Purchasing canned fruits and vegetables is a matter of time, budget, and versatility most of the time. Additionally, you may can your own vegetables and then want options for using those canned vegetables at a later date.
Dehydrating vegetables is a simple process but there are some things you should know. Additionally, what type of vegetable will dehydrate best? Can you dehydrate your canned vegetables?
You can dehydrate canned vegetables. This may not be the ultimate option for dehydrating foods but it is totally doable. There are a few steps you should know about if you’re going to attempt to dehydrate canned veggies.
We’re here to walk you through the process from start to finish. We have several tips to share and an abundance of information surrounding the process of dehydrating canned vegetables and any special steps you might need to take.
We hope that you will keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dehydrating canned vegetables and more.
A Guide to Dehydrating Canned Vegetables
Some vegetables dehydrate better than others and this is also true of canned vegetables. There are also a lot of uses for dehydrated vegetables.
Here are some of the vegetables that dehydrate best and might be useful to remember when choosing which ones to try.
The nice thing about dehydrating these vegetables is you can use them however you want. There are methods for rehydrating them if you want to or you can simply eat them as vegetable-type chips.
Additionally, you can toss chopped dehydrated vegetables into soups, stews, and various other dishes and they will work quite well.
If you’re tired of your canned vegetables taking up space or you simply have decided that you want to do something else with those canned vegetables, dehydrating them is a great option. It’s not challenging and does not require a lot of extra steps simply because the veggies are coming from a canned processed environment.
Whether you canned your own vegetables or bought canned goods from the store, the process works primarily the same when it comes down to dehydrating those vegetables.
The Canning Process
If you want to understand how dehydrating canned vegetables might work, you first should understand both the canning process and the dehydrating process. We will break each of these down for you just walking through the basics.
Let’s start with the canning process. You can water-bath can your vegetables and typically be quite successful.
However, it is recommended that you pressure can your vegetables. This is the recommendation because vegetables are typically low in acidity so the pressure canning process is more likely to reduce the possibility of contamination.
Another thing to note is you can actually mix your veggies as well and have canned mixed veggies – which will often dehydrate just fine depending on your mix of veggies.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the canning process.
- Choose your vegetables
- Wash, peel, and remove seeds as necessary
- Cut the vegetables to desired sizes. You can do small diced square, cubes, or slices.
- Boil the vegetable(s) for about 5 minutes, in water that just barely covers the top of the vegetable. Season them during this process if you want.
- Preheat jars (this can be done while you are boiling the vegetables, or even before if you can keep them warm in the meantime)
- Divide vegetables into jars, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top. You can also add canning salt at the top of each jar for preservation purposes if you want.
- Be sure to wipe the rims of the jars clean and stir or press down to release any air bubbles.
- Place jars in the canner, leaving at least 1 inch of space between them. Be sure they are not touching.
- Fill with water covering the jars.
- Proceed to follow canning timing and instructions for your canner.
If you are pursuing dehydrating canned goods for cans you purchased from the store, the process would be quite similar. The primary difference is that in a factory, this process would be done in batch through machines primarily.
Dehydrating Canned Vegetables
We’ve shared with you the basic process of foods that have been canned. This just gives you some insight as to what you might be working with as you proceed to dehydrate your canned vegetables.
Again, while we mentioned home-canned vegetables and that process above, we want to point out that you can dehydrate store-bought canned vegetables with the same steps as you would home-canned goods.
To dehydrate you will need a dehydrator. You can dehydrate in the oven as well, but the dehydrator is recommended for the best results. We will share some tips with both!
Pros to Dehydrating Canned Vegetables
- Take up less space than canned goods
- Sealed packages that last for several years
- Versatile to use
- Eat straight from the package or use for cooking
- Simple process, just need a dehydrator or time for the oven process
Cons to Dehydrating Canned Vegetables
- If you rinse them they may lose flavor
- Results may be inconsistent
- Best with a dehydrator, but can be done in the oven
- Will be dry and brittle, but can be reused in many ways
As you can see from the pros and cons, there really isn’t anything to stop you from at least trying to dehydrated canned vegetables if you want to go for it!
How to Dehydrate Canned Vegetables
Dehydrating canned vegetables is pretty simple. It’s almost as simple as dehydrating fresh or frozen vegetables, but with an additional couple of easy steps that can be done in a matter of minutes.
Before we continue, we should point out that the best results for dehydrating vegetables really come from dehydrating fresh or frozen vegetables, but we think you will be quite satisfied with dehydrating your canned goods as well.
The recommended dehydration method is to use a dehydrator, but you can also use an oven if that is simply not an option for you. Here are directions for both.
Dehydrating Canned Vegetables with a Dehydrator
- Open the canned vegetable and drain really well. You can rinse if you like, but it’s not recommended as it could reduce the seasoning or flavor.
- Pat dry.
- Spread in a flat single layer on dehydrator trays.
- Set dehydrator to a low setting, approximately 125 degrees.
- Leave in dehydrator about 6-8 hours.
- When finished, it is recommended that you vacuum seal your packaging to maintain freshness. Otherwise, be sure they are very well sealed for storage.
Dehydrating Canned Vegetables with an Oven
- Open the canned vegetables and drain really well. Rinsing is optional, but be aware this could affect flavor. Pat to dry.
- Preheat your oven to the lowest temperature option available – preferably 200 degrees or lower.
- Line a flat baking pan with parchment paper.
- Spread your vegetables in a single layer on the pan.
- Place in the oven until vegetables are dry and brittle. This could take up to 8 hours.
- Monitor carefully throughout the day, flipping the vegetables periodically.
- When finished, vacuum seal and store. If you cannot vacuum seal be sure they are in an airtight means of storage.
The dehydrator and the oven take about the same amount of time. The primary difference is that in the oven you need to monitor the vegetables and flip them occasionally while in the dehydrator you can just leave them alone until they are done.
We hope that you have found this guide to be simple and informative and that we have provided you with the essential information needed to dehydrated canned vegetables.
We encourage you to check out the question and answer section for some additional information that might be helpful for you.
Can I Dehydrate Different Vegetables at the Same Time?
Yes, you absolutely can! You can keep it to one particular vegetable or do a vegetable medley. Be sure you are working with a vegetable that is known for dehydrating well. Most vegetables that can be canned can also be dehydrated.
Additionally, these instructions work primarily across the board for any type of vegetable. We just advise that you monitor them throughout the process as some dehydrators may work more quickly than others.
Does the Canning or Dehydrating Process Reduce Nutritional Values?
Canning and dehydrating both preserve nutritional values. If you follow the processes as you should, the makeup and nutritional build of the vegetable remains the same.
No need to worry that you might ruin your vegetables by dehydrating them. The primary concern of the dehydration process would be sodium content. Canning vegetables requires a certain level of sodium for preservation.
If you are at all worried about the sodium content, you should rinse the canned vegetables prior to dehydrating them. You can always re-season them for flavor if you want to have them seasoned in the dehydration process.