Drying vegetables

We have tried to dry many different kinds of vegetables, some have worked better than others. Some have become our favorites like red paprika, zucchini and mushrooms. Those vegetables are easy to dry and quick to prepare for cooking when you are in the field, which is good when you are tired and hungry. If you have more time and energy, carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli are really nice. A good idea is to already start soaking them at lunchtime so they’ll be ready to cook for supper.

How does it work? It’s good to use a circotherm oven, then you can work with multiply layers of baking-trays simultaneously. It’s really important to heat the oven at a low temperature, it shouldn’t be more then 50° C. Also make sure not to close the oven door, you want the moisture to get out, otherwise it’ll just circulate inside the oven and the vegetables will not dry. We use a big wooden spoon to block the door.

Some vegetables need a little precooking before you dry them, this is true of broccoli, cauliflower, fresh beans and root crops. Just boil them for a short while. Dried beans like kidney beans and chickpeas first need to be soaked (24 hours) and cooked in water until soft (this may take over an hour) before you dry them. You can also use beans from a can that are already precooked and dry them as they are.

All you have to do with vegetables like paprika, tomatoes, zucchini and eggplants is to slice them in thin and small pieces. Put them in the oven on some oven paper and let them dehydrate until they are completely dry.

Most vegetables need to dry in the oven for at least 8 hours.