DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEHYDRATED VEGETABLES & THE BENEFITS
We all know how nutritious leafy greens are and how important they are to include in our diets. Besides being packed with a heap of nutrients that boost immunity and protect the body against harmful disease and illness, leafy greens can also increase energy and improve your overall mood and well–being. Dehydrating greens to create your very own powdered greens supplement is super easy to do and a great alternative to buying one of the many supplements found on the shelves of health food stores. Not only will it save you money, but you can also be sure that your at-home greens powder doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients such as heavy metals or additives or super high levels of vitamins and minerals that could be dangerous (check out our Dehydrated Powders page for further info on vegetable powders).
Instead of turning your dehydrated greens into a powder, you can also create various healthy snacks, use them for added crunch and texture in salads and savory dishes, or even dehydrate to preserve your produce and use in soups, stews and hot meals.
Whilst it may be necessary to blanch certain vegetables to help maintain the color, texture and nutrient content, when it comes to dehydrating greens, it’s not absolutely necessary. The general rule of thumb is that if you would eat the vegetable raw, then it's often not required to blanch first, although some might still require a short blanching time to preserve the color and general appearance of the veggie (more on this later). So, what are our favorite greens to dehydrate? Check out our list below.
1. DEHYDRATED kale
Kale is one of the easiest vegetables to dehydrate and doesn’t need to be blanched prior to the dehydration process. Dehydrating kale raw will help retain the nutritional benefits and save you a lot of time and unnecessary mess in the kitchen. It’s best to dehydrate kale when it’s in its prime, and the deeper the color, the better. To prepare for dehydration, wash the leaves well and then remove the middle stem from the leaf—this will take longer to dry, so it should be done separately if you wish to dehydrate it also, and most commonly, it can be ground into a powder to add flavor to hot soups/stews etc.
Considered a superfood, being that it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—including vitamins A, C, K, calcium, potassium, niacin and magnesium—you’ll find dried kale in many greens powders available in health food stores. Adding just a spoonful of greens powder to various smoothies and dishes will allow you to gain a multitude of nutritional benefits, and this is much easier than eating a plateful of raw kale to get the same results. Some of the health benefits of dehydrated kale include boosting immunity, supporting weight loss goals, improving bone strength and density, detoxifying the liver, promoting heart health and providing anti-inflammatory benefits also.
You can also find kale chips in many supermarkets and health food stores, but at around $3.50 for a small 20 g bag, you can save a lot of money by making your own batch at home and can even get creative with your seasonings etc. too. See our suggestions on how to enjoy dehydrated kale.
- Grind into a powder and add to soups, stews and various hot dishes.
- Create your own greens powder with other ground leafy greens.
- Add dehydrated kale chips to olive oil pasta dishes, salads, fish dishes and egg breakfasts.
- Season your at-home kale chips with anything from paprika, chili flakes, garlic powder, sea salt or parmesan and lemon.
2. DEHYDRATED spinach
Dehydrating spinach leaves is much like dehydrating kale—it’s super easy and doesn’t require blanching prior to dehydration. Wash the leaves thoroughly before dehydrating and remove excess water either with a paper towel or a salad spinner, but there’s no need to remove the stems of the leaves beforehand (unless you’re dehydrating big bunches of spinach, then follow the same steps as kale). If the stems are not fully dry, keep dehydrating for a little longer, but you will know when your spinach is done as it should literally crumble in your hands.
Because fresh spinach can turn bad relatively quickly, tossing out unused, slimy spinach leaves in your organic bin can often seem like a regular occurrence! Dehydrating spinach instead is a great way to preserve the leaves and get the most out of your bags of fresh spinach, preventing wastage of nutritious produce and your money too. When choosing spinach leaves for dehydration, pick fresh leaves that are nice and green, removing any damaged, wilted or brown spotted leaves beforehand. When arranging your spinach leaves on the dehydrator trays, they can be layered to save space but ensure they’re spread out evenly.
Dehydrated spinach offers multiple benefits being that it’s a great source of protein, fiber and antioxidants, plus various vitamins and minerals. Some of these health benefits include boosting immunity, promoting good heart and blood health, supporting digestion, improving brain function, increasing energy, strength and endurance, and providing anti-inflammatory benefits too.
Like kale, dehydrated spinach makes a great addition to a greens powder and can boost the nutrients of various recipes. Check out some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated spinach.
- Create your own greens powder and add to smoothies, shakes and baked goods or various breakfast dishes.
- Grind into a powder or crush to make flakes and sprinkle over breakfast dishes, eggs, pasta, rice and vegetable dishes or salads for added texture and flavor.
- Add spinach powder to soups, stews, savory muffins, quiches, or any recipes to boost flavor.
- Keep the dehydrated spinach leaves whole and add to pasta, lasagna, casseroles, soups and stews, where they will rehydrate during the cooking process.
- Make spinach chips and add various seasonings such as sea salt, garlic powder, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, lime or olive oil.
3. DEHYDRATED cabbage
Cabbage is not the first veggie you think of when it comes to dehydration, but besides fermenting, dehydrating cabbage is a great way to preserve this leafy green and prevent wastage. Whether you prefer red, green, savoy, Chinese, or a combination of several variations, dehydrating cabbage is super easy, requires minimal preparation, is fast to dry and can be used in a variety of ways.
Like its leafy green siblings, cabbage doesn’t need to be blanched prior to dehydration. To prepare, cut it into quarters, remove the core center and wash well, using a salad spinner to remove any excess water. Cabbage can be cut into strips approximately half a centimeter wide, and if you’re planning on storing it for future use, you may want to cut any longer pieces in half so they fit in jars or containers easier. Spread the cabbage evenly on your dehydrator trays, and if necessary for space, you can layer them slightly. You will know your cabbage is done when it crumbles in your hands.
Low in calories and rich in vitamins A, C and K, dehydrated cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and provides impressive health benefits. Dehydrated cabbage helps to fight against disease and illness, reduces inflammation, improves digestion, supports heart and blood health and can lower cholesterol.
Whilst many people would easily throw away fresh, unused cabbage, there are many ways to use it once it’s dehydrated. See our suggestions below.
- Toss it in a stir fry or add to casseroles, soups and stews.
- Make a veggie smoothie.
- Grind into a powder and sprinkle over various dishes or salads.
- Create cabbage chips and season with salt, pepper, chili or wasabi powder.
- Use in coleslaw either as is or rehydrated.
- Add to scrambled eggs.
- Use as topping on tacos for added crunch and flavor.
DEHYDRATED root vegetables
Whilst fresh root vegetables tend to maintain their quality for a while, choosing to dehydrate them provides a great healthy snacking option and a way to preserve the flavor and nutrients of your fresh produce to use down the track. Unlike leafy greens, we recommend blanching most root veggies in preparation for dehydration. This will help to maintain the color and texture, remove dirt and bacteria from the surface of the vegetables, and retain the nutrients. It’s important to ensure you blanch your root vegetables for the correct amount of time—both under and over-blanching can take away the flavor and color as well as the nutrients from the vegetable (see our tips for blanching at the bottom of this post). When choosing root vegetables to dehydrate, make sure they’re in good condition and they’re cut to the desired size prior to blanching. See our quick guide on blanching times for the below root vegetables.
Potatoes – 5 minutes.
Sweet potatoes – 7 minutes.
Carrots – 4 minutes.
Beets – 4-5 minutes.
Onions – 30 seconds-1 minute.
Dehydrated root vegetables make a great healthy snack and provide added texture and flavor to a variety of dishes and recipes. These days, you can find shelves full of veggie crisps at your local supermarket—think sweet potato crisps—but they can not only be pricey ($6.50 for a 100 g bag), they can also contain added flavors and seasonings that affect their nutritional value. If you’re making your own dehydrated crisps and snacks at home, you know exactly what’s going in and what goodness you can get out of it.
See some of our favorite root vegetables for dehydration below.
1. DEHYDRATED potatoes
Who doesn’t love to get stuck into a bag of potato chips? An easily addictive snack, you can now make your very own potato crisps at home with minimal fuss and the peace of mind of knowing exactly what seasonings/process is used to create them. Delivering the same flavor and nutritional levels as fresh potatoes, dehydrated spuds can be used in many ways, ensuring you get the most out of this popular root veggie and preventing unnecessary food wastage.
To prepare potatoes for dehydration, we like to remove the skin, although you can choose to keep the skin on. As with various types of fruit prior to dehydration, it’s a good idea that once your potatoes are peeled, you pop them in a bowl of water mixed with either ascorbic acid or citric acid/lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Following this process, you can then cut them into your desired size or shape, depending on how you’re going to use the potatoes once they’re dehydrated (once cut, potatoes will need to be blanched for around 5-10 minutes and then allowed to cool before placing them on your dehydrator trays). Potatoes can be diced, sliced, shredded, or even cut into french fries—the choices are endless!
Another option with potatoes is to dehydrate mashed potatoes—so boiling and mashing without any additional butter/cream etc., and then spreading the mashed potato onto a dehydrator tray. As the mashed potato dehydrates, it will break into pieces and begin to crinkle up. When the potato is completely dry, you can then place all the pieces in a food processor and grind it into a fine powder or potato flakes. If you notice any moisture once your potatoes have gone through the food processor, ensure you pop them back in the dehydrator, so they’re completely dry before storing.
Potatoes are packed with nutrients and provide many health benefits, and the dehydrated version is no different. A great source of antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and B6, dehydrated potatoes support good digestive health, reduce the risk of disease and illness, improve blood health and are naturally gluten-free.
Potatoes will be quite hard once dehydrated, so if you choose not to have them as a snack, you can store them and rehydrate them in meals. See our suggestions below.
- Add to stews, soups, casseroles or other hot dishes.
- Use as a thickener for gravies, sauces and soups.
- Rehydrate with water and either roast, mash, or make hash browns.
- Fry up in a pan to create your own crisps, and add your seasoning of choice—you could use salt, garlic powder, smoked paprika or chili powder.
- Turn into potato flakes and sprinkle over various veggie dishes or salads to add flavor and texture.
2. DEHYDRATED carrots
Carrots are not just for Bugs Bunny! Rich in nutrients, this orange veggie can be dehydrated and used in a variety of ways that will help preserve and prevent the wastage of your fresh produce.
Although it can be debated whether you need to blanch carrots prior to dehydration, we recommend taking that extra step to help preserve the color, texture and flavor of your carrots. This will also shorten the dehydration time slightly and extend the shelf life too.
To prepare carrots for dehydration, wash and peel them first, especially if they’ve been grown in your garden. You can choose to cut them however you wish, depending on how you want to use them once dehydrated (baby carrots you can keep whole, but they will take longer to dehydrate)—you may want to cube or dice them, slice or shred, or even cut them julienne to create your own dehydrated carrot fries! The next step is to blanch your carrots, and the timing will vary slightly depending on how the carrots have been cut. The thinner they are, the less time they need in boiling water, so for shredded or thinly cut julienne, blanch for around 2 minutes and cubes or thicker slices for closer to 4 minutes.
Spread the carrots out evenly on your dehydrator trays and allow them to dry until their surface has a leathery texture and they break easily. If they’re still quite bendy, or you sense any moisture, leave them to dehydrate for a little longer to ensure they don’t spoil when stored.
Dehydrated carrots provide a heap of nutritional benefits and can be used in a variety of ways. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, dehydrated carrots are high in vitamins A, C and K and high in fiber, potassium, calcium and iron. Dehydrated carrots enhance eye health, boost immunity, assist with digestion, strengthen bones and support heart and blood health.
Like potatoes, carrots can be rehydrated and used in many hot meals. See our suggestions for using dehydrated carrots below.
- Use in soups, stews, casseroles, rice dishes and stuffing.
- Rehydrate and roast or mash to enjoy as a side dish.
- Grind into a powder or use flakes to sprinkle over salads and various vegetable dishes for added crunch and flavor.
- Use in baked goods such as cakes, muffins or breads.
- Add to smoothies for extra nutrients.
- Create your own carrot chips with salt or your choice of seasoning.
3. DEHYDRATED sweet potatoes
Dehydrating sweet potatoes is much the same as dehydrating potatoes—you will follow the same process of blanching prior to drying, but we always recommend peeling sweet potatoes to remove any blemishes and dirty skin. Dehydrated sweet potatoes provide a healthy and satisfying snack given their slightly sweet flavor and are great for those going on long hikes or camping, being that they’re lightweight, packed with nutrients and can be rehydrated easily.
As with other root vegetables, blanching sweet potatoes before dehydrating is ideal and will preserve the nutrient content, however, you can also bake the sweet potatoes for approx 20 minutes instead of blanching, which tends to retain their sweet flavor and texture even more. To prepare, simply wash, peel and cut your sweet potatoes either in cubes, slices or julienne to create sweet potato fries, or alternatively, you can shred them with the coarse side of a grater. Another option is to pre-treat your sweet potatoes by baking and then either mashing or using a blender to puree and then spreading it onto a dehydrator tray to create a sweet potato leather. Just like fruit variations, you can enjoy sweet potato leather as a healthy snack as is, or you can simply rehydrate it to create mashed potatoes. If you keep the sweet potato leather in the dehydrator for a little longer, it will become more brittle and break apart into crunchy pieces easily, which is delicious on its own or added to various dishes.
Besides their delicious flavor, dehydrated sweet potatoes deliver multiple nutritional benefits that support the mind and body. A rich source of vitamin C and beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body, dehydrated sweet potatoes are also high in B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, including potassium, manganese and fiber. Dehydrated sweet potatoes protect against illness and disease, improve skin health, boost metabolism, support blood and heart health and help increase the feeling of fullness, which in turn prevents unhealthy snacking.
See below for our favorite ways to use dehydrated sweet potatoes.
- Make sweet potato chips and season with your choice of sea salt, chili salt/flakes, cayenne pepper, lime or garlic powder.
- Add crumbled to breakfast dishes such as oatmeal, porridge, chia seed pudding or even eggs for a touch of sweetness and texture.
- Combine with nuts and berries to create a trail mix.
- Add to soups, stews, rice dishes and casseroles.
- Sprinkle over salads or vegetable dishes for crunch and flavor.
- Make sweet potato leather and cut into pieces to enjoy as a healthy snack.
- Rehydrate and add to various dishes or as a vegetable side.
4. DEHYDRATED beets
Just like its root veggie brothers and sisters, dehydrated beets make a delicious and healthy snack (think beet chips) and can also be ground into beet powder or dehydrated for the purpose of preserving and then rehydrating to add to cooked dishes or salads.
Same process goes for preparing your raw beets for dehydration, however, you can parboil the beets whole, leaving the skin on, and after about 20 minutes, place them in cold water and peel the skins off. This not only makes it easier to remove the skin, but it will also make it easier to cut the beets prior to dehydration, whether it be in thin slices for beet chips, diced, or cut into strips. Whichever way you choose to cut your beets, ensure they’re an even thickness, so they dehydrate at the same time. With beets, much like carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes, the dryer they are, the better, and it will also prevent any spoilage when they’re stored.
Although you may think dehydrated beets would have a strong earthy flavor, they actually deliver a sweet yet savory taste that makes them a favorite dehydrated vegetable amongst many. Beets are also considered a superfood, and besides their delicious flavor, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals that provide numerous health benefits too. Rich in vitamin C and various B vitamins, they’re also a good source of folate, magnesium, iron and potassium, which support heart and blood health, strengthen bones, improve brain function and memory, and also provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated beets are listed below.
- Make crispy beet chips seasoned with salt, chili salt/flakes, garlic powder or even ground rosemary.
- Grind into a beet powder and add to smoothies, juices, soups, curries or even baked goods.
- Crumble and sprinkle over salads or veggie dishes for added texture and flavor.
- Store and rehydrate to use in stews, casseroles or various hot dishes.
- Rehydrate and either roast or mash and serve with a roast or choice of meat.
5. DEHYDRATED onions
Dehydrating onions is a great way to preserve and get the most out of this veggie before they turn soft or spoil. Dehydrated onions add great flavor to various dishes and can be converted into dried minced onions or even onion flakes or powder.
One thing to note prior to dehydrating onions is that the smell is very strong and can linger in your house and on your dehydrator trays for a long time after you’re done! To avoid this, and if possible, you may want to consider moving your dehydrator outside under the back porch perhaps or even into your shed if it has good ventilation. To get rid of the smell from your trays post-dehydrating, we recommend washing them in warm soapy water and even rubbing them well with lemon juice—repeat if necessary!
Blanching the onions prior to dehydration will also help cut down on the smell and allow for a faster drying time too. Simply peel your onions and then cut them into slices or dice, and then separate the layers before laying them out on the trays. You’ll know your onions are fully dried and ready when they snap easily—if they don’t, leave them a little longer.
Dehydrated onions are rich in antioxidants that support heart and overall blood health and are a great source of vitamin C and B vitamins as well as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Adding dehydrated onions to your diet can assist with gut health and digestion, reduce stress and improve sleep, support the liver and benefit skin health too.
Here are some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated onions.
- Create your own onion powder and use it to flavor anything from dips, soups, stews, meats, and veggies.
- Combine with other vegetable, herb or spice powder to create a blended seasoning or custom rub mix perfect for fish, meat or poultry.
- Rehydrate minced onions to be used in various raw or cooked foods.
DEHYDRATED cruciferous vegetables
It doesn’t take long for vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower to spoil—broccoli can lose its crispiness after 3-5 days in the fridge, and cauliflower can last for up to a week. Choosing to dehydrate these cruciferous vegetables not only extends the shelf life but also retains all the nutrients of the fresh variation, providing a nutritious snack or healthy addition to many meals and dishes.
To prepare for dehydration, we recommend washing veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts under a running tap and even scrubbing cauliflower with a gentle brush to remove any excess dirt. We also like to blanch these veggies for a short period of time, which will help to maintain the color and can give them more of a crunchy texture when dehydrated. See our quick guide below for blanching times.
Broccoli – 5 minutes
Cauliflower – 5 minutes
Brussels sprouts – 5 minutes
Like many other vegetables, these days, you can find packets of broccoli or cauliflower chips filling the shelves in the health food aisle of your local supermarket or health food store. Whilst they may be quick and easy, they don’t come cheap, with a 50 g bag costing around $4.50. Dehydrating fresh broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts at home means you can make a much bigger batch that will last you a lot longer than a 50 g packet, and you can add your own seasonings etc., so you know exactly what you’re consuming too.
1. DEHYDRATED broccoli
When it comes to dehydrating broccoli, no part of this cruciferous veggie goes to waste, with the stems just as tasty dehydrated as the florets, and filled with just as many nutrients too. If you’re going to dehydrate all parts of your broccoli, it’s best to do the stems separately from the florets as the drying times will differ being that the stems are much thicker.
As mentioned above, we recommend washing broccoli thoroughly before cutting the florets into as even-sized pieces as possible. You can then blanch both the cut florets and the stems (blanch the stems first before cutting them into bite-sized pieces) for approximately 5 minutes and let them dry on paper towels before placing them on your dehydrator trays. Broccoli will be crispy and break apart like a potato chip when it is fully dehydrated.
High in fiber and low in calories, broccoli supports healthy digestion and heart health and helps to control blood sugar levels. A great source of vitamins C, K and B vitamins, broccoli also contains minerals magnesium, potassium, copper and phosphorus and is rich in antioxidants. Dehydrated broccoli can help to boost immunity and fight against disease and illness, as well as reduce inflammation in the body too.
Check out our favorite ways to use dehydrated broccoli.
- Make broccoli chips and season with sea salt, garlic powder, chili flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Grind it into a powder and make your own greens powder combined with other vegetables.
- Add broccoli powder to soups, juices or smoothies for a boost of nutrients.
- Store and rehydrate to add to stews, casseroles, soups or serve as a vegetable side.
- Add to salads for added crunch and texture.
- Use in savory baked goods like pies, muffins or slices.
2. DEHYDRATED cauliflower
Cauliflower is much the same as broccoli when it comes to dehydration and the preparation process required. It also doesn’t last very long in the fridge before it begins to turn brown, so dehydrating this cruciferous veggie is a great option to extend the shelf life of your fresh produce and to create a quick and healthy snack for the whole family.
After cleaning the head of the cauliflower well under running water, cut off and discard any parts that may be brown or black. Like broccoli, cut into equal-sized florets to ensure consistent drying time, and cut and save the stems to dehydrate separately too. When blanching cauliflower, you may want to add around 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice to the boiling water, which will help retain the white color of the cauliflower. Following blanching and drying, place your cut cauliflower evenly on your dehydrator trays, arranging similar-sized pieces together, which will make it easier to check which pieces are finished and ready to be removed.
Dehydrated cauliflower is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, providing numerous health benefits and is considered a superfood. Low in carbs, dehydrated cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C, K and B6, as well as potassium, manganese, magnesium and choline. Some of the benefits include assisting with digestion, protecting against illness and disease, boosting brain and memory function and supporting weight control or weight loss.
Besides cauliflower chips, there are many ways you can enjoy this dehydrated vegetable. See our suggestions below.
- Make cauliflower rice and use it in various dishes in place of white or brown rice.
- Store and rehydrate and serve as a side.
- Add to soups, stews, casseroles or even baked goods like pies or savory slices or muffins.
- Create your own vegetable powder.
- Add your desired seasoning and make cauliflower chips for a healthy snack.
3. DEHYDRATED Brussels sprouts
Ok, we get it. Brussels sprouts might not be everyone’s favorite veggie, but if you haven’t tried them dehydrated, you haven’t given them a chance! A delicious, crunchy and lightweight snack, Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients and have way fewer calories or saturated fat than store-bought chips or other processed snacks.
To prepare for dehydration, wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly and cut them in half lengthways. Blanch for approximately 5-6 minutes if you wish (blanching isn’t absolutely necessary but will help preserve color) and allow them to cool and dry properly on a paper towel. We recommend slicing your Brussels sprouts thinly before dehydrating them as this will allow for a faster and more even drying time—you can choose to keep them in halves, but be mindful that the dehydration process will take longer, and you will need to thoroughly check each piece is completely dry before storing.
Considered a powerful superfood, Brussels sprouts are high in vitamins C and K and a good source of protein, fiber, potassium, iron and magnesium. They boost immune function, support overall gut and digestive health, help with bone metabolism, preserve muscle mass and repair tissue, and help maintain blood health.
Still not convinced to give this one a go? Try our suggestions below, and you’ll be a fan.
- Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder or other seasoning to create a healthy and delicious snack.
- Put in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and chili flakes.
- Mix in a bowl with pumpkin seeds and add dried herbs and salt to create a crunchy and nutritious topping for salads and other veggie dishes.
- Crumble over soups, salads, winter greens or various Asian dishes for added crunch, texture and flavor.
- Store and rehydrate to serve as a vegetable side.
OTHER DEHYDRATED vegetables
So we’ve looked at leafy greens, root vegetables and a few cruciferous veggie varieties, but what about some other delicious vegetables that are prime candidates for dehydrating? Sure, tomatoes are technically considered a fruit, but we’ve added them in here along with a few of our other favorites that, when dehydrated, are guaranteed to amp up the flavor and nutritional value of various recipes and dishes. See some of our favorites below.
1. DEHYDRATED corn
Corn is probably not one of the first vegetables you think of when it comes to dehydrating, but dehydration is a great way to preserve and store your fresh corn for future use. Dehydrated corn can be enjoyed on its own as a healthy snack and can also be mixed with other dehydrated vegetables to create your own dehydrated vegetable soup mix.
As with choosing other fresh produce to dehydrate, the quality and flavor of the corn you choose to dehydrate will be reflected in the end result. You want to use corn that is fresh and delivers a sweet flavor, which will give you sweet dehydrated kernels to enjoy in the end. To prepare your corn cobs, remove the husks and blanch in boiling water (don’t add salt) for approximately 4-5 minutes. Remove and cut the corn off the cobs carefully, running the knife down the sides of the corn. Spread your kernels evenly on the dehydrator trays and ensure they’re dry, brittle and crunchy before removing and storing.
Dehydrated corn is super low in calories and contains no sugar or sodium. It’s rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Considered a whole-grain, dehydrated corn supports gut health, boosts immunity and protects against disease, enhances eye health and helps with weight control as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Check out our favorite ways to use dehydrated corn.
- Use in salads, rice dishes, casseroles, soups and stews.
- Enjoy on its own as a simple yet sweet snack.
- Ground into a powder and add to hot cereals, porridge or granola.
- Use to bake cornbread, muffins, vegetable slices or quiches.
- Add to pancake batter.
- Combine with other dehydrated vegetables and rehydrate to add to meals.
2. DEHYDRATED tomatoes
Tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to dehydrate, and any type, whether it be cherry, Roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, can be used to create this deliciously sweet, yet sometimes tart, treat.
All you need to do to prepare tomatoes for dehydration is wash them well, cut out the top where the stem was, and then cut as you wish. You can choose to dice them into cubes or slice them anywhere between 0.5-1.5 cm thickness, and some tomatoes with more of a meaty flesh, like Roma/plum tomatoes, can simply be cut in half and dehydrated as is. If you’re slicing your tomatoes, the thinner the slice, the crispier the result, which is great if you’re making dehydrated tomato chips. However, if you cut them a little bit thicker, the flavor will be slightly more intense, and the texture will be more like leather than a chip. Either way, they’re both delicious!
As with other fruits and vegetables, spread your cut tomatoes evenly on your dehydrator trays to ensure the best drying results. We also recommend drying tomatoes on non-stick trays/sheets, as this will help prevent thinly sliced tomatoes from sticking during the dehydration process. If you want to add flavor to your tomato chips or tomato pieces before dehydrating, feel free to season them with salt or any herb blend you wish!
Dehydrated tomatoes are not only packed with a lot of flavor, but they’re also filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that deliver multiple health benefits. Rich in vitamin C, dehydrated tomatoes support the immune system, protect against illness and disease, assist with digestive health, help strengthen bones and keep skin healthy.
Check out the many ways you can enjoy and use dehydrated tomatoes—they’re all delicious!
- Season with herbs, sea salt or chili flakes and create crunchy and flavorful chips.
- Use as topping on pizza or in sandwiches, burgers, focaccias etc.
- Mix through salads, stews, pastas or casseroles for added flavor.
- Grind and make into a tomato powder or add water to create your own tomato paste.
- Add to quiches, omelets and various breakfast dishes.
3. DEHYDRATED chilies
Dehydrated chilies are so versatile, not only in how they can be used but also in the flavor and heat they deliver. Whether you want to make a batch of dehydrated chili flakes, create your own chili powder, or keep your chilies whole, the options are endless and either way, dehydrated chilies are bound to spice up any dish or recipe they’re added to. Dehydration is also a great way to preserve your fresh chilies, and they can be stored for an endless amount of time if they’re dried properly.
You can dehydrate any type of chili—big or small, red, green or yellow—and the fresher they are, the better. First thing to remember when preparing chilies for dehydration is to wear gloves and avoid contact with your eyes, nose, mouth and skin in general. The heat generated from chilies can linger on the skin and is not a pleasant feeling in unwanted places.
The time for dehydration will depend on what type of chili you’re using, but you can keep them whole or cut them in half, which will reduce the drying time slightly. It’s important to rinse the chilies well, remove the stem if you’re cutting them in halves, and if you wish to take out some of the heat, make sure to remove some of the seeds. Place the chilies evenly on your dehydrator trays, and they will be fully dry when they’re crisp and snap easily.
Besides adding flavor and intensity to any dish or recipe, dehydrated chilies also provide many health benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, dehydrated chilies aid in digestion, improve metabolism, boost immunity, act as an anti-inflammatory and support heart and blood health.
There are so many ways to use dehydrated chilies—see below for some of our favorites.
- Add smaller, whole dehydrated chilies to heated oil to infuse the flavor, especially in Italian pasta dishes.
- Add whole dehydrated chilies to curries, stews and soups.
- If you’re slow-cooking meat, add whole dehydrated chilies to intensify the flavor.
- Chop or blend and add to various sauces, salsas or relishes for added heat.
- Crumble and make chili flakes which can be sprinkled or added to various dishes.
- Grind and create your own chili powder, which can be used as seasoning over chips and vegetables or combined with other herbs to create a meat rub.
- Rehydrate by soaking them in warm water.
4. DEHYDRATED beans
No bean is off-limits when it comes to dehydrating. Green, black, red, white, soy, kidney or chickpeas—the options are endless, and they all make for a lightweight, healthy snack that are full of nutritional benefits. You can choose to dehydrate canned beans or fresh beans, but there is a slight variation in preparation for each.
With canned beans, simply drain and rinse the beans, then arrange them on your non-stick dehydrator trays evenly, so they dehydrate well. Canned beans will likely split open during the dehydration process, but this will help them rehydrate quickly if you’re storing and using them for this purpose.
If you’re using fresh beans, you will likely get a better-looking finished product, with fewer beans splitting during dehydration, however, you do need to soak and cook them beforehand. Once your beans are cooked, rinse well until the water runs clear and then allow them to dry fully before placing them on your dehydrator trays or non-stick sheets.
Dehydrated beans offer a rich source of protein along with many other nutrients, making them a great choice for those following a vegan-friendly diet. Packed with antioxidants and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron and zinc, dehydrated beans support blood and heart health, boost energy and immunity, improve digestion and can help to lower cholesterol.
There are so many ways to use dehydrated beans, see our suggestions below.
- Enjoy as a healthy snack on their own or add a seasoning of choice.
- Add to soups, stews, casseroles or any vegetable dish.
- Grind in a processor and use it to make various dips.
- Add to salads for extra crunch and flavor.
- Rehydrate and include in various cuisines like Indian, Mexican/Latin American and Mediterranean.
5. DEHYDRATED mushrooms
We all know that it doesn’t take long for fresh mushrooms to go brown and be past their prime, but dehydrating them not only prolongs their shelf life, it’s also a great way to make a vegetable seasoning that will no doubt become a new pantry essential in your kitchen. Mushroom powder is packed with flavor that you can use to season many dishes and snacks—you’ll wonder how you got by without it! Any type of mushroom can be used for dehydrating, but remember the more flavor the fresh mushroom has, the more flavor you’ll get in your dehydrated mushrooms/powder.
To prepare your mushrooms for dehydration, it’s important to clean them first, either by rinsing or brushing/wiping the dirt off with a damp cloth. Mushrooms don’t tend to absorb too much water when they’re cleaned, so this shouldn’t affect the dehydration process, it just may make the end result a little darker in color than usual.
After cleaning your mushrooms, slice them at an even thickness and place them on your dehydrator trays. If you’re planning on making a mushroom powder, you can cut your mushrooms into smaller pieces rather than slices, which will speed up the dehydration process too, and it’s recommended to line your trays with baking paper so the pieces don’t fall through when dehydrated. If you’re using mushrooms with larger, thicker stems, you can cut these off and dehydrate them separately if you wish (these are good to use for mushroom powder). You’ll know your mushrooms are ready when they’re leathery in texture and break apart easily.
Dehydrated mushrooms are packed with antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals that deliver numerous health benefits. A rich source of fiber, iron, protein and vitamin D, dehydrated mushrooms support the immune system, boost energy, promote good digestive health and strengthen bones and teeth.
See our favorite ways to use dehydrated mushrooms below.
- Make mushroom powder and use to season meat or vegetable dishes, soups, pasta sauces, casseroles and stews.
- Combine with other herbs or vegetable powders to create your own blended seasoning.
- Store and rehydrate and add to curries, stews, baked goods, savory muffins, quiches, omelets, risotto etc.
- Make sauces and gravies.
- Use as topping on pizzas, in burgers etc.
Whilst we may have listed our favorite vegetables for dehydration here, the sky's the limit when it comes to which vegetables you can dehydrate and how you can use their flavor and nutritional benefits to create delicious meals or snacks in your daily diet. Here are some of our other suggestions for vegetables you might like to consider dehydrating.
how to dehydrate vegetables
Pre-treating vegetables prior to dehydration is important and will help to maintain the flavor and texture of the finished product. Referred to as blanching (or parboiling), not only does it help to get rid of any germs and clean the vegetables of dirt etc., but it will also help to brighten the color and retain the nutritional content post dehydration. This is the method that we recommend to prepare your vegetables for dehydration, as it’s generally quicker than steaming and produces the best results.
With most vegetables, blanching is essential to ensure an efficient dehydration process and quality product, whilst with others that you may eat raw, blanching is not necessary. You want to be mindful that you don’t over-blanch your veggies as this can cause them to lose their nutrients as well as their color, flavor etc. (think broccoli when it’s overcooked and loses its vibrant green color).
To successfully blanch your vegetables, see our tips below.
1. Fill up a big pot with enough water to cover your vegetables and bring it to a boil.
2. In a large bowl or your kitchen sink, fill it with cold water and ice.
3. Once the water is at a constant boil, place a small batch of your veggies in the pot and time accordingly before removing them.
4. Once you’ve removed the veggies from the pot with a serving spoon that allows for liquid drainage, quickly submerge them in the cold ice water (remember to change the water as you need to if it starts to get warm).
5. When the vegetables are cool, remove them from the cold water with the same spoon (so the liquid drains), place them on a clean paper towel or kitchen towel and pat dry. Allow them to fully dry before placing them on the trays for dehydration.
See our rough guide below for blanching times for certain vegetables.
- Beets – 4-5 minutes
- Broccoli – 3-4 minutes
- Brussels sprouts – 5-6 minutes
- Carrots – 4 minutes
- Cauliflower – 4-5 minutes
- Corn – 4-6 minutes
- Eggplant – 4 minutes
- Green beans – 4 minutes
- Peas – 2-3 minutes
- Sweet potatoes – 7 minutes
As mentioned above, foods that you generally eat raw (except for root veggies like carrots etc.) don’t necessarily need to be blanched prior to dehydration, but as outlined previously with onions, blanching does help to eliminate some of the smell that develops during the process. Celery is also one that you don’t need to blanch, however doing so will help to retain the green color post-dehydration.
BEST STORAGE SOLUTIONS AND SHELF LIFE
To ensure you get the most out of your dehydrated vegetables, it’s crucial that you follow the correct steps post-dehydration and condition and store your dehydrated vegetables correctly. It’s important that when you’re preparing your vegetables for dehydration, they’re cut to a similar size/thickness, as this will make it easier for you to determine which pieces are dry and which pieces may need longer in the dehydrator. Conditioning prevents mold from developing when veggies are stored in a container by balancing the humidity levels across all of your dehydrated vegetable pieces.
Follow our steps below for best conditioning practices post-dehydration.
- Check all of your vegetable pieces after dehydrating to ensure they’re all dry—if you still sense moisture, continue dehydrating.
- Allow all of your vegetable pieces to return to room temperature post-dehydration.
- Place veggies in an airtight container (jars are a good choice because you can see the veggies easily) and allow a little room so you can shake the contents of the container. You don’t want to have a huge amount of space, however, as this can produce even more moisture. Other great options for storage solutions include Mylar bags, plastic containers, clamping jars, and vacuum-sealed bags.
- Over the next 5 days, shake the contents of the container to check that the veggies don’t stick and can move freely. You also want to look out for any moisture beads on the container and be sure that the veggies don’t stick to the sides of the container or to each other without coming off with ease. If either of these circumstances occurs, remove them and put them back into the dehydrator for further drying.
- If you notice any mold at all, discard all of the dehydrated vegetables. This means some of your dehydrated veggies weren’t completely dry before conditioning.
To ensure you get the most out of all your hard work, it’s important to consider what type of airtight containers are best for the storage of your dehydrated vegetables. At Commercial Dehydrators, we recommend using jars like mason jars, clamping jars or any commercial glass jars, but you can also use Mylar bags, airtight plastic containers or vacuum-sealed bags. We recommend avoiding any ziplock bags or freezer bags as they’re not ideal for long-term storage, being that both light and air can seep through relatively easily.
It’s best to store your dehydrated vegetables in a cool, dark place, away from light and heat that could potentially impact the quality of the vegetables and affect their shelf life. The purpose of dehydrating vegetables is so you can get more out of your fresh produce, and if they’re dehydrated, conditioned, and stored correctly they can last a relatively long time.