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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
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