicker the slices are, the longer it will take to dehydrate.
It is important that the cutting or slicing should be uniform. This in turn will ensure that the drying is uniform. Uneven slices will lead to different times of drying for the vegetables.
Uniform slicing can be achieved using cucumber slicer. This makes uniform slicing much easier and faster.
Stylish and uniform slicing may be obtained using cucumber spiral slicer.
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Blanching of the cucumber is optional when dehydrating cucumbers. It may be carried out for the following reasons: One, it helps maintain the color of the cucumbers. Two, it helps soften the skin and surface of the cucumbers which makes dehydrating the cucumber easier and faster.
A number of blanching methods are available. For the purpose of blanching the cucumber, steam blanching is preferred. Best result is achieved by electric steamers. However, in its absence, the improvised pan-type steamer may be used. In this case, the cucumbers are poured on the perforated upper section of the steamer. The cucumber is allowed to steam for about three minutes.
One of the disadvantages of steam blanching is that it destroys part of the enzymes and minerals that the cucumbers are rich in.
After the steaming, drain off the water and allow the cucumbers to cool. Use a paper towel to blot out the excess moisture.
Spread the cucumbers evenly on the trays of the dehydrator. For better result, the cucumbers should be in a single layer and should not overlap.
Pack the trays back into the dehydrator and turn it on. Set the temperature of the dehydrator at 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees Celsius. This is the best temperature for dehydrating vegetables like cucumbers.
Dehydrating cucumber lasts for between 4 – 8 hours. The actual time will vary from batch to batch. A number of factors also affect the dehydrating time. One of such factors is the type and power of the dehydrator. A detailed guide on how to choose a quality dehydrator is giving in this dehydrator buying guide. A wide range of . are readily available at the amazon online shop. You may wish to check on the . now.
When using a shelf dehydrator, it is a good practice to rotate the trays to ensure uniform dehydration. If this is not done, some of the cucumbers will over dry. Some good examples of shelf dehydrators are Excalibur food dehydrator, Aroma professional food dehydrator and a number of others.
Start checking for dryness after about 3 hours.
The cucumbers are dried when they become leathery.
When the cucumbers are dried, allow it to cool. Unpack them from the dehydrator’s tray for packaging.
The dehydrated cucumbers can be packaged using plastic food bags such as zip-lock or vacuum seal bags. It can also be packaged using glass containers that have tight lid covers.
Dehydrated cucumbers may be stored as is after the dehydration. It can also be grounded to form cucumber powder.
Re hydrating the cucumber is also easy and simple.
Re hydrating or reconstitution is the process of allowing the dried cucumbers to acquire back water. This enables the cucumbers to return to the nature of their fresh counterpart. This is usually in terms of size, form, appearance and color. Properly dehydrated cucumbers will generally re-hydrate well.
Re hydrating the cucumber may be done by
- a) Boiling of the cucumbers:
Place equal volumes of cucumbers and water in a bowl and soak for between 10 -15 minutes. The duration normally is a function of the thickness of the slices.
Mildly heat the cucumber to boil and then simmer with the heat turned down. Continue simmering until tender as desired.
- b) Soaking:
Soak the cucumbers in water for at least one hour before starting to check for tenderness. This is my preferred method of rehydrating of vegetables. This is because no heating is involved. It should be noted that heating destroys most of the enzymes in vegetables.
Dehydrated cucumber may also be reconstituted by cooking or by adding it straight to any recipe of your choice.
You may try dehydrating cucumber today and share your experience with us.
Dehydrating cucumbers, as outlined above, entails a number of simple steps that anyone can easily follow.
Proper dehydration or drying of the cucumbers help extend the shelf life of the cucumber by a reasonable duration.
I believe that the simple steps involved in dehydrating cucumbers is enough motivation for you to try dehydrating cucumber without delay.
It is time to try dehydrating cucumbers! Your sharing your dehydrating experience with us will be appreciated.