View Full Version : Dehydrated veg update.

02-02-2011, 12:25 PM
So, I dehydrated a variety of veg last year and have been using some now and again. Thought I'd share a few thoughts and the results with everyone.

The dehydrator is a very basic model, just an on and off switch. I dehydrated enough to fill the dehydrator each time.

Veg Dehydrated.

Mixed casserole veg(carrots, onion, celery,swede you call it rutabega!(frozen) took a while, but dehydrated successfully and rehydrate well. Flavour good. Very good for soups.
Mushrooms, Dried well and taste great. can also be crushed into powder to give a hit of intense flavour.
Peas, Again dehydrated without problems and rehydrated well.
Sweetcorn. I had some trouble with this. The outside dried a lot quicker than the centre and the first batch went mouldy. Sweetcorn needs much more attention than other veg to get a good end product. However worth the effort as end product almost as good as fresh.
Bell Peppers. These dehydrated very well, Flavour stronger and not as sweet when rehydrated.
Green beans. dehydrated quickly(maybe too quickly) and although tasted good, the texture was a bit "slimy" when cooked.
New potatoes. These were a real surprise. once rehydrated they taste exactly like fresh and the consistency was much like fresh too.One change I will make next time is to pre-cook them first. I just blanched them this time and there was some discolouring of the starch.
So there you have it. I'll keep updating my thoughts as I get more adventurous!

Most of the veg were dehydrated between July and September last year.

02-02-2011, 12:36 PM
If you are using canned corn you will probably have more trouble than if you are using corn still on the cob. Machines do a pretty good job of removing corn kernels whole for canned corn so it's a lot more trouble to dry. If you are slicing the corn off the cob then you'll have a lot better success because you generally slice the bottom off the kernel which will open it to being dried. I hope that made sense.

You need to try fruits as well. Bananas, strawberries, grapes, etc. all do really well dehydrating and concentrate the sugars so they are mmm mmm good. You need to slice fruits so they will dry evenly but well worth the effort.

02-02-2011, 05:08 PM
Cool, thanks for the update Winnie.

02-02-2011, 05:21 PM
Great Info Winnie.

02-02-2011, 06:35 PM
Good report Winnie. Being new to dehydrating, I'm still experimenting. I found the same thing with potatoes (sliced or cubed).

02-02-2011, 06:41 PM
If the outside is getting hard and the inside is still wet then turn your temp down a bit. Winnie said she just had an on/off switch and maybe that's all you have but if you can turn the temp down and dry longer it will probably fix that problem.

02-02-2011, 06:59 PM
For my little carousel dehydrator there is no temperature control either. The instruction manual stated open the vent on top fully for the lowest temperatures and close it for higher temperatures.

02-02-2011, 07:03 PM
I think both of you are cooking the outside so the inside can't dry out. Anything to slow the process down should improve your quality. The other option is to cut your potatoes into smaller pieces. That would be too tedious a job for corn, huh?

02-02-2011, 07:08 PM
I'm sorry - I guess I didn't make my post clear. The potatoes came out great. The texture when put in stew was almost exactly like fresh potatoes. So far everything I've dehydrated has worked well, with the advice from you, Nell and others on the forum. My pantry owes a big thank you to you all.

When I first typed pantry it read panty. Glad I caught it - I'm sure it would have changed the complexion of my next meal.:innocent:

02-02-2011, 07:14 PM
Oooh. When you said you found the same thing with potatoes I thought you meant the same thing as Winnie's corn. Sorry. And, no, we're not so low as to stoop to some vulgar reference to ... oh, who am I kidding, yeah, we would have been all over that.

02-02-2011, 10:27 PM
Excellent info. I'll be drying some garden veggies this year.. waiting for that easter cold snap to get planted.. but it's coming soon.
So far the jerky reconstitutes very well.

02-02-2011, 10:36 PM
great info. my wife has gotten into the habit of buying dehydrated vegetables from nito pak. she likes them for soups and such.

I started making a dehydrator from a small blower, a few thermostats, a 600 watt element, a few odds and ends and a plywood box. I need to get off my duff and finish it.

02-03-2011, 05:15 AM
I'm no expert by any means, which is why I posted this. It's good to hear about other peoples experiences. The only way I have of controlling the drying process is to rotate the trays. But it is pretty cheap to run and was cheap to buy. If I could afford it, I would probably have gone for one with a heat control, but they are more than twice the price of a basic model.

02-03-2011, 05:18 AM
Oh, and Crash, if you rehydrate your potato slices slowly by cooking them on a low heat, you can make fantastic sauteed potatoes. That's where I got the real surprise, I tried it out of interest.

02-03-2011, 06:24 AM
Winnie - I did blanch my potatoes cubes and slices and then soaked them in a lime juice/water mixture. They came out great. Sweet potatoes is still on the list to try.

02-03-2011, 08:50 AM
I'm sorry - I guess I didn't make my post clear. The potatoes came out great. The texture when put in stew was almost exactly like fresh potatoes. So far everything I've dehydrated has worked well, with the advice from you, Nell and others on the forum. My pantry owes a big thank you to you all.

When I first typed pantry it read panty. Glad I caught it - I'm sure it would have changed the complexion of my next meal.:innocent:

SO I just gotta ask,do you rehydrate them before or AFTER you put them on???

02-03-2011, 09:26 AM
I'm curious about the blanching of foods before dehydrating. I was always told to blanch before freezing, but we haven't been doing that with ANY of our garden veggies and they keep just fine (in the freezer). Peas, Beans, Greens, roots...
What's the purpose?

02-03-2011, 09:45 AM
YCC, the main purpose of blanching is to destroy the enzymes that could spoil your produce. It also helps keep the colour. I must admit, I've always blanched, so I wouldn't know what the repercussions of not blanching when dehydrating.

02-03-2011, 05:08 PM
I was surprised about the potatoes....I'll have to do some...
Done wild porcini mushrooms and they ARE great!....good
stuff, Winnie............................................ ..........BH51

04-07-2011, 04:03 AM
Another update.
I had a go at dehydrating some Cauliflower and Broccoli. Oh my, was it awful! The Cauliflower discoloured and although the Broccoli dried OK, they both rhydrated to erm, rubbery and tasted terrible. I think for anything more comlpicated then sliced, diced, jerky or leather a more sophisticated model with temp control etc would be needed.

04-07-2011, 06:35 AM
I don't eat a lot of cauliflower, but broccoli is one of my favorites. We gotta figure out how to store those long term without freezing. Thanks for the update.

04-07-2011, 07:09 AM
Winnie & YCC, I haven't tried cauliflower or broccoli yet, but this is from Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.

89% water
.......Because homegrown broccoli (and cauliflower) can have worms, soak the head for 30 minutes in a solution of 1 part salt to 4 parts water, which will force any worms in the vegetableto float to the surface. To prepare for drying, trim the broccoli head, remove any yellow bud clusters, and cut the florets from the stems. If desired, peel the tough outer skin from the stems with a vegetable peeler and cut the stems crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces. Blanch the stems befor drying. Drry the florets and the stems separately. Broccoli leaves can alsow be dried, then pulverized and used as a flavoring agen, much like celery powder.

04-07-2011, 07:29 AM
I might have another go at Broccoli, but forget the Cauliflower!
I really think it's the dehydrator, because it's either on or off, I don't think it can cope with odd shaped veg. It wasn't a complete disaster though, at every success and failure I am learning what can and can't be processed.

04-07-2011, 03:22 PM
A fun thing to dehydrate is yogurt. Make yogurt drops. I also dehydrate soup for backpacking.

04-07-2011, 10:08 PM
I'm thinking I might have a try at the broccoli myself. Don't have any growing, but what the heck.. a few bucks at the grocery store..

Was there any indication of ideal temp for drying, Crash? My dehydrator has temp settings. Might make a difference.

Edit: *the quote in my signature is for Winnie ;)

04-07-2011, 10:14 PM
She lists fruits and vegetables at 130 to 140 F.

04-07-2011, 11:40 PM
Great info. I hope to do some dehydrating once I get some things growing. My mom use to make homemade fruit roll-ups when I was a kid. If I remember correctly it was basically dehydrated jam.

04-08-2011, 04:21 AM
The yoghurt drops sound good, I love yoghurt!
I'm sure that's where the fault lies, my deyhydrator has no temp control and dries "hot" I have to rotate the trays every 30 mins.i think I may need to bite the bullet and invest in a model with temp control etc, at $163 for a 3 tray dehydrator it's not an easy option.

YCC, my signature pretty much sums up how I feel!

04-08-2011, 07:11 AM
I'm with you Winnie. My dehydrator is a $1 carousel model that I picked up at a yard sale. An Excalibur is in my future though.