Dehydrating broccoli is easy and can constitute fun in the kitchen schedule. Well dehydrated broccoli has many health benefits and also adds pleasant flavor to so many recipes.
Broccoli belong to the cabbage family and is very delicious. As one of the cruciferous vegetables, it is very rich in the following important vitamins: A, K and D among others. Broccoli has numerous health benefits. Its high nutritional value makes it indispensable for anyone that actually wants to live healthy and strong.
In order that the high nutritional value of the broccoli be retained, it is of utmost importance that the broccoli be dehydrated appropriately. Dehydrating broccoli appropriately helps to greatly extent its shelf life without damage to the nutrients.
Steps in dehydrating broccoli
The steps involved in dehydrating broccoli are quite simple and easy to follow.
Select the broccoli
First select the broccoli for dehydration. Fresh broccoli free from bruise yields better result. Uniformly colored broccoli free from yellowing and flowers are preferable. The stalk and stem should be tender and free from slimy spots anywhere on the broccoli.
Clean the broccoli.
This may be done by simply washing the broccoli thoroughly in clean water. This is important because sometimes the eggs of insects may be lurking in some parts of the broccoli.
Trim the broccoli.
Cut the stem part of the broccoli into ¼” uniform pieces. The florets may be left whole or cut into smaller sizes if they are of bigger sizes. Cutting the vegetable uniformly is important to ensure uniform dehydration.
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Blanch the broccoli (optional)
Steam blanching of the broccoli is optional. But it may be performed for two reasons.
One, it helps maintain the natural color of the broccoli. Two, it helps crack the stems of the broccoli which makes dehydration a lot easier.
Steam blanching is best achieved by electric steamers. However, in its absence, the improvised pan-type steamer may be used. In this case, the broccoli is poured on the perforated upper section of the steamer. The broccoli is allowed to steam for about five minutes.
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Pour the steamed broccoli into cold water to cool. Drain the water and use a paper towel to blot out the excess water.
Spread the broccoli
Spread the broccoli evenly on the trays of the dehydrator. Better result is achieved if the broccoli does not overlap. This is often difficult with broccoli. Place the trays into the dehydrator and turn it on. Set the temperature of the dehydrator at 125 degrees Fahrenheit or 52 degrees Celsius.
Dehydrate the broccoli
Dehydrating broccoli takes between 10 – 14 hours. The actual time depends on a number of factors such as the type of dehydrator. There are quite a large variety of . out there. You may wish to check out on the . now at the amazons.
Some other factors that will affect the drying time include the environmental humidity, the thickness of the slices of the broccoli, the desired level of drying.
Depending on the type of dehydrator you are using, it is a good practice to turn the trays through 180 degrees to ensure uniform dehydration. This applies mainly with shelf dehydrators such as the Excalibur food dehydrator. The Aroma professional food dehydrator is also an example of shelf dehydrator among many others.
Start checking for dryness after about 8 hours.
The broccoli is dry at the first sign of brittleness.
When the broccoli is dried, allow it to cool. After it has cooled, unpack it from the dehydrator’s trays.
Package the broccoli for storage
Package the dehydrated broccoli for storage. This may be done using Ziploc plastic bags. When preservation is anticipated to be long, . should be used.
Alternatively, they may be packaged in glass containers with tight lids.
Better preservation is enhanced if they are stored in a freezer after packaging.
Broccoli may be stored as is after the dehydration or grounded to form broccoli powder.
Re hydrating the broccoli
Dried broccoli may be consumed as is after the dehydration, or it may be re hydrated.
Re hydrating the broccoli is also easy and simple. This is usually done just before use.
Re hydration or reconstitution is the process of allowing the dried vegetables to acquire
back water. This enables the vegetable to return to its original size, form, appearance
and color for premium dehydrated vegetables.
Re hydrating may be done by:
Boiling: Place equal volumes of broccoli and water in a bowl and soak for about ten minutes.
Bring to boil and then simmer until tender to your taste.
Soaking: soak the broccoli in water for at least one hour before starting to check for tenderness.
Dehydrated broccoli may also be reconstituted by cooking. In this case, the broccoli is mildly brought to boil for about two or three minutes.
Considering the numerous health benefits of broccoli, dehydrating broccoli the right way is very important. This ensures they are regularly available when urgently needed. Dehydrating broccoli makes it available even when it is not the peak season of broccoli.
The simplicity of dehydrating broccoli should be considered enough motivating factor to dry or dehydrate broccoli.
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Happy dehydrating broccoli!