For about $10 to buy a and a (along with a few scavenged items) you too can have your own DIY food dehydrator and make your own beef jerky at home! And to think I spent hundreds of dollars on an , lol…
A food dehydrator is essentially an oven. However unlike a conventional oven it’s a low temperature oven. Why do they call it a food dehydrator? Because it’s designed to draw out the moisture from food. To dry it out. Why would you want to dry out your food? Because certain foods that have been sufficiently dried out will be able to preserve without freezing or refrigeration. Foods that have been properly dried with a dehydrator will retain most of their nutrients. How does a food dehydrator work? It’s an enclosed space that typically contains food trays, a heater, a circulating
Kale chips (dehydrated), especially when sprinkled with spice during dehydration, are delicious! Kale, as many of you probably know, is very good for you. It’s a dark green veggie loaded with nutrition. I’ve read that it’s the most nutrient dense food on the planet. Here’s how to make Kale chips: The other day Mrs.J went out to the garden and came back with a bunch of Kale. I said to her, “There’s no way we’re going to eat all that tonight…”. She replied, “We’re going to make dehydrated Kale chips”. I like Kale and this sounded like a great idea.
When strawberries are in season, take advantage of it! Buy on sale when the market is flooded with fresh strawberries and use a food dehydrator to preserve them for later! Strawberries are a great ‘sweet’ addition to your preparedness food storage supply. Here’s how we dehydrate strawberries: We use the Excalibur Food Dehydrator. It’s […]
4 Factors That Affect Home Dehydrated Food Shelf Life Temperature Moisture Oxygen Light UPDATED: Nesco Food Dehydrator Temperature affects shelf life Storage temperature has a significant affect on shelf-life. The cooler the better! For every reduction in storage temperature of 10-degrees-C (18 F) the expected shelf life will double! That is pretty significant. […]
Two years ago I happened to make a particular batch of dehydrated chicken strips. The other day while defrosting one of the chest freezers we discovered a jar from this particular batch. Being two years old, I thought it would be helpful to be the ‘guinea pig’ and sample it, and report whether or not […]
When you think of dehydrating vegetables of any kind, learning to dehydrate cabbage is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. It sure wasn’t for me. As an outdoor guide who provided meals to my clients, I need to plan and prepare a wide variety of meals, especially when I’m guiding a multi-day backpacking or white water rafting trip. One of my main concerns is the weight of the food that I’m packing, along with the rest of the gear, so years ago, I quickly learned the value of dehydrating certain foods. To this day, I enjoy having a wide variety of dried vegetables, berries and fruits on hand to cook with and eat, cabbage being one of my favorites.
Why Dehydrate Cabbage?
Cabbage is one of the unsung heroes of the vegetable world. Part of the dark leafy greens group, it’s rich in vitamins A, K and C, not to mention folate, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and certain trace minerals. A serving has only about 22 calories, while providing 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
Did you know that per serving size (one cup), cabbage provides over 50 percent of the recommended daily vitamin C our bodies should get – even more than oranges? Or that one serving of cabbage provides 85 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin K? I had no idea. I just know I love cabbage, especially in soups.
Types of Cabbages
I’ve never met a cabbage I didn’t like, and there are plenty to choose from when adding to your stores of dehydrated vegetables:
- Green – The one most familiar to Americans, especially if you like cole slaw, salads, stir fry or cabbage soup.
- Savoy – Considered the “prettiest” cabbage, it’s often used in salads, especially with baby greens.
- White – Also known as a Dutch cabbage, it’s very similar to the green cabbage in texture and density.
- Red – Great, thin sliced in salads or used in a red cabbage slaw.
- Napa (Chinese cabbage) – Used to make Korean Kimchi.
- Bok Choy – Looks a lot more like Swiss chard. A favorite in stir frys. I like the leafy part in my salads.
- Brussels Sprouts – Looks like a “mini” green cabbage. I’ve called them hamster cabbages since I was a kid; my personal favorite, especially roasted!
As you can see, there is a great variety to choose from when deciding which cabbage to dehydrate.
Prepping this great vegetable for dehydrating is fairly simple:
- Remove the outer leaves from each head of cabbage.
- Stem and core the larger cabbage varieties. Those parts don’t dehydrate or reconstitute that well.
- Clean and wash, then let stand or pat dry.
- Cut or process the head into quarters, and then into thin strips approximately 1/8” wide. Length can vary with no problem.
- Remember, there is no need to blanch the cabbage prior to dehydrating.
- Arrange the the slices onto your dehydrator trays. They can nestle close together, even overlap just a touch.
- Turn on your dehydrator to the recommended temperature. Usually between 125 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dry between 8 – 11 hours depending on the thickness of the cabbage leaves. Don’t forget to rotate your dehydrator trays for even drying.
- After your cabbage pieces are fully dry, I suggest letting the cabbage stand at room temp for a night before packaging them for storage.
Storing dehydrated cabbage
There are a wide variety of choices as far as storage containers. For me, it depends on what my goals are. If it is long term storage, then I use everything from canning jars to mylar bags. I make sure to add some type of oxygen absorbers in each container. I don’t suggest using plastic containers of any kind. I have had leakage problems no matter how carefully I store and stack them.
If the dehydrated cabbage is for more immediate consumption, such as on an outdoor adventure of some kind like backpacking, biking, rafting or kayaking, then zip-loc bags will work just fine.
There are so many great ways to include and use dehydrated vegetables, including cabbage, in your meal planning and cooking. It rehydrates quickly, and if your recipe contains plenty of moisture already, there’s no need to rehydrate before adding to your dish. Whether you are crafting a casserole, or simmering a stew or soup, consider adding some flavor, texture, color and nutrition to your next dish by adding some dehydrated cabbage!
A food dehydrator is just one of many ‘tools’ and methods used to preserve food for preparedness. While no single method is ideal for all circumstances, a diversified approach to food preservation is recommended. The following is an overview of the food dehydrator and the advantages thereof… What Is A Food Dehydrator? A food […]