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How to Dehydrate Broccoli for long term storage.


Dehydrated Broccoli in Jars
Dehydrated Broccoli

Some of you may think: why on earth would you want to dehydrate broccoli? Well, broccoli like many other veg actually dehydrate very well and as it offers an array of health benefits, even after it has been dehydrated, it is a very good thing to stock in your pantry.


Let’s cover nutritional values first :


Dehydrated or dried broccoli retains much of its nutritional value, including essential vitamins and minerals. Here's a general overview of the nutritional content you can expect in dehydrated broccoli based on a 30g portion:


- 50/60 calories

- 2/3g of protein

- 2/3g of fiber

- 1/2 milligrams of iron

- 15-25 milligrams of Vitamin C

-80- 100 micro grams of vitamin K

- 15/20 micrograms of B vitamin


While dehydrated broccoli contains some calcium as well, it's not as high as in fresh broccoli or dairy products. On average, you can expect around 30-50 milligrams of calcium per 30g serving.

Dehydrated broccoli also contains beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A. 30g serving may offer about 200-300 IU (International Units) of vitamin A.


It's important to note that the nutritional values mentioned here are approximate and can vary based on factors like the drying process, storage conditions, and the specific variety of broccoli used. Despite the loss of moisture during dehydration, dehydrated broccoli retains many of its essential nutrients, making it a convenient and nutritious ingredient for various recipes, especially when the fresh produce could be scares.



Why Dehydrate Broccoli?


Dehydrated broccoli offers several benefits, making it a convenient and nutritious addition to your pantry. Here are some of the advantages:


1. **Extended Shelf Life:** Dehydrating broccoli removes its moisture, preventing the growth of bacteria, molds, and yeast. This significantly extends its shelf life, making it suitable for long-term storage. This is exactly what we want as preppers, things that will last!


2. **Preservation of Nutrients:** As mentioned above, dehydration preserves the nutritional content of broccoli remarkably well. It retains most of its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a healthy option for your meals.


3. **Compact Storage:** Dehydrated broccoli is lightweight and compact, taking up much less space than fresh or frozen broccoli. This makes it an ideal option for stockpiling and emergency food storage.


4. **Reduced Food Waste:** Dehydrating broccoli allows you to use up excess or surplus broccoli, reducing food waste. You can also preserve broccoli when it's in season for consumption during off-seasons. This is exactly when i choose to preserve my produce. In season veg, here in UK, often go on sale for few pence so look out for those bargains.


5. **Convenience:** Dehydrated broccoli is quick and easy to use. You can rehydrate it by soaking in water or directly add it to soups, stews, or casseroles without the need for chopping or cooking.


6. **Versatility:** Dehydrated broccoli can be used in various recipes, including soups, pasta dishes, omelets, and as a side dish. It adds a burst of flavor, color, and nutrition to your meals. My favourite is Broccoli pesto pasta.


7. **Low Weight and Bulk:** Dehydrated broccoli is ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities due to its lightweight and reduced bulk. It's a convenient way to carry nutritious vegetables on the go, where refrigeration is not available.


8. **Long-Term Food Storage:** Dehydrated broccoli, when stored properly in airtight containers or Mylar bags, can remain edible for many years. It serves as a valuable addition to your emergency food supply without a doubt.


While dehydrated broccoli retains its nutritional value and is a practical ingredient for various dishes, it's important to remember that it won't provide the same texture as fresh broccoli. The dehydration process makes it crisp and dry, so rehydrating it is necessary for recipes where the original texture is desired but it still will be a little different and less fragrant.


How to dehydrate Broccoli.


Prepare the broccoli . Start by washing it thoroughly to remove any dirt. Cut the broccoli into small chunks, the smaller they are, the faster they will dehydrate!

For one second, don't even think of wasting the stems, they have more nutrition than the rest of the broccoli and don't forget in many cases you pay for broccoli by weight, so bare that in mind.

Broccoli stems on chopping board
Broccoli stems

Blanch the Broccoli, blanching helps preserve the colour and texture of the broccoli. To do this, bring a pot of water to a boil.

• Place the broccoli florets into boiling water for 2-3 minutes.

• Quickly remove the broccoli and plunge it into cold water to stop the cooking process, then drain the broccoli thoroughly.



Lay out the broccoli florets in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. Make sure they’re not touching each other to allow for proper air circulation and set dehydrator to 65c .

Broccoli on dehydrator trays
Broccoli on Dehydrator

The drying time may vary, but it typically takes around 6-10 hours.

Rotate the trays occasionally for even drying. The broccoli is ready when it becomes brittle and dry, with no moisture content.

Allow the dehydrated broccoli to cool to room temperature. It may become crumbly, which is normal. Place the broccoli in an airtight jar and keep an eye on it for a day or two top make sure there is no condensation forming. If so, put it back in a dehydrator for another couple of hours. It is very important that there is no moisture left in the broccoli, otherwise it will start moulding during storage and we don’t want that.


Tips:

- You can also dehydrate frozen broccoli, but it may take longer due to the initial moisture content.

- Consider adding seasoning like garlic powder, salt, or herbs to the broccoli before dehydrating for extra flavour.

- Dehydrated broccoli can be rehydrated by soaking it in warm water for about 15-20 minutes before use.

So this is as simple as that! You can watch my video on Youtbue on How to dehydrate broccoli






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