Dehydrating 101: The taste and texture of dehydrated fruits and veggies

Okay, here’s another one in the dehydrating series.  Check out top 10 reasons why I love dehydrating, how to dehydrate and how to rehydrate.

Today it’s all about taste and flavor.  My personal fav being a sensory scientist I could go on all day about the differences in the taste and flavor but here’s my summary.  Basically everyone seems to want to know, does the fruit taste the same as fresh?  The short answer is no.  They taste the same as cooked though.  Here’s why, during the dehydration process the fruit heats up, low and slow, but still it gives the fruit a slightly cooked flavor.  The vegetables are pretty much the same.

The apples we dried to a crispy finish.  This turned out to be a good thing because the variety we dried was red delicious and so they were very sweet.  When dried long enough, they turned crispy and crunchy like the apple crisps you can buy in the store.  They were nothing like the chewy, squishy dried apples you normally think of.  I actually really preferred the apples crispy.

Someone asked if you could rehydrate the apples to make apple pie all year long.  I think this would be a great idea, we didn’t dry baking apples, nor did we peel them, so I don’t think it will work with ours but I think it’s a clever idea.  Maybe partially rehydrate them, in apple cider perhaps.  The trick will be to get just the right amount of water and not to overcook them so they don’t cook down to a mush.

As far as the veggies are concerned, the zucchini and tomatoes had exceptional flavor.  Once rehydrated in soup the texture of the zucchini and tomatoes was very similar to the cooked variety.  The cucumbers we read can be eaten like potato chips and dipped in your favorite chip dip.  I never tried them but Robert said they tasted great, better than eating them fresh.  The dried bell peppers and jalapenos plumped right up.  I haven’t used the cayenne peppers but I think I may crumble it and use it in place of my red pepper flakes.

I think this may be the last in the series, unless anyone else has some questions.

Thanks,  Courtney

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