The steps to follow to produce dried vegetables vary depending on the type of vegetable that you are dehydrating. However, there are some common steps to take regardless of the type of vegetable that you are drying. Below is a list of the common vegetable drying steps:
- Select vegetables to dehydrate that are at their peak flavor and quality
- Thoroughly wash the produce. Completely drain and dry the vegetables, shaking leafy vegetables well.
- Most vegetables can be cut into rings or slices 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. See the steps below for slicing actions particular to specific vegetables.
- If desired, blanch the vegetables in boiling water or a citric acid solution (1/4 teaspoon per quart of water) for four to six minutes. Blanching inactivates enzymes in vegetables that could otherwise cause chemical reactions within the food and post dehydration spoilage. Blanching also helps protect the vegetables’ vitamins and color. Blanching can be done with boiling water (water blanching) or via steam blanching (not immersing the vegetables in the boiling water).
- Arrange the vegetables on drying trays in single or thin layers, 1/2 inch deep or less
Below are some particular steps and or the estimated drying times for different types of vegetables:
- Asparagus – Slice large stems in half. Dry 6-10 hours until leathery to brittle.
- Broccoli – Cut florets as desired, halve or quarter the stalks. Dry 12-15 hours until crisp and brittle.
- Brussels Sprouts – Cut in half through the stem. Dry 12-18 hours until tough and brittle.
- Cabbage – Remove outer leaves, quarter and core. Dry 10-12 hours until crisp and brittle.
- Carrots – Cut off roots and tops and cut into slices or strips. Dry 6-10 hours until tough and brittle.
- Cauliflower – Cut florets as desired, cut into small pieces. Dry 12-15 hours until tough and brittle.
- Celery – If desired, trim or remove leaves and slice stalks. Dry 10-16 hours until brittle.
- Chili Peppers (Green) – If desired, slice larger peppers. Dry 12-24 hours until crisp and brittle.
- Chili Peppers (Red) – If desired, slice larger peppers. Dry 12-24 hours until the peppers are shrunken and flexible.
- Corn – Husk and trim the ears. Cut the kernels from the cob after blanching. Dry 6-10 hours crisp and brittle.
- Eggplant – Dry 12-14 hours until leathery to brittle.
- Mushrooms – Remove harder stalks. If desired, slice larger mushrooms. Dry 8-12 hours until dry and leathery.
- Okra – Dry 8-10 hours until tough and brittle.
- Onions – Remove the outer skin, tops and the root ends. Dry 6-10 hours until brittle.
- Peas – Shell peas. Dry 8-10 hours until hard and wrinkled.
- Potatoes – Peel skins. Cut into strips or slices. Dry 6-10 hours until brittle.
- Spinach or Other Greens &ndas; Dry 6-10 hours until crisp.
- Squash – Dry 10-16 hours until leathery to brittle.
- Tomatoes – Peel after blanching. Dry 6-24 hours until crisp.
- Zucchini– Do not peel before dehydrating. Dry 6-10 hours until crisp.
Published 5/18/2009 12:00:00 AM