5

votes

How do YOU use, prepare, cook your already-dehydrated vegetables?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 30, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I picked up a well-reviewed food dehydrator with which I plan to make jerky (grass-fed, as soon as I can source some sufficiently lean cuts), vegetables, and perhaps some fruits. I'm a single person and find that I waste a lot of good organic produce because I can't consume it fast enough. I thought, like my small chest freezer, this tool would help me be more thrifty. I also like the idea of having this dried stuff around for convenient grab-and-go snacks/meals.

Of course I'd like to know your favorite foods to dehydrate. But there's something more I'm interested in. Instructions for how to dry foods abound, but I'm having more difficulty finding recipes for what to do with the stuff once it's dry. I'm looking for good recipes and techniques for turning dried foods into palatable, convenient meals. I'd also be interested in surprising or novel ideas, if you've tried them successfully.

Apologies if this has been addressed here before. I searched the site first but couldn't find search terms yielding what I wanted. Thanks for any help!

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:42 AM

I grind small amounts in a small food processor.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:41 AM

It is more a texture-improver that I use instead of oatmeal. I did try grinding dried greens, thinking I might like green drinks, but it doesn't taste too good, and it turns meatloaf green.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I love kale chips, and can't wait to try them in the dehydrator instead of the oven. Grinding up dried veggies: does it act as a flavor/umami-type enhancer? Will my food processor handle it?

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:10 AM

The beef with figs sounds amazing--dried figs are hands-down my absolute favorite dried fruit, perhaps my favorite fruit of any kind. I suspect I'll be using these veggies mostly in soups/stews. Seems like a feasible quick-prep meal, for the office. I suspect dehydrated veggies in soups will be a big way I use them--I'm persuaded by all the recommendations to consume bone broth, but I really want something more in there than just the broth. It seems feasible to throw a mix of dried veggies into a baggie, grab a mason jar of frozen broth/stock, and whip up fresh soup at the office for lunch.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:05 AM

I'll definitely give mushrooms and zucchini a try. I wonder, have any of you been able to get sliced veggies crisp enough to use as a chip, for dipping into salsa or other dips? I love the idea of veggie chips. I guess I can always experiment--it's not like I have much to lose, especially if I have veggies that are either gonna get dried, or decay in my fridge's vegetable rotter!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 30, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Yep, that's what I do with mushrooms too. The liquid is a great thing to add to pan sauces.

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4 Answers

1
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 30, 2011
at 04:18 PM

Like Megtuo, I use the veggies in soups and stews, and grind them up into powder and add to meatloaf or meat broths. I also eat plenty of plain zucchini chips, or use them instead of wheat bread for mini pizzas. And, like Firestorm, I also make lots of kale chips, but they don't stay around for long. A really good way to keep zucchini is to rub slices with olive oil, salt and pepper and then dehydrate. They taste better than grain crackers.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:41 AM

It is more a texture-improver that I use instead of oatmeal. I did try grinding dried greens, thinking I might like green drinks, but it doesn't taste too good, and it turns meatloaf green.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I love kale chips, and can't wait to try them in the dehydrator instead of the oven. Grinding up dried veggies: does it act as a flavor/umami-type enhancer? Will my food processor handle it?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 31, 2011
at 04:42 AM

I grind small amounts in a small food processor.

1
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 30, 2011
at 04:10 PM

I've been using my dehydrator for years -- sometimes alone, and sometimes in concert with my freezer -- especially for drying higher-fat items like my special chili-seasoned ground beef with chopped figs, which I place in a glass jar, vac-seal, then freeze.

It's important, with dehydrated foods, that they be thoroughly re-hydrated when cooking. For me, this means that I use them a lot in slow-cooker or simmer-pot type recipes. The other alternative, for me, is to warm bone broth until the surface starts to swirl (but not yet boil), then drop my veggies in the broth and take it off the heat. I cover, and let it sit for 30 min. or so, and then use the veggies and broth both in whatever I was going to use them in (or drain off the broth and return it to my container of bone broth... good eatin'!).

Among the foods that I dehydrate that don't really require re-hydration, I make kale "chips" and dried, spiced, shredded roasted beef (which I store in the freezer and use as a snack... like beef 'chips').

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:10 AM

The beef with figs sounds amazing--dried figs are hands-down my absolute favorite dried fruit, perhaps my favorite fruit of any kind. I suspect I'll be using these veggies mostly in soups/stews. Seems like a feasible quick-prep meal, for the office. I suspect dehydrated veggies in soups will be a big way I use them--I'm persuaded by all the recommendations to consume bone broth, but I really want something more in there than just the broth. It seems feasible to throw a mix of dried veggies into a baggie, grab a mason jar of frozen broth/stock, and whip up fresh soup at the office for lunch.

1
8878af44f8881a95c4ba2006c06698be

(125)

on December 30, 2011
at 04:06 PM

I use dehydrated veggies in soups and stews a lot, especially mushrooms. You can rehydrate them in some boiling water, and the water makes a very flavorful broth.

I use dried tomatoes a lot too, and they're good on just about anything that a regular tomato would be good in-- w/ eggs, over a salad, etc.

If you have a dog they love dried sweet potatoes... not dried out too much, still chewy. I guess these would be good for humans too :)

Zucchini and summer squash is very good dried. Here's instructions, http://honest-food.net/2011/07/12/what-to-do-with-all-that-zucchini/ I've made this in a dehydrator too (instead of the method described here).

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 30, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Yep, that's what I do with mushrooms too. The liquid is a great thing to add to pan sauces.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on December 31, 2011
at 02:05 AM

I'll definitely give mushrooms and zucchini a try. I wonder, have any of you been able to get sliced veggies crisp enough to use as a chip, for dipping into salsa or other dips? I love the idea of veggie chips. I guess I can always experiment--it's not like I have much to lose, especially if I have veggies that are either gonna get dried, or decay in my fridge's vegetable rotter!

0
306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on December 30, 2011
at 10:56 PM

Our garden produced a ton of zucchini and summer squash this summer, and we found that the most space-efficient way to store it was to shred it, dehydrate, and freeze (the freezing is probably not strictly necessary, especially if you include a packet of dessicating agent when storing, but seemed the best assurance that it would stay good). They work well, either as-is or ground up into a flour, as thickener in soup. We also have some stored as dehydrated small chunks which we use in soups, too.

I've also made baked goods using ground up dehydrated zucchini as flour in proportions similar to coconut flour. They tend to be rather dense, and would probably be best mixed with some other sort of flour, but it tastes fine.

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