Like us, vegetables are mostly water; some as much as 95%.
Removing that water dehydrating preserves food because bacteria can’t develop without the moisture.
You can dehydrate in an oven on its lowest setting or use a dehydrator which is designed to keep the temperature even and also provide air flow which helps to absorb the moisture.
Some veggies need to be blanched first. For this you dip in boiling water for the recommended time. See list to follow.
Dehydrating can take as little as a few hours for something like celery leaves or as long as 10-12 hours. The veggie, it’s size, and the humidity will affect the time it takes. With practice you will get used to the different times.
You want your veggies to be totally dry, even brittle.
Dehydrated veggies have the advantages of being able to be stored on a shelf, and they take up much less room. They also retain more of their nutritional value and can be held longer than canned or frozen vegetables.
Rehydrate by soaking in water, adding boiling water, or just toss in any soup or casserole that will simmer.
You can also grind dehydrated veggies into a powder, as we did with our garlic.
Vegetables that need to be blanched and the times:
Asparagus- 3 to 4 minutes
Beans- 4 to 6 minutes
Carrots- 3 to 4 minutes
Peas- 3 minutes
Sweet Potatoes- 3 to 4 minutes
Potatoes- 5 to 6 minutes
Rutabagas, Turnips- 3 to 5 minutes
Corn is a little weird and I never tried it. Other veggies like squashes, tomatoes, etc. you can just go ahead and dehydrate them. Tomatoes make a real mess and are much better roasted IMHO.
Pumpkin is great for Pumpkin Flour.
There are so many ways to use dehydrated veggies. We will be sharing more on the recipe blog.
More About Celery
PS: Whether you grow your own or not, you can save money by dehydrating veggies that are on sale and are otherwise hard to store, like celery and mushrooms.