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CaseyD

dehydrating vegetables

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I'm considering buying a dehydrator after years of making beef jerky in the oven (and always discovering that it is just not that good). I'm kind of over the jerky at this point, but I'm thinking about dehydrating vegetables into chips since I've found my toddler will actually eat dried veggies!

My question is, what veggies do you like to dehydrate? I only really know dehydrated kale, zucchini and tomato. I want to make it worth spending the money on.

Or, if I'm clueless here and dehydrating is actually not a good thing to do to veggies (nutrient wise), please let me know. The goal is to get more veggie nutrients to the little one.

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I'm with Robin on this one. I'm sure someone could make a case against dehydrating veggies as not being "optimal", but if your kid will eat those over cheerios, than I say go for it!

Could also do beets, sweet potato, and carrots

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Hey, Casey, I borrowed my friend's dehydrator and plan to try sweet potato chips this week. Carrots and apples should also be good, and I plan to do collard chips instead of kale (because they are flat and easier to work with). If the sweet potato chips come out well, I may try plantain chips, too.

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Have you tried sweet potato chips yet? How did they turn out and how did you do them? I am borrowing my sister's dehydrator and want to do as much as possible. Thanks.

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I have an Excalibur dehydrator, and I use it all the time.

For veggies and fruits I have done zuke and summer squash chips, apple chips, jicama "fries", kale and other green chips, sweet potato chips, dried herbs, "sun-dried" tomatoes, Strawberries, peach slices, banana chips, fruit leather (which contains only fruit, no added sugar)...also dehydrated onions, which are AMAZING - they taste like onion rings!

There are some tricks - w. the veggie chips, you want to make sure you cut them thin enough to crisp up, but not too thin that they dehydrate to nothing. Some savory chips benefit from a soaking in say coconut aminos prior, to get a bit of salty flavor, as a chip would have. Sweet potato chips taste great w.a bit of cinnamon on them....hope this helps!!

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Sharon, did you need to steam the sweet potatoes first? I have my sister in laws excaliber and it mentions steaming veggies first. But then I watched a youtube demo and they were not steamed. They were tossed in evo and seasoned. Do you also use evo or just season with cinnamon? Thanks for your reply. I did banana chips today. Now I need to hide them until our trip!

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Sharon, did you need to steam the sweet potatoes first? I have my sister in laws excaliber and it mentions steaming veggies first. But then I watched a youtube demo and they were not steamed. They were tossed in evo and seasoned. Do you also use evo or just season with cinnamon? Thanks for your reply. I did banana chips today. Now I need to hide them until our trip!

I have never steamed the sweet potatoes before dehydrating them. You can use the oil or leave it off - the trick really is getting the right thickness. If too thick, they won't dehydrate correctly, too thin and they'll shrink to nothing. How'd your banana chips come out?

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The advantage of steaming or blanching briefly is that it stops enzyme activity from breaking down nutrients, texture and color in the food while they are dehydrating and in storage. It's not that important IMO if your going to be eating the dehydrated stuff as snacks within a short time. If you're going to store anything, I'd go with blanching in boiling water. http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09308.html

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Sharon and Kayell, thankyou! Tomorrow I do the sweet potatoes!

The banana chips turned out okay. My daughter likes them, of course she likes everything...the banana flavor is a little strong, but mixed with nuts, it should be alright.

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I put in collards, green beans, and sweet potatoes today. The collards finished quickly, of course, and my daughter went NUTS for them, to my surprise. I didn't have any right away and they were pretty soggy when I did try them but I'm glad she loved them. I think I used too much oil.

I hope the other stuff comes out well. The sweet potatoes shrank a ton but aren't crispy yet. I did taste one and it was definitely not ready. It also tasted kind of weird. So far I'm not hugely impressed but I am still hoping.

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