With Sharon Peterson
- Most vegetables will dry to a crisp state. The veggie should snap and not bend when fully dry.
- The more evenly you cut your foods the more evenly they will dry.
- Vegetables are better to be cut smaller. This speeds up the drying time.
- Drying times can vary from 4 hours up to 14 or more hours.
Basic steps to dehydrating food:
- Slice or chop vegetables into small pieces.
- Blanch most vegetables.
- Lay out on trays in a single layer.
- Be sure air flows around individual pieces.
- The actual drying process can be with a dehydrator, in the sun and air, or in an oven
The easiest and quickest method of dehydrating food is to use a dehydrator.
The most energy efficient way is to sun or air dry. Air or sun drying works best if you live in a dry climate with lots of hot days.
I don’t have any experience drying items in the oven. It seems to me that it would be very inefficient.
Actual drying time will vary according to the size of pieces, temperatures and even humidity. Here are some approximate times for dehydrating food in a dehydrator.
Type of Food
How to Prepare
Approximate Drying Time
Slice tomatoes 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Peeling is optional, I never do.
6 – 12 hours at
These can be crumbled or even ground in a blender to make tomato powder.
How to Dry Cherry Tomatoes
Wash and remove stem. Slice in half and lay on trays cut side up. Salting or seasoning is optional.
6- 12 hours at
These will dry more leathery not as crisp. They also take much longer than regular tomatoes.
Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes
Peel and slice sweet potatoes 1/4 inch thick. Blanch 3 minutes.
4-10 hours at
I tried to make these for snacking on… like the zucchini chips. I did not care for them as a snack.
How to Dry Peppers
Remove tops and seed peppers. Slice or dice and lay out on trays.
5-12 hours at
Don’t forget to wear gloves when handling hot peppers. Leave the seeds if you want hot. Dried red peppers can be ground to make chili powder.
Peel or scrub. Dice or slice 1/4 inch. Blanch 3 to 4 minutes.
6-12 hours at
If you dry these diced, be sure and stir the carrots occasionally during drying. This prevents them from sticking together and will encourage more even drying.
Snap beans into 1 inch pieces. Blanch 4 to 6 minutes. Spread on trays.
6-12 hours at
Very easy to dry.
Dice or slice into 1/4 inch pieces.
5-10 hours at
Use diced dried zucchini in soups and casseroles.
Blanch and slice corn from the cob.
12-14 hours at
Use dried corn in soups and casseroles. Chew on it just as it is for a snack attack.