Dehydrating Vegetables: A Unique Way to Preserve Your Harvest

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Looking for a good way to preserve some of your summer garden’s bounty? Try dehydrating vegetables from your garden! Here’s how…

This time of year, many of us gardeners are almost literally rolling in vegetables. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, okra, beans – the harvest is in full swing!  If you have a good-sized garden, the bounty can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Preserving some of your harvest for future use is a necessity if you want to keep all that fresh produce from going to waste!

Canning, freezing, pickling, and drying or dehydrating are a few of the most common ways to preserve your harvest for the colder months.

Some of these methods require more effort than others, and most gardeners will choose a variety of methods to suit their particular needs.

One preservation method that doesn’t always get as much press as canning or freezing is dehydration. Electric dehydrators are readily available and affordable, but some gardeners choose to build and use a solar dehydrator instead, or you can also dry produce using your oven.

Whichever method you choose, this can be a great way to save some of that gardening goodness that’s currently coming your way, and enjoy it during the months when your garden isn’t doing much!

This article shares some helpful tips for dehydrating vegetables, and some reasons why you might want to consider doing so, plus an A-Z list of how to dry each kind of vegetable:

There’s so much to love about dehydrating vegetables. Once dehydrated, they take very little room to store. Nutrients aren’t destroyed as they are with canning. If the electricity goes out for an extended time, nothing is spoiled. And dehydrated veggies can store for years.

Most vegetables can be dehydrated; some require blanching first, but for many vegetables, prep is as simple as chopping or slicing….

Good Practices

Two important factors are necessary for dehydration to take place – heat and air circulation. The heat pulls the moisture from your vegetables, and air circulation moves the moisture so that it can evaporate. Therefore, where you place your dehydrator is an important factor. Using it in a very damp basement, for example, will prevent proper drying.

For the most successful results, be sure to use vegetables at the peak of their ripeness. Freshly harvested from your garden is ideal. The low temperature used in dehydrating vegetables helps to preserve nutrients.

There are many ways to dehydrate including sun drying, oven drying, or using an electric dehydrator….

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Storing Your Dehydrated Vegetables

Be sure to allow your vegetables to cool before packaging and storing. Any clean, airtight container will work. While you don’t want to re-use jars from store-bought items for canning, they are perfectly fine for your dehydrated vegetables. Zip-lock bags also work well.

Label your containers with the item and date….

After packing, don’t store your containers immediately. Check them after 24 hours or so to be certain that no moisture has formed. If all is well, you can then store them in a cool, dry, and dark area.

A to Z Guide to Dehydrating Vegetables

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See the A-Z List at LearningAndYearning.com

Image Source: LearningAndYearning.com

 

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