Drying is a simple method to preserve the fall harvest and one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Dehydration requires heat and air circulation to remove moisture. You can use an electric dehydrator with a thermostat or a conventional oven. The key is to dry beets quickly and not cook them. Dried beets usually are reconstituted or added to soups and stews. If properly dried, beets retain their flavor and much of their nutritional value.
Things You'll Need
- Box grater (optional)
- Food dehydrator
- Cooling or baking rack (optional)
- Cheesecloth (optional)
Blanch the beets in boiling water for 20 minutes and transfer them into a container of ice water. Scrape the peels from the beets.
Trim off the stems and taproot and slice the beets into uniform, 1/8-inch-wide strips. Chop the beets into 1/4-inch-thick pieces or grate them using a box grater.
Heat the food dehydrator to 120 degrees Fahrenheit and lay the beet pieces about 1/4 inch apaprt from each other on the drying trays.
If using an oven, heat it to the Warm setting. Place the beets on cooling racks covered with a piece of cheesecloth.
Dry beet strips until they are brittle or crisp, about 8 hours, in the dehydrator; dry chopped or grated beets for four to six hours.
If using the oven, dry beet strips for 4 hours and shredded beets for 2 hours.
Tips & Warnings
- Pack the dried and cooled beets into dry, airtight containers or plastic bags that seal.
- Store the dried beets in a cool, dark place. Check the beets after a few days and then periodically to make sure they are completely dried. Use dried beets within six to 12 months. Discard the beets and disinfect the containers if you see signs of mold or other spoilage.
- Soak dried beets in cold water for one hour to reconstitute. Add dry or reconstituted beets to soups or stews. Dried beets will double in size when reconstituted.
- Photo Credit Ewgenija_s/iStock/Getty Images
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