Freeze Drying and Re-hydrating Crunchy Vegetables

It’s the end of the final harvest time for many gardeners around the country. Cooling temperatures and more rain give vegetable plants a boost, so you’re likely to end up with more than you can handle. Traditionally, gardeners would either can or freeze their surplus for use in winter. However, those two methods tend to do strange things to vegetables. Frozen vegetables are easily freezer burned, and both frozen and canned vegetables lose their crunch when subjected to boiling water or canning.

If you have a Harvest Right home freeze dryer, the days of making do with soggy vegetables in winter are over. You can freeze dry vegetables whether they are raw or cooked. If you plan to rehydrate your vegetables, we’ve found that blanching them beforehand will help bring them back to that perfect texture. But, either way, simply spread your vegetables such as broccoli, green beans or Brussels sprout on the freeze drying trays and run them through a standard cycle. When the process is complete, store them in air tight containers or Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber so they don’t absorb moisture from the air.

When you’re ready to use them, rehydrate them with hot water or toss them right into your favorite soup recipe as you’re making it on the stove. Your rehydrated freeze-dried vegetables can retain so much freshness that they’ll even stand up to your favorite summer salad recipes weeks or months after they came out of the garden. Or, if you’re just in the mood for a healthy substitute for chips, spritz your veggies with a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasoning and you’ll be so glad you skipped the can of Pringles.

green beans on a freeze dryer tray broccoli on a freeze dryer tray sliced brussels sprouts


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I have found the best method of seasoning is a light dusting of Onion Granules (NOT Power) and Garlic Granules. I do not use any Oil of any kind as oil does not freeze dry and i want the longest storage time as possible. I cut the Beans in short segments, about 1 inch, to open up the ends to make a shorter dry time; same with Carrots, slice them in coins for more surface area. I steam in a shallow pan to retain more nutrients with the seasoning. Best of Luck. Love my HR now that i have the no-oil pump.

Most “powders” are actually granules. I found onion powder and it is so much finer than what I had been buying as powder.

Should I season the raw veggies (they would be tossed in oil first) or is it better to season after rehydration?

I do a quick blanch (maybe like 2 minutes), then toss with a little olive oil and sprinkle salt, then freeze dry. That’s what has worked for me for zucchini and squash when I am making veggie chips.

Some customers shred the cabbage, dip in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then in cold water, then freeze dry. It freeze dries perfectly. However, blanching is not a requirement, as many people have found no difference between blanched and non-blanched before freeze drying. Think frozen, as far as the rehydrated texture goes, but, is nice for soups, coleslaw, egg rolls, sauerkraut, etc., so many uses. It’s good just to munch on crunchy, too.

I just shred mine or chop and throw on freeze dryer trays after washing. Already to add to a soup or cook as is. I’ve even taken a bag of Cole slaw mix and freeze dried that so it wouldn’t spoil. I will use it in a soup.

I want to make vegetable and fruit powders so would it work to freeze dry them raw or do I need to blanch them first? I’m thinking that I could powder them in my Vitamix. Any comments, recommendations or thoughts? Thanks!

I’ve freeze-dried lots of chard and kale without blanching. Reconstitutes great in soups, stews, stir fries, etc. I wash it and finely dice then freeze dry. So nice having it on hand all winter to throw in things!

What is the texture of veggies & fruits when you reconstitute them? Are string beans and blueberries (for example) mushy when reconstituted or firm like before they are freeze dried?

Can you freeze dry green beans and still taste good or blanch them first?
I like to freeze dry them raw since I will have a heavy crop coming.

I appreciate any reply. I have ordered a large unit which is on the waiting list. I have the middle size for over 4 years doing the work now.

I love your company but also love the support team.

I have rutabaga slices and beet slices in my freeze dryer right now. I did not blanche them. I want to eat them as chips but maybe use them for cooked also. I think they will be fine without blanching. Not 100 % sure though. I didn’t blanche the beets either. Gonna make powder with those to fill capsules. I have had freeze dried rutabaga before and it wasn’t blanched.

Blanching vs. Raw

Is there a list of veggies that shows whether or not blanching is important?

THANKS in advance!

I have a ton of frozen veggies that I need to freeze dry. Is there a setting on the Harvest Right for things that are already frozen to maybe skip that step. I can’t find anything about it.

If you have a freeze dryer that is new within the last year it will automatically sense if the food is pre-frozen and know what to do.

Should my freeze dried broccoli stems turn brown after putting in the jars with oxygen absorber? The crown is nice and green.

To maintain better color for long term it is best to package in a mylar bag with an oxygen absober. Light can degrade the color.

I had 2 cans of dole pineapple juice-ready for expiry. I tested them, then powdered it.

Best pineapple ice cream and or cheese cake ever!!

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