I know this will get moved but didn't know how many people would look in Granny's Kitchen so I put it here first. I was just talking to my mom this morning about the lack of produce in several different grocery stores and that some of the fruit then goes back REALLY fast, and it got me to thinking about dehydrating what I have in the freezer.
How do you dehydrate frozen veggies? Do they need to be thawed and drained first? Steamed? Anything? Or can you just throw them on the tray, as it were, and let 'em go? I'd like to start doing peas, broccoli, kale, carrots, California blend, etc. and thought that it would be easiest to use frozen veggies. How about frozen winter squash? Does that come out OK?
VERY simple,put them on trays and dehydrate.The same blanching treatment is nessesary to freeze as it is to dehydrate,and that has already been done for you.Easiest way to dehydrate i have ever found.No prep work and no waste.
I usually spread the veggies out on the tray over the sink and spray them with warm/hot water, and then let them drain. It takes about a day to fully dehydrate them. Broccoli and cauliflower do not dehydrate well. They turn a brownish color and smell terrible... I learned the hard way.
Someone from another board, taught me that if you want to dehydrate broccoli, it needs to be raw (no blanching). It takes several days to dehydrate, and it certainly doesn't re-hydrate to its original state. We eat LOTS of broccoli, so this is not good. For my preps, I bought cases of freeze dried broccoli, in order to put into various dishes, but nothing beats freshly steamed broccoli.
I do fruits in my dehydrator, huge multi-tray unit I got on ebay. Fan driven with nice temp controller.
Once I used the RONCO [round] pos - unevenly burned or underdone things.
I find dipping foods in lemon juice and or dredging in powdered sugar works best for fruits.
And the really wet stuff use parchment paper or silicone mats, so they don't adhere to the trays.
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I just tried 6 lbs of frozen mixed vegetables yesterday. Carrots, peas, beans and corn. They dried "crunchy" dry very quickly, and all but a few tablespoons filled a quart canning jar. I'll use them for soup. When I do more, I'll throw a couple of O2 absorbers in the jars to form a seal for longer storage.
I did need to use my finer mesh mats on the trays. The pieces were small enough that they wanted to fall through. But jeepers, it worked very well. I'm convinced.
Here's a You-tube. This lady seems to have a handle on it:
Erik & I have been dehydrating frozen veggies for years. It's easy, fast and cheaper than buying the #10 cans.
We dehydrate fresh veggies from our garden also.
Totally agree about Broccoli, it really stinks up the house and tastes awful afterward.
When doing spinach we grind it into a powder to use in soups, stews, eggs or whatever.
We love our Excalibur !!
I've had great luck dehydrating broccoli. If frozen I just put it in the dehydrator. If fresh, I steam it for about 5 min til it's bright green, then into the dehydrator. It's been my experience that the broc needs to be green all thru, not yellowish under the florets like it seems to all be this year. That yellowish part will turn brown and look ugly. But I agree about not doing cauliflower. Nasty brown ucky looking stuff.
Remember, usually the frozen vegetables are actually fresher than the ones at the produce dept. at the supermarket...think of the time the "fresh" stuff sits around; at the farm, on a truck, in a warehouse, then on the shelf before you even buy it!
And I'm with the others, above, just put it on the tray and dry it - simple!
Here are a couple of pics of my dehydrated broccoli.
The first one is beautiful green broccoli that we picked from a farmer here in GA. I steamed it for about 3-5 minutes, and then put them in my Excalibur. As you can see, over a year or two, it has turned a horrible dark brownish color, and I don't dare open the lid on this jar. It originally was green when I first dehydrated it.
The second pic is fresh broccoli, probably bought from the grocery store. I usually look for the really green stalks, but they are hard to find, as Colorado Hermit said. I put them directly in the dehydrator... no steaming... no blanching. This jar has held a decent green color, although, the parts that were semi-yellowish, have now turned brown.
The conclusion that I have come to, is that steamed or blanched and then dehydrated broccoli turns brown after being stored for longer than a few months. The non-steamed, just fresh, right into the dehydrator, holds its original color, and doesn't smell funky and burnt. I was wanting to store broccoli long-term, but that ain't happening with the first way of doing it.
I LOVE freshly steamed broccoli, about halfway, so that it is still slightly crisp, with loads of butter on it. Neither of these types of preservation give me the end result that I want. The one where I just straight dehydrated, doesn't re-hydrate to its original state, and that's disappointing, but not surprising.
Oh, and BTW, each jar has an oxygen absorber in it. Anyone have any better luck with long-term storage of broccoli?
I haven't had any trouble with broccoli at all. But I don't dehydrate the big pieces but the smaller ones that you get when it is the "bits and stems" type packages. I honestly am confused about people's trouble with broccoli and I live in Florida.
I love dehydrating frozen veggies. So easy. I use them for soups. It makes making soup really fun. Broccoli comes out great; just did a 4-lb. bag of frozen last week. I have, in the past, just taken the bags out of the freezer if the veggies are getting old and dried them.
Some things that I know take longer I will start in the evening so they can dry overnight. But all that broccoli took less than 8 hours.
I tried drying frozen cauliflower once and it did not come out good. Potatoes (fresh) were a pain because there was so much prep work, but they came out perfect and I still have some in jars that I did a few years ago. When I open one I test every slice and they have all been dry as a bone.
What bbkaren said about frozen being fresher is true. I recently learned that fresh strawberries are sprayed with a fungicide to help maintain them during their expected long duration from being picked to being purchased; frozen berries don't need to be sprayed.
Something else I like to do is purchase the 5-lb. bags of frozen organic corn and mixed vegetables from Costco. The last time I did this they were still pretty cheap. They might not stay that way.
dehydrate2store has a load of super good dehydrating videos, she dehydrated cauliflower, it turns brown when dry but when rehydrated will turn white again according to her. She does a great job and has a lovely pantry, and her tutorials are easy to follow with great results.
Thank you all for ideas, don't know why I never thought about dehydrating frozen, duh.
Does anyone have any ideas how to make dehydrated butter......there must be a way since they sell dehydrated butter in the prep stores.....or is it all man made fat junk? Thanks, Night Owl
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