Dehydrating Vegetables Using a Dehydrator
Dehydrating vegetables is the process of removing the excess water content of vegetables. This is done by means of
an appliance called food dehydrator. Virtually every vegetable you can think of can be dehydrated. And thereafter
Dehydrating vegetables is now as easy as lighting your gas cooker in the kitchen. Many thanks to technological
Getting a healthy and nourishing vegetable output is important. The output should compare favorably to the fresh
one. For this to be, the vegetable must be dehydrated the right way.
This is important so that the nutritional value of the vegetable is not compromised. Not even the need to preserve
the vegetable should lead to compromising its nutritional quality.
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Steps in Dehydrating Vegetables
In order to get a healthy finished product, the vegetable must be dehydrated the right way.
Dehydrating vegetables the right way involves a number of steps. These steps are really simple and quite easy to
follow. Here are the steps:
- Assemble the required materials
- Clean the vegetable
- Slice the vegetable (optional)
- Pre treat the vegetables against oxidation (optional)
- Spread the vegetable on the dehydrator tray
- Switch on the dehydrator, And then set temperature and timer
- Watch out for dryness
- Unpack the vegetable and store appropriately
Details of these steps are given below:
Step 1: Assemble materials required for the dehydration
Assemble all the materials you will likely need in the process of dehydrating
the vegetable. This will include the following:
The vegetable to be dehydrated
Knife or slicer
Step 2: Cleaning the dehydrator and vegetable
Soak detergent in warm water. Use it in combination with a damp cloth to wipe the dehydrator. Also wash the trays
well and rinse.
Clean the vegetables to be dehydrated. Mop dry the vegetables using the paper towel. The method of cleaning the
vegetable will depend on the nature of the vegetable. While some will require washing, some others may simply
Step 3: Slicing
While it is possible to dry some vegetables whole, some others may require that they be
sliced. Slicing such vegetables reduces the time it will take to dehydrate well. Cutting
should be as uniform as possible to avoid the situation where some will be dried and some
others will not.
Using a slicer helps in getting a uniform cutting. This in turn ensures that all the
vegetables are dehydrated at the same time. A variety of vegetable . are readily available at
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Step 4: Treatment (Optional)
The cutting of some vegetables exposes them to a chemical reaction called oxidation. This reaction leads to
discoloration of the vegetables. It also marks the beginning of bio degradation. This bio degradation and
discoloring progresses with the drying process.
If you don’t mind any color change, you may skip this step to the next one. Otherwise here are a few things to
do to reduce oxidation and by extension vegetables coloring.
Food-grade sodium bisulfite can be used to reduce oxidation . It also preserves the natural colors of vegetables.
The food-grade sodium bisulphite is readily available in food shops. It is available on Amazon. They are also cheap.
For vegetables, mix one teaspoons of Sodium Bisulfite to approximately 30 cl of steaming water. Or follow the
instructions on the label of the product.
Steam the vegetables for between 3 to 5 minutes and then remove from the steamer. Allow to cool. Wipe excess
moisture with the paper towel.
Alternatively, ascorbic acid or vitamin C can be used. This is much more expensive but safer.
Two tablespoons of powdered ascorbic acid is dissolved in a quart of steaming water before pouring in the vegetable.
Leave for about 3 minutes before draining.
For vegetables oxidation is best reduced by water or steam blanching. Though this has its drawback too, it is the
better way to go if you choose to avoid chemicals completely.
In the water blanching method, sufficient water that will cover the vegetable is made to boil. The water is brought
down and allowed to cool a little. The vegetable is then poured into the water. Cover it and allowed to stay in the
water for about 2 – 4 minutes. This depends on the hardness or otherwise of the vegetable. Drain the warm water.
Pour the vegetable into cold water for about 2 minutes before draining. Dry off moisture with paper towel.
Steam blanching is the best method of treating vegetables against oxidation. It is cheaper. It is completely free
from chemical effects.
Steam blanching is quite similar to water blanching. The difference is that steam is used instead of water. Here, a
steamer passes steam through the vegetables for between 4 to 6 minutes. The vegetable is allowed to cool. Excess
moisture is then wiped using the paper towel.
Step 5: Spread the fruit on the tray
After cleaning off moisture from the vegetables, spread the vegetables lightly on the trays of the dehydrator.
Pack the trays back into the dehydrator.
Step 6: Switch on the dehydrator
Switch on the dehydrator and set the thermostat. Set the timer. The optimum temperature for dehydrating
vegetables is 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees centigrade.
The time will vary from one vegetable to another. Even similar vegetables may take different times to dry
depending on the moisture content of the different batches.
Among the fastest drying vegetables are mushrooms, greens, asparagus, cucumber, tomatoes. The drying
times for these fruits lie between 4 to 8 hours.
The slower to dry are summer squash, turnips, broccoli. These ones take between 10 to 14 hours to dry.
The fact that some vegetables will take about 10 – 14 hours to dry makes it necessary to buy a dehydrator
with timer. Affordable . are readily available at the amazon.
It is also very important to exercise patience when dehydrating. Overcome the temptation to set the
temperature a little above the recommended temperature. The entire exercise will be a wasted
one if the vegetables come out unsatisfactorily.
Step7: Watch for dryness`
In dehydrating vegetables, it is important that the vegetables be suitably dried. Watch out for dryness.
Different vegetables have different signs of dryness.
It should be noted that under drying the vegetables leads to molding.
Over drying the vegetables lead to poor finished products. This should
avoided at all costs.
Step 8: Pack and store
When the vegetables are dried, switch off the dehydrator. Allow the
vegetables to cool. Unpack them from the dehydrator. Package appropriately for storage.
Dehydrated vegetables can stay preserved for a long while. This depends on how it is dehydrated,
packaged and stored.
For a storage period that is less than six months, extra storage help is optional. For this period,
well dehydrated and packaged vegetables will not require freezing in other to be preserved . However,
it will still be an added advantage if it is placed in the freezer pending when it will be needed.
Vacuum sealed vegetables will stay well preserved for a long time. When stored in a freezer, the
vegetables can stay preserved for years. However, it may not be the best of practice to prolong their
For short duration storage, packing the vegetables in zip style bags will be okay. Glass jars with tight
lid will serve equally well.
From these simple steps, we can conclude that dehydrating vegetables at home is
easy and simple.
There you have it! A complete guide on dehydrating vegetables!
Benefits of dehydrating Vegetables
Dehydrating vegetables at home have a number of benefits. These include:
Cheaper and better quality vegetables
Dehydrating vegetables at home are better and often times much cheaper than those in the Health Food Store. You
have full control over the additives in the vegetables you dehydrated at your home. Most commercially dehydrated
vegetables may most likely contain preservatives as well as taste enhancers. Zero additives may be guaranteed 100%
only by the one you dried yourself.
Vegetables are important part of a healthy diet.
Dehydrating vegetables appropriately at home ensure products are as nutritious as their fresh counterpart. In other
word, the quality of the dehydrated vegetables are not inferior to that of the fresh one. This is because the low
temperature at which the vegetable is dehydrated is not harmful to the enzymes in the vegetables. As a result, all or
almost all the minerals and vitamins are intact. Therefore, it is still very healthy for people desiring to eat only raw
healthy food. In such cases, the vegetables can be dehydrated even at a lower temperature.
Fresh vegetables can only stay for a very short time before they go bad. By dehydrating them right, they can be
preserved for a much longer time.
Taking advantage of seasons of abundance
Most vegetables have their peak seasons of availability. The vegetables are cheapest at such seasons. One can take
advantage of such season to make a bulk purchase. Then dehydrate them at home and store. One can also exploit or
take advantage of seasonal sales to buy big and save big.
Dehydrated vegetables are very handy as they occupy far less space after dehydration. Some dehydrated vegetables
constitute handy and ready to eat snacks.
Well dehydrated vegetables often times taste better than their fresh counterparts. This as a result of its lesser water
content which makes for better concentrates of the contents of the vegetables.
For further information on dehydrating specific types of vegetables, you should click on the vegetable type listed
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