Re-hydrating Dehydrated Food

Reader Contribution by Susan Gast
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So you have jars full of dehydrated food; now it’s time to put the water back in! But not just “any old water!” If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t use it. It’s common sense. The measuring jar shown in the above photo contains dehydrated carrots, peas, green beans, and potatoes. Yes, the humble beginnings of a great vegetable soup!

How Much Water To Add?

The rule of thumb when re-hydrating dehydrated food is two to one. Two parts water to one part food. If you have excess water in the jar after re-hydrating, just toss it.

Let’s take a look now at how much water these veggies soaked up!

Just look at how far up the jar they are after the dehydrated vegetables sprang back to life!

Should I Use Hot Or Cold Water?

If I’m creating soup, for instance, I’d use hot (as in boiling) water to re-hydrate my vegetables. Always bring your re-hydrated vegetables back to a boil. Why? If ANY germs are present, the boiling of the vegetables in the water will take care of the germs.

If you use cold, or room-temperature water, we don’t want to run the risk of any airborne germs getting into your open measuring jars or bowls. Also, using a glass jar or bowl keeps the “plastic taste” at bay. If you’re re-hydrating veggies (or fruit, for that matter) in non-boiling water, then cover the jars/bowls with plastic wrap, and/or put them in the refrigerator (especially if you live in a warm climate).

Back to making soup from re-hydrated vegetables: it’s OK to make your stock base first. I use the brand Better Than Bouillon. There’s no need to try to crumble hard blocks of stock; BTB’s stock is in liquid form! Makes it easy to add more of the stock if/when desired.

Re-Hydrating Shredded Dehydrated Carrots

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Look how much water these shredded carrots absorbed. These re-hydrated carrots are now ready to use in our awesome Carrot Cake recipe found on our site, Easy Food Dehydrating.

How Do Re-Hydrated Foods Taste?

For the most part, re-hydrated vegetables, and fruit, pretty much taste like fresh. The same cannot be said for meats though. They tend to be a little more chewy after re-hydrating.

I did dehydrate whole baby carrots once; they were, admittedly, a little spongy when biting into one. 

I look at it this way: it’s better to have some food stashed away for emergencies, even if they’re a little on the spongy/chewy side, than to NOT have any emergency food at all!

To read all of Susan’s posts, please visitthis pageon MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Since December of 2010, Susan Gast has operated Easy Food Dehydrating, a website dedicated to dehydrating fresh fruits and vegetables, and cooked meats. Susan teaches you how to safely store your goodies too — for long-term food storage. Keep your pantry full — whatever the reason or season!


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