Dehydrating/Drying Food

Small Harvest Preserving - Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes

Every year I keep one or two sweet potatoes wrapped in newspaper to use the following spring for sweet potato sprigs.  I am almost always repaid with a wonderful crop of large, sweet, sweet potatoes.  As with everything else that we get a wonderful harvest of, I have to figure out the best way to store it to allow for the best usage of space and capabilities we have on hand.

Sweet potatoes, like summer squash, are not good for pressure canning so the best way to preserve the harvest is to either store it in a room cellar or, if you don't have one of those, then dehydrate it.  

Here's what you need for drying sweet potatoes:

  • sweet potatoes - this is a great way to store those that the skins got damaged during digging. 
  • a dehydrator or oven - I use an Excalibur 9-tray food dehydrator.
  • potato peeler or paring knife
  • a knife or shredder, depending if you are slicing or shedding or both (I like to do some of both)
  • A pot with steamer basket if steaming is preferred or blanching can be done if preferred or neither if that is your choice.

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

Step 1:  Wash the Sweet potatoes, pat dry and peel.

Step 2:  Slice 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick slices

Step 3:  Steam or blanch (If you are doing that method).  I like to slice them thinner so they will steam faster and dry faster.  Steam or blanch them just until the color turns bright and they are fork tender. 

If shredding the sweet potatoes I do not blanch or steam them I just shred them and place them on the dehydrator trays in a thin layer.

Step 4:  Line sweet potato slices on dehydrator trays.

Step 5:  dehydrate at 125 degrees until brittle.  This can take anywhere from 9 to 12 hours depending on humidity and elevation.

Step 6:  When dry either place in Mason jars for storage or if you have a food sealer you can seal them. 

TIP:  When possible keep track of measurements of pre-hydrated foods so that you can mark the packed dehydrated food accordingly.  This will assist you later in using the dehydrated foods.  For example - If you place 2 sweet potatoes per drying tray then package them as such.  Then when a recipe calls for 1 sweet potato you will know to use half of that container or package.

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

TIP:  The shredded sweet potato can be processed further into a powder to use in this sweet potato pancake recipe or can be used reconstituted in sweet potato recipes.  The sky and your imagination are the limit when it comes to the use of your dehydrated foods.  Play with some recipes and experiment.  You will be surprised what you may invent.

Step 1: Wash, pat dry and peel

 

Step 2:  Slice 1/8 or 1/4 inch slices

Or shred

Step 3: Blanch or steam (optional)

Step 4: Place on dehydrator tray

Note how much brighter the steamed sweet potatoes are compared to the shredded unsteamed.

Step 5:  Dry at 125 degrees for 9 - 12 hours

Store in airtight container in a cool dark place.

More Sweet Potato Recipes -

Sweet Potato Ginger Bake

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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Comments   

 
0 #6 Christine 2012-12-29 04:43
@ Darlene - I canned them on 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes for quarts. (65 minutes for pints) I canned them in a simple light syrup.
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-1 #5 Darlene 2012-12-17 19:29
I would like to try both dehydrating and pressure canning. Can you tell me how many pounds of pressure and for how long? Also, did you blanch them first? Did you add water to the jar?
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0 #4 Christine 2012-11-30 22:14
@ Anna - Absolutely! Chunks is how I went :) Thanks for sharing. I will have to try adding orange juice that sounded just yummy.
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+1 #3 Anna Ravenscroft 2012-11-30 21:53
Sweet potato *mash* shouldn't be canned. It needs to be in chunks so the heat can properly penetrate. Use a pressure canner, keep it in chunks, and it'll be great. I canned a bunch with orange juice, honey, and a little brown sugar, and they turned out really yummy.

Now I've got some in the dehydrator.
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0 #2 Christine 2012-11-26 03:01
@ Carolyn - That is what I had been told by some of my canning relatives. Not sure why. I did decide to give it a try this year and loved the out come. Will be doing an update on the site soon. Thank you so much for sharing - Learning as I go....:)
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0 #1 Carolyn 2012-11-17 12:17
Where did you get the idea that sweet potatoes don't can well? I do a few dozen jars each year.
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