Did you know you can dehydrate frozen vegetables right out of the bag? Frozen veggies are one of the easiest things to dehydrate as the blanching prep work has already been done for you before they were frozen. Just open the bag of frozen vegetables and empty it onto your dehydrator trays. If the veggies are bulky like broccoli or cauliflower, you may want to partially thaw them and cut them into smaller pieces before drying to make the drying go faster and give you a more “ready to eat” size finished product. Dry the frozen veggies until they are crispy dry. The drying time will vary depending on the thickness of the vegetables you start with, but 6-8 hours is usually sufficient.
Dehydrating your frozen vegetables will give them a longer shelf life so you don’t end up with a mass of frost and veggies in the back of the freezer and it will also free up some space in your freezer for other foods. You can frequently pick up frozen vegetables on sale or with coupons to make them pretty inexpensive. Dehydrate them and you’ve got some cheap dehydrated vegetables that are perfect for adding to soups or re-hydrating for use in other meals.
Keep preparing! Angela
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I’m curious as to how you store your dehydrated veggies.
I store them mostly in mason jars. If they’re going long term, vacuum seal the mason jar with a foodsaver jar sealer or put an oxygen absorber in the jar and put the lid on tight. You can also store them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers for longer term keeping.
Practical Parsimony says
I have heard that about frozen vegetables. Maybe I should try it. Your times for dehydrating things are always so much less than my times. Could the humid South be the problem. I feel foolish drying something for 24+ hours when the directions say 10 hours.
Yes, I have a sister in Louisiana and she’s had to dry things a lot longer than the instructions say–humidity is definitely a factor to consider when you’re dehydrating.
Fantastic idea. I would never have thought of it.
What a great tip! Thank you!
And I’ve been meaning to ask… Have you ever dehydrated eggs?
I have not tried dehydrating eggs. It would be an interesting experiment, though. However, having once had salmonella poisoning, I’m scared of salmonella. I’d have to do some research before drying my own eggs. ;)
Melissa Grissom says
I have dehydrated eggs before you can do the raw or the cooked eggs and if you’ve already had a scare of salmonella or E coli then you probably should cook your eggs first and then dehydrate them and then once you have dried them out you put them in the blender and you pulsem until they’re powder and then you can store your powder in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. I can’t take credit for doing them I learned how on YouTube but it’s a great idea and a great way to save money or just to have eggs for worst case scenario shut down and yes I’ve eaten them and they tasted fine!
Are you using an Excalibur to dehydrate? Thanks for all your great information.
Yes, I use the 3900 model Excalibur.
I can’t wait to try this. I’ve been meaning to put my dehydrator to use! Thanks for a great post. Hope you’ll take a minute to check out our new blog.
Jenn @ Frugal Upstate says
I wanted to try some dehydration this fall to see if I would use the end product enough to really justify buying an excalibur. I borrowed one from a friend and did a ton of apples-then when frozen vegetables went on sale at a local store for a dollar a bag I did 3 bags of mixed vegetables, 2 of corn and one of peas.
I’ve been LOVING using them! The mixed veggies have gone into several different soups and casseroles-and I can’t believe how well the frozen corn re-hydrates. I swear-no one eating it would have any idea that it wasn’t corn straight from the freezer.
I’ve been hinting very heavily to hubs that I want a dehydrator for Christmas :)
Hi, I’m new to this, can the vegetable after being dehydrated be rehydrated and eated as if from freezer. In other words taste fresh.
Lisa, yes. They can be rehydrated. They are best in soups or casserole type dishes, but can be eaten plain after re-hydrating as well. To re-hydrate, boil in water (or soup base) until the veggies are tender again.
What a great idea! I never thought I could dehydrate frozen food. I gather it will take a very long time though, due to the high amount of water.
Excellent blog! I wish I had known about it before writing my book, as I would have added the link right away!
Is is possible to dehydrate canned vegestables and fruits?
If so …how do you do it…
I have never tried drying canned veggies and fruits. Canned produce is pretty over-processed and soft, and while it would dehydrate, the end product may not be as nice as drying produce that is fresh or blanched for a short time. Canned fruits could pretty easily be added to fruit leathers though.
I never thought of this. It’s one of those simple ideas that make you go..”duh! why didn’t I think of that?” thanks!
Great Page!I am really excited not to be only saving food that would have gone bad before we would eat all of it but to have a little emergency back up. Im curious though how long dehydrated food will last and what is the best method of storing it to achieve the longest shelf life?
Dan–dehydrated food will keep on the shelf for 5-10 years or longer if stored properly. Seal the food in jars with an oxygen absorber or foodsaver jar sealer or in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers for longer term storage.
Can you dry oven can dehydrated fruits and veggies? I don’t own a sealer and mylar bags are expensive .
To the comments about the eggs… I dry them and milk too! Easy as pie! I usually scramble/mix them in a bowl first or hard bake them first. I have never gotten sick ..knock on wood…also the times are greater in the south and humid areas….I used to live in Houston., Texas and it took much longer to dry anything ….or longer than it does here in Missouri, just let your oven help out with thicker fruits and veggies…spread it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and keep on low steady heat…250 is what I use…. then put in dehydrator for the remainder of time….I don’t know why, but they taste better if the last half is done in the dehydrator. Also if you bake your eggs in tin cups in the oven instead of hard boiling, they taste and peel better…and dry faster in the dehydrator!
Have you tried drying frozen fruit? Such as peach slices, strawberries, or blueberries.
I have not used frozen fruit for anything except fruit leathers, although there’s really no reason you couldn’t do it. Just make sure the pieces are small or thin enough to dry well (like strawberry slices versus a whole strawberry).
Rebecca C says
I have a cheap huge bag of juicing carrots I was thinking of dehydrating so I’ve been poking around your website. Please excuse my ignorance, but what is the benefit of dehydrating frozen vegetables? Do they last longer than in the freezer?
Thanks for asking! They actually do keep longer than in the freezer. If you vacuum seal them or put them in a jar with an oxygen absorber, they’ll keep for 5+ years dehydrated. They are also shelf stable, so it saves room in your freezer for important things like ice cream! And if your power or freezer ever goes out your veggies are still good. They do take longer to cook when they’re dehydrated, so it’s best to keep a few in the freezer as well.
Just wondering where you could purchase oxygen absorbers. Also, can you use the ones that come in products like medicine or new sneakers?
You can get oxygen absorbers on Amazon or through some emergency supply stores like Emergency Essentials or Honeyville. Oxygen absorbers are not the same as the dessicant packets in new shoes or medication. Those are moisture absorbers.
Dried eggs tips:
level the dehydrator really well (trust me)
only whisk 5 small eggs or 4 large eggs for each fruit roll up tray (trust me)
do not attempt to swap move trays for a couple hours if you rotate(and I do) (trust me)
use a coffee grinder to grind dried eggs
usually, the eggs are ready for grinding after 10-12 hours so do while sleeping!!!
Use farm fresh, free range eggs and no worry about salmonella.
Mine are as beautiful as the commercial powdered eggs I bought; prettier, more golden color.
48 eggs gave me a quart of dried, powdered, ground eggs. I sealed in mason quart jars using a jar sealer and my vacuum sealer.
Zira Luna says
Can this be done strictly in an oven on lowest setting (if so, for how long?) or by thawing, patting dry, then freeze drying (literally on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours) then stored? I’m new to this & have seen varying methods. Thanks in advance!
You could dry it in your oven on low heat–between 120 and 145 F. Use an oven thermometer to gauge temperature, prop the door open to allow air flow. There is no way to make food shelf stable by freezing it. Only by dehydrating, canning, or freeze drying (a process that is impossible to do at home without special (expensive) equipment). If you’re new at getting food storage, I would highly recommend getting a copy of my book, Food Storage for Self Sufficiency and Survival. Super in depth book on the nuts and bolts of storing food.
I dehydrate a lot of jerky fo my dog but it never lasts very long. My question is can you over dehydrate foods? I am always concerned that I am going to dry foods too long or not long enough so I tend to go longer on the time. I have an Exacalibur 9 shelf. What is the best way to tell if something is dry enough?
Vegetables should be crisp, and most fruits are good when they are leathery. The more dry they are, the better they will store, so it’s really not possible to over dry them. A good dehydrating book will have guides specific for each type of food.