Dehydrating vegetables is an age-old food preservation process which thwarts bacterial formation enhancing storage life with very minor variations of taste and flavour. However they could be made to taste better by adding pepper, salt and butter. With moisture level in Dehydrated Vegetables reduced to 2 % to 3 %, their shelf-life has been phenomenally increased to many years.
Dehydrated foods in opened cans:
You have to be wary of high levels of humidity and temperatures. In dry climate, the plastic lid below the opened metal lid though not airtight, provides protection keeping the dehydrated food fresh for some time. In humid areas and in cases where usage may take longer periods, you have to transfer the food to a different container after opening the can. Tupperware containers are suitable for storing such vegetables. For them, oxygen absorbers too are not needed. They are fragile, so they can take some degree of deterioration without basically altering taste.
When rehydrated after dehydration, it’s found to experience a weight increase from 3.25 times to 6 times which means there has been weight-loss during dehydration. This makes for easy transporting and handling.
Volume-wise, an increase is observed in foods and vegetables when rehydrated, excepting mushrooms. Thankfully, this is a welcome feature as it enables increased storage of Dehydrated Vegetables in constrained spaces.
Most dehydrated foods such as hash browns take not more than 30 minutes for preparation. But a few items like potatoes and dehydrated sweet corns take longer to rehydrate and cook. Barring other factors, dehydrated vegetables cook very well in a crock pot or pressure cooker.
Experience dictates that dehydrated vegetables and food are more nutrient than frozen or canned ones.
Cost of dehydrated vegetables:
Mostly, their cost becomes cheap when used by rehydrating for cooking. For instance, garden peas show a rise of about 3 times of their dry volume on rehydration costing less than canned peas. Carrots, cabbage, tomato mash, and mushrooms-all rehydrated are found to cost less in this condition except a few cases, namely rehydrated sweet corn and green beans. The cost is still less for bulk purchases.
While subjecting vegetables to dehydration, all unwanted parts are trimmed out, and hence for cooking on rehydration, only usable parts are available, and there’s no question of wastage in this.
All about some dehydrated vegetables:
A lot of vegetables are dehydrated without loss of their taste and flavour. They are then rehydrated for cooking which proves a great boon for the fast-paced families. A few are discussed here.
Potatoes are dehydrated and mash-like preparation made using a three-stage industrial procedure. It can also be reclaimed easily at home by adding milk or hot water within a very short time producing a real potato mash as you want. Dehydrated shredded potato is another vegetable item prepared like this. Chuno, a freeze-dried potato, another version of dehydrated potato, prepared by particular communities in South American countries is a very popular dehydrated vegetable.
Rehydration is done by boiling in water for about 15 minutes when both volume and weight increase. They are good only when salt, pepper and butter are added. But when cold water is added for rehydration, the result is not tasty.
When boiled for rehydration, the hydrated green beans show volume as well as weight increase. On cooking, these green beans look as good as canned ones. Both possess indistinguishable aroma and structure. Green bean casserole or any other recipe of it proves equally tasty, lasting for a reasonably long period for a normal family.
Broccoli is rehydrated through boiling in water when its volume and weight increase. It can be reclaimed by putting in cold water for 10-15 minutes. A famous preparation is broccoli cheese sauce made using dehydrated broccoli and cheese powder.
Cabbage is rehydrated by soaking or boiling in water when its volume goes up. And, during cooking weight increase occurs. Dehydrated cabbage is a most- used food item in US Military and most successful item in US food industry. Coleslaw is a popular dish prepared using this cabbage though its strength is less as against the traditional one.
The dehydrated cut onions are rehydrated when they are soaked or boiled in water when their volume and weight rise. Dehydrated pieces are matching fresh onions and can be used for all purposes.
Then there are hash browns, tomato powder, peppers, sweet peas, sweet corns and many other vegetables which can be dehydrated and reused at the time of your will by rehydration for quick preparations, taste and flavour.