Food dehydration is a popular food preparation method among survivalists and backpackers. It aims to eliminate water from food to make it more compact, lighter, and to prevent the onset of spoilage by stopping the growth of microorganisms.
Yes, it’s completely possible to dehydrate canned vegetables. It’s better to dehydrate canned vegetables that can withstand dehydration. For example, skip the leafy greens and dehydrate the solid types of vegetables. They’ll retain their firm structure and you can re-hydrate them for cooking broth or soup.
It’s important to throw in some dehydrated vegetables in your trail mix. This will make your trail mix look colorful and become more nutritious.
Reasons To Dehydrate Canned Vegetables
There are two main reasons to dehydrate canned vegetables: to improve their portability and to prolong their shelf life.
Canned vegetables weigh a lot because of the aluminum can. The water or liquid with preservatives will also cause your canned vegetables to weigh more. During emergencies, you need to be ready for evacuations. That means making sure that all the supplies in your bug-out bag are as lightweight as possible and occupy only a little bit of space.
You can pack more vegetables into your bag when they’re dehydrated instead of canned. Place the dried vegetables in vacuum-sealed bags.
Canned vegetables generally have a long shelf-life, but you can prolong it even further through dehydration. Microorganisms that cause spoilage thrive the most in the presence of oxygen and water. That’s why if you eliminate the water through dehydration and store the dried vegetables in airtight bags, you minimize the risks of food spoilage.
When dehydrating vegetables, make sure to work in a sanitized area. Clean your containers first before placing food inside them.
How To Dehydrate Canned Vegetables
There are different ways to dehydrate vegetables. The easiest way is to lay out the sliced vegetables on a tray and then place the tray inside a dehydrator.
Take the tomatoes and cut out the hard parts that connect the vegetable to the stem. There’s no need to remove the seeds. It’s also unnecessary to remove the gel-like substance around the seeds as this has nutritional value.
Cut the tomatoes to half-inch squares. Spread them out on a single layer on your dehydrator tray. Pop this in the dehydrator at 135 degrees Celsius for eight to ten hours. You can start by turning the temperature to 145 degrees during the first two hours to speed up the dehydration process. You should be left with bendable and not brittle tomatoes.
Make sure to diversify your peppers by going for different-colored ones. Cut them into half-inch squares. Trim away the fleshy parts on the inside. Place the squares on a dehydrator with the skin downwards. Set the temperature to 125 degrees Celsius and keep it running for six to eight hours.
It’s recommended to go for small white mushrooms or baby Bella mushrooms because they react well to being dehydrated. Cut the mushrooms into 1/8-inch strips. Since they absorb flavors well, you can mix in some beef or vegetable bullion into a broth before dehydrating the mushrooms. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Celsius for six to eight hours. The mushrooms should feel dry and leathery to the touch.
Dried cucumbers can be turned into crispy chips for snacking. Dehydrated cucumbers can also be used as ingredients for soups and broths. Cut the thick and waxy peeling off of the cucumbers. Slice them into 1/8-inch strips. Scrape out the seeds.
Arrange the cucumber slices in a single later on the tray and dehydrate. Set the temperature to 135 degrees Celsius for eight hours if you want them crispy, like chips. Set at 125 degrees for six hours if you want them chewy.
Make sure the carrots are peeled of its skin. Cut into 2-inch thick strips. You can also cut them into 1/8-inch thick coin shapes. Steam the carrots first to soften them up. Allow them to cool before placing them on a dehydrating tray. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit for six to ten hours. Dried carrots will feel pliable and leathery once done.
It’s better to use green beans that aren’t too fibrous nor fat. Cut them into inch-long lengths. Steam the beans for five to eight minutes before dehydrating them. Spread the beans on a single layer on the tray. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees for eight hours. Dried beans will be too hard to eat comfortably. Slice them in French cuts and rehydrate before eating.
How To Re-hydrate The Vegetables
After dehydrating, you might want to re-hydrate the vegetables to mix them in salads or use them to prepare dishes. The easiest way to re-hydrate vegetables is by microwaving them in a bowl of water. This might be impossible since the electric supply could be cut off during an emergency.
As such, you need to re-hydrate vegetables using non-electrical means. Boil some water over an open fire and throw the vegetables into the mix. Another method is to place the dehydrated vegetables in a thermos and then shake it.