Broccoli is an amazing green vegetable with insane benefits. It can supply you with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, broccoli has a very minimized shelf-life, and it tends to spoil when stored for a long time. Due to this, many people wonder if broccoli can be dehydrated to maximize its shelf life and preserve its nutrients.
In this article, we will resolve all your queries regarding the dehydration of broccoli.
Yes, you can dehydrate broccoli. You can dehydrate broccoli without pre-cooking it; however, if you steam it for a few minutes prior to dehydrating, it will retain its color well. In addition to that, it will rehydrate in a better way.
In order to store broccoli for a long period, it is essential to dehydrate it first. Dehydrating the broccoli will prevent any yeast or mold from growing, indirectly preventing it from rotting. Here we will discuss six easy-to-follow methods of dehydrating broccoli.
Dehydrating broccoli in the dehydrator will provide you with the best results compared to any other dehydration method. Moreover, the dehydrator dries broccoli evenly and quickly.
- You need to thoroughly wash the broccoli flowers in a sink under running water.
- Next, you need to submerge the broccoli flowers in saltwater for 10-15 minutes. Soaking broccoli in salt water will help take out insects, dirt, or eggs from it, leaving behind clean, fresh broccoli.
- In case you want greener florets, you can steam or blanch the broccoli after washing it.
- Slice down the florets into smaller pieces. Make sure that all the pieces have a similar size to ensure even dehydration.
- Arrange all the tiny broccoli pieces on a dehydrator’s rack. Make sure none of the pieces are overlapping; this will ensure even dehydration among all the pieces.
- Set the dehydrator’s temperature to 140°F-180°F and let the broccoli dehydrate for 6-8 hours.
- Keep checking the broccoli, and take them out once you are sure that they have dried enough. To check, take one piece of the dehydrated broccoli and break it. If it breaks like a potato chip, you should know it is well dehydrated.
- Let your freshly dehydrated broccoli cool down for around 10-15 minutes prior to storing it in an air-tight container.
This method is time-consuming. However, it works effectively in dehydrating broccoli.
- Wash the broccoli under running water.
- Soak the broccoli florets in salt water for 10-15 minutes to get rid of any insects, dirt, and eggs.
- Slice the broccoli florets thinly. Make sure that you have chopped each piece into the same size to get even dehydration.
- Place all the chopped broccoli florets and stems onto an oven tray. Make sure to arrange the pieces with an even gap that will allow air to circulate.
- Put the oven tray with broccoli pieces inside the oven and set its temperature to 140°F or make use of “keep warm” settings.
- Leave your oven door ajar in order to ensure air circulation. You will know that your broccoli has dried properly once it turns crispy.
Tip: Place an electric fan in front of the slightly opened oven door; this will ensure improved air circulation.
This method is comparatively an easy and uncomplicated method to dehydrate broccoli. Plus, it takes a lot less time.
- Wash the broccoli florets and stem thoroughly.
- Place the broccoli in salt water for 10-15 minutes for proper cleaning.
- Chop the broccoli florets into tiny and thin pieces. Make sure to cut them into equal sizes for uniform dehydration.
- You can include stems of broccoli as well cut them into equal pieces.
- Place the broccoli pieces on a microwave tray, make sure to leave enough gaps between them for air circulation.
- Put the tray in the microwave and set the microwave settings to “defrost”. Let the broccoli dry for 30 minutes.
- If the broccoli is still moist, put it in the microwave for another 10 minutes.
This is the most natural method to dehydrate broccoli. However, sun-drying broccoli is not very effective as it requires specific conditions such as continual exposure to direct sunlight and a humidity level of at least 20%. Moreover, it takes quite a long time to sun-dry broccoli.
- Wash broccoli thoroughly with running water.
- Let the broccoli sit in salt water for 10-15 minutes in order to remove eggs, dirt, and insects present in it.
- Grab a sharp knife and slice the broccoli into smaller pieces. Make sure all the pieces have a similar size in order to ensure even drying.
- Find a huge tray and cover it with a clean cloth.
- Place all the pieces of sliced broccoli onto that tray. Make sure to leave gaps among the pieces and arrange them evenly all over the tray.
- Put a clear glass on top of that tray; this will speed up the drying process significantly and protect the broccoli from bugs and insects.
- Now, place this tray in a spot where direct sunlight is guaranteed.
- Let the broccoli sun-dry for 2-4 days. Don’t forget to flip the sides every 3 hours in order to get even dehydration.
Tip: Make sure to bring the tray inside at night or if it rains.
This procedure is known as lyophilization. What happens basically is that moisture is completely extracted from a vegetable by making use of either vacuum or freezer.
- Wash broccoli thoroughly with running water in the sink.
- Dip broccoli in salt water for 10-15 minutes to remove eggs, dirt, and insects present in it.
- Grab a knife and chop the broccoli into tiny pieces. Make sure all the pieces are equal in size; this will ensure even dehydration.
- Grab a huge tray and arrange all the broccoli pieces evenly on it.
- Cover the tray with a clean cloth.
- Place the tray inside the freezer overnight, and set the temperature to the lowest.
- After placing the broccoli in the freezer for one night, examine whether it has frozen or not.
- Let the broccoli freeze for an additional 2 weeks.
- Now, take out one broccoli piece and check it. If it turns black after a few minutes pass, it has not dried completely yet.
Commercially sold frozen products are already prepped for dehydration. In this case, you do not need to wash them, and you can proceed with the dehydration process.
- Sort out your store-bought frozen broccoli by size. This will help in uniform dehydration.
- Arrange all the pieces on a tray evenly.
- Place the tray which has frozen broccoli inside the dehydrator.
- Set the dehydrator’s temperature to 125°F/52°C and let the broccoli dehydrate for 6-8 hours.
- Examine the broccoli for dehydration after it has cooled down.
Once the broccoli has been dehydrated, it can again be rehydrated for use in everyday cooking. All you need to do for rehydrating broccoli is either let it sit in hot water for 15-30 minutes or soak it in water in the freezer overnight.
You don’t need to cook broccoli before dehydrating it; however, it is recommended to do so. This is because pre-cooking broccoli prior to dehydration preserves its color in a better way. Moreover, it helps broccoli to rehydrate in a much better texture.
Yes, you can conveniently dehydrate frozen broccoli. In fact, there is a method that uses frozen broccoli for dehydration.
It will take you around 6-14 hours to dehydrate frozen broccoli.
You simply need to grab a huge tray and arrange pieces of dried broccoli on it evenly. Then, cover the tray with a clean cloth and put it in the freezer overnight.
Broccoli that has been dehydrated, conditioned, and stored in an ideal manner will last for 1-2 years. It can even last longer than that, but you can store dried broccoli for 1-2 years on average. However, you should keep in mind that the texture and color of dehydrated broccoli will begin degrading as time passes.
It is ideal to consume dehydrated vegetables and other edible items, for instance, dehydrated mushrooms, within 2 years.
Yes, dehydrated broccoli is completely edible. In fact, it is healthy for you; it can supply you with a variety of vitamins and fiber. Freeze-dried broccoli is a common food item for hikers and campers. Moreover, it is a great alternative for people who do not cook on a daily basis and have to discard their vegetables due to mold.
All the methods mentioned above will aid you greatly in dehydrating your broccoli and increasing its shelf life for proper storage. Dehydrated broccoli is undoubtedly one of the best food alternatives that can serve as an emergency food supply for you! Moreover, it is rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants!
We hope the tips and methods given above were sufficient. Happy dehydrating!
Also read our article on dried jello!