Why dehydrated vegetables?
- Buy fresh veggies in bulk or when on special and dehydrate and store them to use down the track.
- Don’t send veggies that are almost past their prime to the food scraps bin! Instead, dehydrate and then rehydrate to use in meals like soups, stews and rice dishes.
- If you’re someone that enjoys a healthy on-the-go snack, dehydrated vegetables are a great option. Think sweet potato, broccoli and kale chips, which will save you money instead of buying pre-packaged varieties at the supermarket.
Although nothing beats fresh, wholesome veggies in your diet, dehydrating vegetables can retain most of the nutrients found in the fresh variety. The nutritional value can actually be even more concentrated, being that the water content is removed during dehydration, and it can be maintained for a much longer period also.
Whilst the uses for dehydrated vegetables may not be as varied as dehydrated fruits, there’s still a limitless amount of vegetables that are suitable for dehydrating and deliver both tasty results and numerous health benefits.
Check out our list below.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEHYDRATED VEGETABLES & THE BENEFITS
1. DEHYDRATED kale
2. DEHYDRATED spinach
3. DEHYDRATED cabbage
Cabbage is not the first veggie you think of when it comes to dehydration, but besides fermenting, dehydrating cabbage is a great way to preserve this leafy green and prevent wastage. Whether you prefer red, green, savoy, Chinese, or a combination of several variations, dehydrating cabbage is super easy, requires minimal preparation, is fast to dry and can be used in a variety of ways.
Like its leafy green siblings, cabbage doesn’t need to be blanched prior to dehydration. To prepare, cut it into quarters, remove the core centre and wash well, using a salad spinner to remove any excess water. Cabbage can be cut into strips approximately half a centimetre wide, and if you’re planning on storing it for future use, you may want to cut any longer pieces in half so they fit in jars or containers easier. Spread the cabbage evenly on your dehydrator trays, and if necessary for space, you can layer them slightly. You will know your cabbage is done when it crumbles in your hands.
Low in calories and rich in vitamins A, C and K, dehydrated cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and provides impressive health benefits. Dehydrated cabbage helps to fight against disease and illness, reduces inflammation, improves digestion, supports heart and blood health and can lower cholesterol.
Whilst many people would easily throw away fresh, unused cabbage, there are many ways to use it once it’s dehydrated. See our suggestions below.
- Toss it in a stir fry or add to casseroles, soups and stews.
- Make a veggie smoothie.
- Grind into a powder and sprinkle over various dishes or salads.
- Create cabbage chips and season with salt, pepper, chilli or wasabi powder.
- Use in coleslaw either as is or rehydrated.
- Add to scrambled eggs.
- Use as topping on tacos for added crunch and flavour.
DEHYDRATED root vegetables
1. DEHYDRATED potatoes
2. DEHYDRATED carrots
3. DEHYDRATED sweet potatoes
Dehydrating sweet potatoes is much the same as dehydrating potatoes—you will follow the same process of blanching prior to drying, but we always recommend peeling sweet potatoes to remove any blemishes and dirty skin. Dehydrated sweet potatoes provide a healthy and satisfying snack given their slightly sweet flavour and are great for those going on long hikes or camping, being that they’re lightweight, packed with nutrients and can be rehydrated easily.
As with other root vegetables, blanching sweet potatoes before dehydrating is ideal and will preserve the nutrient content, however, you can also bake the sweet potatoes for approx 20 minutes instead of blanching, which tends to retain their sweet flavour and texture even more. To prepare, simply wash, peel and cut your sweet potatoes either in cubes, slices or julienne to create sweet potato fries, or alternatively, you can shred them with the coarse side of a grater. Another option is to pre-treat your sweet potatoes by baking and then either mashing or using a blender to puree and then spreading it onto a dehydrator tray to create a sweet potato leather. Just like fruit variations, you can enjoy sweet potato leather as a healthy snack as is, or you can simply rehydrate it to create mashed potatoes. If you keep the sweet potato leather in the dehydrator for a little longer, it will become more brittle and break apart into crunchy pieces easily, which is delicious on its own or added to various dishes.
Besides their delicious flavour, dehydrated sweet potatoes deliver multiple nutritional benefits that support the mind and body. A rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body, dehydrated sweet potatoes are also high in B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including potassium, manganese and fibre. Dehydrated sweet potatoes protect against illness and disease, improve skin health, boost metabolism, support blood and heart health and help increase the feeling of fullness, which in turn prevents unhealthy snacking.
See below for our favourite ways to use dehydrated sweet potatoes.
- Make sweet potato chips and season with your choice of sea salt, chilli salt/flakes, cayenne pepper, lime or garlic powder.
- Add crumbled to breakfast dishes such as oatmeal, porridge, chia seed pudding or even eggs for a touch of sweetness and texture.
- Combine with nuts and berries to create a trail mix.
- Add to soups, stews, rice dishes and casseroles.
- Sprinkle over salads or vegetable dishes for crunch and flavour.
- Make sweet potato leather and cut into pieces to enjoy as a healthy snack.
- Rehydrate and add to various dishes or as a vegetable side.
4. DEHYDRATED beets
5. DEHYDRATED onions
DEHYDRATED cruciferous vegetables
1. DEHYDRATED broccoli
2. DEHYDRATED cauliflower
3. DEHYDRATED Brussels sprouts
OTHER DEHYDRATED vegetables
1. DEHYDRATED corn
Corn is probably not one of the first vegetables you think of when it comes to dehydrating, but dehydration is a great way to preserve and store your fresh corn for future use. Dehydrated corn can be enjoyed on its own as a healthy snack and can also be mixed with other dehydrated vegetables to create your own dehydrated vegetable soup mix.
As with choosing other fresh produce to dehydrate, the quality and flavour of the corn you choose to dehydrate will be reflected in the end result. You want to use corn that is fresh and delivers a sweet flavour, which will give you sweet dehydrated kernels to enjoy in the end. To prepare your corn cobs, remove the husks and blanch in boiling water (don’t add salt) for approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove and cut the corn off the cobs carefully, running the knife down the sides of the corn. Spread your kernels evenly on the dehydrator trays and ensure they’re dry, brittle and crunchy before removing and storing.
Dehydrated corn is super low in calories and contains no sugar or sodium. It’s rich in antioxidants, fibre and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Considered a whole-grain, dehydrated corn supports gut health, boosts immunity and protects against disease, enhances eye health and helps with weight control as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Check out our favourite ways to use dehydrated corn.
- Use in salads, rice dishes, casseroles, soups and stews.
- Enjoy on its own as a simple yet sweet snack.
- Ground into a powder and add to hot cereals, porridge or granola.
- Use to bake cornbread, muffins, vegetable slices or quiches.
- Add to pancake batter.
- Combine with other dehydrated vegetables and rehydrate to add to meals.
2. DEHYDRATED tomatoes
3. DEHYDRATED chilies
4. DEHYDRATED beans
No bean is off-limits when it comes to dehydrating. Green, black, red, white, soy, kidney or chickpeas—the options are endless, and they all make for a lightweight, healthy snack that are full of nutritional benefits. You can choose to dehydrate canned beans or fresh beans, but there is a slight variation in preparation for each.
With canned beans, simply drain and rinse the beans, then arrange them on your non-stick dehydrator trays evenly, so they dehydrate well. Canned beans will likely split open during the dehydration process, but this will help them rehydrate quickly if you’re storing and using them for this purpose.
If you’re using fresh beans, you will likely get a better-looking finished product, with fewer beans splitting during dehydration, however, you do need to soak and cook them beforehand. Once your beans are cooked, rinse well until the water runs clear and then allow them to dry fully before placing them on your dehydrator trays or non-stick sheets.
Dehydrated beans offer a rich source of protein along with many other nutrients, making them a great choice for those following a vegan-friendly diet. Packed with antioxidants and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and zinc, dehydrated beans support blood and heart health, boost energy and immunity, improve digestion and can help to lower cholesterol.
There are so many ways to use dehydrated beans, see our suggestions below.
- Enjoy as a healthy snack on their own or add a seasoning of choice.
- Add to soups, stews, casseroles or any vegetable dish.
- Grind in a processor and use it to make various dips.
- Add to salads for extra crunch and flavour.
- Rehydrate and include in various cuisines like Indian, Mexican/Latin American and Mediterranean.
5. DEHYDRATED mushrooms
Whilst we may have listed our favourite vegetables for dehydration here, the sky's the limit when it comes to which vegetables you can dehydrate and how you can use their flavour and nutritional benefits to create delicious meals or snacks in your daily diet. Here are some of our other suggestions for vegetables you might like to consider dehydrating.
how to dehydrate vegetables
BEST STORAGE SOLUTIONS AND SHELF LIFE
- Check all of your vegetable pieces after dehydrating to ensure they’re all dry—if you still sense moisture, continue dehydrating.
- Allow all of your vegetable pieces to return to room temperature post-dehydration.
- Place veggies in an airtight container (jars are a good choice because you can see the veggies easily) and allow a little room so you can shake the contents of the container. You don’t want to have a huge amount of space, however, as this can produce even more moisture. Other great options for storage solutions include Mylar bags, plastic containers, clamping jars, and vacuum-sealed bags.
- Over the next 5 days, shake the contents of the container to check that the veggies don’t stick and can move freely. You also want to look out for any moisture beads on the container and be sure that the veggies don’t stick to the sides of the container or to each other without coming off with ease. If either of these circumstances occurs, remove them and put them back into the dehydrator for further drying.
- If you notice any mould at all, discard all of the dehydrated vegetables. This means some of your dehydrated veggies weren’t completely dry before conditioning.