So a few weeks ago I had this conundrum. It’s just Bob and me for dinner, and with our conflicting schedules it’s often just me. However, each week I’m compelled to bring home a bag of green beans and a bag of broccoli from the market. Because – at some point during the week, I’m going to want some of each of those veggies along with a meal. Unfortunately, at our market I don’t have the luxury to say “I only want a half a pound of beans” or “I only want one stalk of broccoli”, as it’s pre-bagged into specific amounts. So, while my almost weekly leftovers of these veggies are at least helping my compost pile, it’s still a waste and it makes me nuts.
I decided that I needed to find a better way to use up extras! I did some research and was reminded of my dehydrator (which has been sitting, very lonely, in the basement for the past couple of months). I thought, ok, I can dehydrate these veggies, and then I could toss a little bit into a batch of single-serving soup to make veggie soup (without having to use less-than-amazing frozen veggies).
So, I filled up all nine trays of the dehydrator with my leftovers (which included green beans, broccoli, some carrots and celery leftover from another soup venture, and also a stray zucchini that was reaching the end of its life). I’m not going to get into the details of how to do each kind in this post (as the idea is that you can do a variety of veggies, some of which I may not even have here). Instead, I’m going to provide you this golden link: www.backpackingchef.com. It is one of my most favorite “resource” links that I’ve come across in a long time, and gives you great instructions on how to dehydrate all sorts of produce!
I ended up with the jar above.
Now….the test. Would the veggies rehydrate well? How much liquid would they absorb? Would I end up with a crunchy, chewy casserole instead of flavorful veggie soup? See here for the results.