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If you’ve ever wondered how to dehydrate broccoli, you’re in the right place! In this article I started with broccoli florets, that were packaged. I did need to cut the broccoli up a bit before dehydrating, because some of the florets were really large. Even so, it was super easy to do. Keep reading to find out how I dehydrated broccoli in a way that resulted in a deep green color, without turning the broccoli into mush.
How to Dehydrate Broccoli
Now let’s get into how to dehydrate broccoli.
But first, I just wanted to mention that in this article, I’m using my Nesco dehydrator. Check out my Nesco Dehydrator Review for more information on this dehydrator.
Preparing Broccoli for Dehydrating
There’s some debate about how to prepare broccoli for dehydrating. Some say to blanch, and others say that blanching causes the broccoli to be mushy. I ended up going with a happy medium that I feel worked great. I very lightly steamed the broccoli. I put about 5 or so cups of broccoli in a casserole dish, added a tablespoon or water, put the lid on, and microwaved for 2 minutes.
Preparing broccoli for dehydrating this way resulted in broccoli that was a dark green color, which is exactly what you want. It wasn’t very cooked at all, and yet wasn’t raw either.
The smaller pieces were more cooked than the larger pieces. In the image below you can see that the small piece of broccoli in my hand is a darker green than the larger piece of broccoli. That’s because the smaller piece cooked a bit more during the steaming process.
Steaming Broccoli (and other vegetables) without a Steamer
The great thing about preparing vegetables for dehydrating this way is that you don’t need a steamer to steam vegetables. In my case, I used a casserole dish with a lid, but you don’t even need that. Even a microwave-safe bowl covered with plastic wrap works!
Adding the Broccoli Florets to the Dehydrator Trays
After steaming the broccoli, I put the broccoli florets on dehydrator trays, slightly spread apart. I cut the larger broccoli florets into smaller pieces. I was going for bite-sized broccoli but the size you make your broccoli pieces for dehydrating is up to you. It all depends on how you want to use them. Just know that as you’d expect, large pieces of broccoli take longer to dehydrate than smaller ones.
Since some of the pieces of broccoli were fairly large, there were little gaps in the dehydrator trays, as shown in the image below. While not ideal, the gaps closed fairly soon, as the broccoli shrunk down as it dehydrated.
Dehydrating Broccoli Overnight
I started the dehydrator shortly before going to bed, and let the broccoli dehydrate overnight. I actually love to dehydrate food while I’m sleeping because most things that I dehydrate take 8 or more hours to get completely dry. I feel that dehydrating food overnight is safe, but be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for your dehydrator so you’re sure to use it safely. For instance, it’s best to plug most dehydrators into a wall outlet rather than into a power strip.
The temperature that I used on the dehydrator was 145 degrees for the first hour, and then I reduced it to 135 degrees before heading to bed.
Broccoli Dehydrating Time and Yield
The next morning, after about 12 hours of dehydrating, the broccoli was mostly dry. However, the stems of the bigger pieces of broccoli were still moist and “bendy.” I rotated the trays, putting the trays that were initially at the top down to the bottom, and moved the bottom trays to the top. This is because with my dehydrator, the heating element and the fan are at the top, so the top trays dry faster. I also removed the pieces of broccoli that were completely dehydrated. It ended up taking about 14 hours total, for all of the broccoli to dehydrate completely.
I started off with about 16 cups of broccoli, spread out over 5 trays. I ended up with almost 2 quarts of dehydrated broccoli. I’ve used the broccoli in recipes, and it’s turned out great. Unless I tell them, no one knows that they’re eating broccoli that was previously dehydrated.
Check out my entire dehydrating playlist here: StockingMyPantry.com/Dehydrating
Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above.