Back to Basics: Drying Vegetables 3
Store containers of dried vegetables in a dry, cool, and dark place. Low storage temperatures extend the shelf life of the dried product. Check vegetables occasionally to insure that moisture has not been reabsorbed. If moisture occurs, reheat the food to 150 °F for 15 minutes, then cool and reseal. If there is any sign of spoilage (off-color or mold growth), discard the food. Recommended storage time is 6 to 12 months.
Water removed during drying must be replaced either by soaking, cooking, or a combination of both. Soak root, stem, and seed vegetables for 1⁄2 to 2 hours in enough cold water to keep them covered. After soaking them, simmer until tender, allowing excess water to evaporate.
Greens, cabbage, and tomatoes do not need to be soaked. Simply add enough water to keep them covered, and simmer until tender.
Many vegetables lose their fresh flavor during drying. For this reason, you may add flavoring such as basil, garlic, onions, and chili sauce during cooking to improve flavor.
Dehydrated vegetables are usually not used as cooked side dishes. They are best when used as ingredients for soups, casseroles, sauces, stuffings, and stews. You may use various combinations of dried vegetables, but be careful not to add too much dried onion or garlic.