Would you like to taste seasonal vegetables all year long without having to ingest nasty chemicals or preservatives? Then dehydrating your vegetables is the way to go! The dehydration process slowly evaporates the water from food, which prevents bacteria from growing on the vegetables. This gives the vegetables a longer shelf life without the addition of nasty chemicals or preservatives!
If you think that dehydrating veggies will affect flavor, then you’re wrong. Dehydrating vegetables locks in the richness of your veggies and enhances the sweetness of the veggies while retaining their nutritional value. You can dehydrate your veggies by drying them in the sun for three days, in an electric dehydrator or in an oven on a low temperature.
Dehydrating your veggies is easy. All you have to do is start with fresh quality veggies, slice them, space them out evenly on the dehydrator trays, add spices to enhance the flavor (optional), turn the veggies regularly, and your veggies will be ready when they’re crisp! Then, store in a cool, dark place away from any moisture. Dehydrated veggies reduce to around a third in size so you won’t have to worry about storage space. Once you have your dehydrated veggies, you can use them in a wide variety of ways. See our tips below:
1. Rehydrate & Use in Salads and Side Dishes
Since the vegetables lose all of their moisture during the dehydration process, you will need to add moisture for them to retain their usual shape. Place your dehydrated vegetables into a bowl, add boiling water over the veggies and rehydrate for 10-60 minutes or until ‘plump’. Or, soak your dehydrated veggies in cold water overnight.
2. Use Veggies as a Marinade
Throw in the vegetable of your choice to a blender and use the veggies as a marinade to add flavor to your tofu, vegetables or soy products.
3. Grind Into a Vegetable Flour
Reduce the amount of grains in your diet by grinding your dehydrated veggies down to a flour. Blend your dehydrated veggies to a fine texture and you are set!
4. Rethink Your Veggie Chips
Say no to buying chips from the store by making your own chips. Thinly slice your desired veggies and dehydrate them into chips. Why not make kale chips, beet chips or read about how to turn any vegetable into chips, just think about all of the packaging you will save!
5. Make Your Own Vegetable Powders
One of the best uses of dehydrated veggies is turning them into vegetable powders. You can add veggie powders to smoothies, to soups, to puree mixes, to juices, to sauces, to burgers, and to curries. Simply add your dehydrated veggies to your blender and whizz around until you reach a powder consistency! Veggie powders will liven up any dish, and it’s easy!
6. Throw Into Soups & Stews
Add a different flavor dimension to your cooking. As you’re adding dehydrated veggies to a slow-cooked stew or soup then you will not need to rehydrate the veggies. Just throw the dehydrated veggies straight in and simmer!
7. Add Flavor to Home-Baked Bread
Love sundried tomato, onions and mushrooms in your bread? While you’re making your bread, add your rehydrated dehydrated veggies, bake, cut off a slice and enjoy the taste explosion!
9. Eggplant Bacon
Dehydrated eggplant is a tasty plant based alternative to bacon. Simply, slice up a fresh eggplant and dehydrate and then rehydrate when needed and serve in a sandwich!
10. Funk Up Your Burgers!
Want to add a little bit of va-va-voom to your lentil burgers? Throw in your rich dehydrated vegetable powders into the mix! Try using your homemade veggie powders in our Reuben Burger recipe!
11. Get Saucy!
Using your dehydrated veggie powders, add water to make a sauce. Tomato powder can be used for a range of cooking uses. For homemade ketchup use a 1 part tomato powder to 1 part water to achieve the desired ketchup consistency. You can whip up your own sauce for pasta and pizza, just add 3 parts water to 1 part veggie powder & herbs and, presto!
Image source: Beet Chips