Tag Archives: dehydrating

Dehydrating 101: How to rehydrate dried fruits and vegetables

I recently wrote a post about why I love dehydrated fruits and veggies and someone asked how we do it, what do they taste like, etc.  So I thought I would start a little series on the subject.  I am by no means an expert or that experienced.  But it’s pretty simple, so I will pretend to be an authority on the subject.  First up, how do you rehydrate those dried vegetables?

Here’s what I have done and made so far.  I haven’t actually rehydrated anything in boiling water alone.  I try to incorporate it into my brecipes.  I do this for two reasons, it’s faster and I think the flavor is more intense if rehydrated in my yummy soup rather than boring ol’ water.

Zucchini, sliced thin – at least 20 minutes in a simmering soup, longer than a couple hours and they break down

Tomatoes, Romas sliced in half – at least 20 minutes in a simmering soup, longer is better but no maximum time.  I usually snap these into 2 or 3 pieces before putting in soup.  In homemade spaghetti sauce, tossed in whole and simmered in sauce 30 minutes.  I still need to explore making a sauce from only dried tomatoes.

Bell peppers, sliced into thin ribs – simmered in soup for 30 minutes, plus they were crisp enough to cut into bite sized pieces

Hot peppers, thinly sliced into rounds – simmered in tikka masala sauce or soup for 30 minutes.  Usually canned peppers mellow over time but these guys packed a serious heat punch, good to know.

Apples, sliced thinly with the skin on (cause I was too lazy to peel) – a hard boil for about 20 minutes in a Morrocan sauce that I was reducing.  Worked great.  Not tough, almost exactly like a freshly cooked apple.

Check out my other post top 10 reasons why I love dehyrated fruits and veggies and hopefully more to follow in this series.

Thanks,  Courtney

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Dehydrated Fruits and Veggies

While pregnant this summer, I said no thank you to canning.  Not because I don’t love puttin’ up stuff, but because I couldn’t stand to see my ankles get any more swollen.  So we resorted to drying, and by we, I mean Robert.  He dried  everything.   Sometimes fruit and vegetables that I was planning on using for dinner would disappear out of the crisper.  I would march into Robert’s office, sniff the air, see his guilty look and know instantly that in the dehydrator hiding under his desk was my bell pepper and the last of the strawberries.  At the time I thought he was really going overboard.  But I owe him an apology (don’t tell him)  because I use them constantly.

And here’s the top 10 reasons why I love dehydrated fruits and veggies:

10.  They take up less room than the fresh or canned

9.  I get to make cute jar labels (post coming soon)

8.  Zombies probably would prefer fresh fruit so we’re safe in the event of…

7.  Another use for Tattler reusable lids

6.  Every soup I make gets a handful of zucchini = healthy

5.  I don’t have to send Robert to the store for one jalapeno

4.  Technically I am still eating local and in season

3.  Way cheaper to use a dried tomato than to buy one in the dead of winter

2.  Even after being dried and rehydrated organic, CSA-grown tomatoes still taste better than any tomato you can buy at the store, winter or summer

1.  Robert did all the work

Thanks, Courtney

Drying Foods

We usually have more zucchini at our disposal than we can handle and that was the case this past summer, too.   I started cutting them up and putting them in the dehydrator .  We’re now reaping the benefits of this foresight.

They actually taste great once dried.  Courtney has also been tossing them into soups, etc and they plump right back up again and are quite tasty.  They’re even great just for snacking.

Jalapenos and cucumbers were also in abundance, so I cut them up and put them in the dehydrator.  We store them in ball jars in our cool, dark basement using our Tattler reusable canning lids.  We don’t do anything like a water bath to create a strong vacuum seal, just tighten down the rings.  I have read that you can heat the jars in the oven before adding the product.  When the jar and contents cool down it will create that vacuum and hold the lid without the ring.  We may want to keep this in mind for next year because we have now discovered we have a shortage of rings for apple butter season.

At one point this past summer, I just went crazy.  I bought a 25 pound box of roma tomatoes and dried them all.  It took almost a week to run them all through the dehydrator, but they yielded six quarts of dried product.  Eliot Coleman, in his book Four Season Harvest, was a big proponent of drying because it saves so much on time and energy.  He makes sauces throughout the winter with them and so we’re going to give it a try too.

Drying is one of the oldest ways of preserving food.  The removal of moisture inhibits growth of anything that might deteriorate the food.  I dried our stuff much further than anything you buy in the store.  Think about raisins: they are sticky and still have moisture in them.  The dried foods I’ve made this summer are all like baked chips.

Thanks, Robert.