Vegetable Dehydrating

By Marjorie J McDonald

Pick your produce at the pinnacle and work quickly to avoid spoilage and to assist in preserving the color and taste.

Prep vegetables as if you were going to serve them. Wash well, trim, cut, chop or cut up. Use your favorite food dehydrator recipes.


1. Process foods as just after you harvest your crop as you can.

2. Don't add fresh vegetables to a partially dried load.

3. Drying times will change based mostly on the thickness of slices, the quantity of water in the food, temperature, humidity and altitude. Start a book to trace and record your own drying times for numerous foods.

4. When stored correctly, dehydrated foods are customarily good for a year.

5. Ascorbic acid can be purchased from grocery store and drug stores, and is available in powder and tablet form.

Dehydrating vegetables (whether fresh from the garden, the farmer's market, or even just from the grocery store at in-season costs) for use in the off-season is one of the healthiest ways of protecting veggies. Dehydrating your vegetables preserves them with a nutritive content that far excels that of canned vegetables. Additionally, the method of dehydrating your vegetables is often less expensive than freezing, as you do not use electricity in the long-term storage of your items.

Quick Facts...

Successful drying is dependent on heat, air dryness and air movement.

Select vegetables to be dried at peak flavor and quality.

Blanch veggies before drying to stop enzyme action and reinforce destruction of microorganisms.

Package dried foods in tightly sealed glass containers or plastic boxes and store in a cool, dry place.

Drying is one of the oldest systems of food preservation. Drying preserves foods by removing enough moisture from food to prevent food rotting and spoilage. Water content of properly dried food differs from 5 to 25 percent depending on the food.

Successful drying depends on:

enough heat to draw out moisture, without cooking the food;

dry air to soak up the released moisture; and

satisfactory air movement to carry off the moisture.

When drying foods, the key's to remove moisture as swiftly as possible at a temperature that does not seriously affect the flavor, texture and color of the food. If the temperature is too low at the start, microorganisms may survive and even grow before the food is adequately dried. If the temperature is too high and the humidity too low, the food may get tougher on the surface. This makes it more troublesome for moisture to escape and the food doesn't dry properly.

Selecting Vegetables

Select veggies at the top taste and eating quality. This typically is just as they reach maturity. Sweet corn and green peas nonetheless , should be a little before completely ripe so they have all of their sweet flavor before their sugars change to starch.

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