Monday, August 15, 2011

Dehydrated Beets

A couple of days ago I picked a bunch of beets from the garden.  (There are still lots to go, but I wanted to just do a small experimental batch of dried beets to see how they'd turn out.)  I cleaned them, trimmed the greens down to just a couple of inches and boiled them for around 20 mns., until tender.  I then submerged them in cold water and slipped their skins off and finished trimming them.  Then I sliced them in somewhat thin slices, not even 1/4" thick, placed them on the dehydrator trays, set the temp to 125 degrees and plugged it in.  I checked them throughout and took off the thinner ones as they reached that "fruit leather" like dryness.  When I began I started with what looked like enough beets for 3-4 meals at our house, so that is how many sandwich sized baggies I divided the finished amount into.

Originally I was going to can all the beets.  But this takes up so much less space.  Also, I won't have to worry about faded, overcooked beets.  This next photo is about an hour after I added just enough water to cover them to rehydrate the beets for dinner.  I've read, from a couple of resources, that it should take about an hour to rehydrate them.  I thought they seemed a little chewy yet, so I let them sit for more like 3-4 hours.

Now, I won't lie to you.  They're not as good as fresh beets.  Nor are they as good as pickled beets, for that matter.  But, they are still very good, and I think a better alternative to canning beets as they retain some texture this way.  It could very well be my lack of pressure canning skills (most certainly is the case) that turned me off to canned beets.  The following photo is a day later where they are fully rehydrated.

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