Dehydrating/Drying Food

Small Harvest Preserving - Dehydrating Beets

Beets.  Beautiful, colorful beets.  My whole family loves beets in just about any form they can get them.  Roasted, boiled, pickled it doesn't matter they love beets.  We love beets so much we like to have some on hand so we can eat them even when it is not beet season.  We pickle a lot of beets every years but sometime you want a beet that is not pickled and it's out of season.  That's when you go for the dehydrated beets.  I like to rehydrate them, drizzle them with olive oil and roast them.  Or sometimes I take the dried beets and grind them to use them for flavoring or coloring in other recipes.  They are also great just dry with a little dip if you slice them thin enough.  Your imagination is the only limitation with dehydrated beets. 

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Here's what you need for drying beets:

  • beets - this is a great way to store those that are less than perfect looking or need to be used quickly. 
  • a dehydrator or oven
  • paring knife or a slicer if your fingers are feeling lucky today
  • A pot large enough to hold your beets and cover them with water.  Or you may have to work in batches if there are a lot of them.  I try to process them in one form or another as I harvest them
  • a colander and ice - optional just make it faster to cool beets and easier to handle them.
  • A dehydrator -

That's pretty much all you need so let's get started. 

Step 1: Wash beets and cut tops off

Step 2:  Place beets in pot large enough so you can cover with water and bring to a boil

 

Step 3:  Cook until beets are fork tender and peels easily come loose

Step 4:  Drain and peel (you may want to put ice on it or just allow to sit and cool a bit)

 

Step 5:  Slice 1/8 or 1/4 inch slices

Step 6: Place on dehydrator tray

Step 6:  Dry at 125 degrees for 9 - 12 hours

Step 7:  Beets should be slightly flexible with a leathery feel  but if you squeeze or pinch them there should be no moisture.

 

Step 8:  When dry either place in Mason jars for storage or if you have a food sealer you can seal them. 

Step 9:  If you intend the beets for long term storage seal them with your food sealer and then place in a mylar bag and seal or place in the mylar bag unsealed and use an oxygen absorber.

TIP:  They are great for roasting with drizzled olive oil or they can also be used for grinding and adding as coloring and flavoring.  Beets....wonderful beets. 

That's it!  That's all there is to drying your beets.  Now you can reap that harvest all year long.

TIP: Don't forget the water left after cooking your beets can be used for dying material at a later date.  It's not great for cottons but it is great for wools.  Beets will dye cotton just not as vibrant a color as the water after the washings.  See my article on using beets for dying.

Store in a cool dark place.

Want to dehydrate 9 trays of fruits, vegetables, meats and more all at the same time just like Christine does? Go to Excalibur and get your very own Excalibur Dehydrator now.

 

 

 

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