Rehydrating vegetables

Dried carrots


Most vegetables need to be reconstituted and cooked prior to eating.  There are a few exceptions like potatoes and zucchini.  The best way to reconstitute most vegetables is to do it in two steps.  The first is to place the vegetables in a container and pour in an equal amount of water or other liquid.  Hot or boiling liquid will shorten the time, but it will begin to cook the food.  Cold liquid works fine but takes longer. The soak time depends on the size and thickness of the pieces.  It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours.  Do not soak vegetables for longer than 2 hours or this can result in the growth of bacteria.

The second step is the cooking process.  While it is possible to do this in one-step, your vegetables will be more flavorful and tender if you do it in two steps.  The exceptions are leafy vegetables like cabbage, lettuce and spinach. These should be cooked and rehydrated in one-step.

The finished rehydrated vegetables should be near their fresh size.


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4 thoughts on “Rehydrating vegetables”

  1. Thanks Howard – I’ve never tried rehydrating in cold water. Then again, I’ve only rehydrated a few things so far. I have some dried carrots from our recent visit to the Miami LDS Cannery, and have been looking forward to whipping up a casserole with them. All the LDS can instructions say to use hot water, which makes sense if you are in a hurry. I’ve been wondering about that though; what if you didn’t have fuel with which to heat your water? And now I know.

    I foresee experimenting in our future… 🙂

    ~ Sandy Taylor

  2. While I don’t have much experience with rehydrating my dehydrated veggies, I’ve also just cooked them from the get-go and had no problems thus far. It would be an interesting experiment to try what you suggest first.

  3. I dried shredded zucchini, 2 cups per tray because that’s how much 1 batch of my zucchini bread/muffins takes. It dried down to literally almost nothing. Although I lightly oiled the trays, it was a trick to get it off–had to scrape it off with a spatula. Later I read you could use baker paper–might try that next time.
    Anyway, reconstituting was guesswork. I poured 1 cup boiling water over it, heated it a bit more, but it never got bigger than 1 cup, and was really watery. I said oh well, and added it to my recipe as if it were 2 cups of shredded zucchini, and it worked OK. Not fantastic but decent. Might try again with more water, but hey, it beats trying to find decent zucchini in the middle of the winter that isn’t all spotty or shipped in from another country.

  4. Here is what I know NOT to do when rehydrating veggies: Adding dry veggies to an existing stew will not properly rehydrate them. The sauce from the stew is too thick and your veggies will be tough. Rehydrate before adding, using only plain water.

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