The following sample vegetable items are shown here to give you some more information on taste, texture and preparation.
(Also see our taste tests for more information and pictures)
Green Beans increase in volume about 2 times when boiled in water; the weight increases 5 times. Of all the dehydrated foods in this study, the green beans Rehydrated more closely to it's canned counterpart. You could put a serving of canned green beans next to a serving of cooked dehydrated green beans and not be able to see the difference.
The texture and flavor is also very similar. Because of how light dehydrated green beans are, a pound of them would last a typical family for quite a while. Dehydrated green beans go great by themselves but would be equally as tasty in green bean casserole or any other green bean dish.
Broccoli increases in volume about 2.25 times when boiled in water; the weight increases 5.4 times. Broccoli can be Rehydrated in either cold or hot water and rehydrates in cold water in 10 to 15 minutes. The dried broccoli breaks smartly when bent. It seemed to me that rehydrated, raw broccoli is just a bit more tuff than it's fresh counterpart. Boil it for two minutes and you will be hard pressed to tell it from fresh cooked broccoli that's been shredded a bit.
You can't buy canned broccoli, but you can surely dehydrate it. And another really BIG plus with dehydrated broccoli - you don't have to cut off the stem - the majority of the weight - and throw it away. Dehydrated broccoli consists of 'just the tops.'
Cabbage increases about 2.25 times when soaked in cold water, when boiled, about 2.6 times; the weight increases 6 times when cooked. Rehydrated raw cabbage lacks the crispness of fresh, uncooked cabbage but has basically the same flavor.The military has been using dehydrated cabbage in their dining facilities for many years. Boiled, dehydrated cabbage has much of the same taste as fresh cooked cabbage and is one of the more successfully dehydrated foods used in the US food industry.
Carrots increase in volume about 3 times when boiled in water; the weight increases 4.6 times. It takes them about 15 minutes to cook.Cooked carrots, with salt and pepper and a bit of butter added has a nice flavor, as nice, I think, as fresh cooked carrots or canned carrots. Eat them by themselves as cooked carrots or throw a handful of them, dry, into your soups, stews or casseroles before cooking.
Celery increases in volume about 2 times when soaked in cool water; the weight increases 4.2 times. Raw, Rehydrated celery by itself doesn't have have the crispness of fresh celery.However, in cooked dishes such as stews, soups and poultry stuffing, dehydrated celery's flavor and aroma comes through loud and clear, every bit as good as if you were using fresh celery. You can feel comfortable in using dehydrated celery in any cooked recipe that calls for fresh celery. And it saves time. Instead of having to wash and cut fresh celery, you can simply toss a small handful of dehydrated celery right into the makings of most dishes. Quick and easy.
Super Sweet Corn increases in volume about 2 times when boiled in water; the weight increases 3.3 times. Their dehydrated color is darker than either fresh or canned corn and even though they do lighten up a bit when rehydrated, they still maintain a darker color than either fresh or canned corn. After cooking for a half hour, the rehydrated, cooked corn is not as soft as fresh or canned corn.
The flavor is quite tolerable, although not as good as fresh or canned corn. You could toss a handful of dried corn into many different dishes before cooking them and it would add flavor and texture to your dishes.
Valerie Jackson forwarded the following interesting note... "The pressure cooker is especially good for the corn. If you treat dried corn more like posole, or a quicker cooking legume, you will have great results. I also find corn benefits greatly from soaking for several hours, if you have the time to plan ahead."
Mushrooms, when rehydrated, remain about the same volume when soaked in cool water; the weight increases 4.1 times. Rehydrated dry mushrooms have basically the same texture and flavor of fresh, raw mushrooms but lack some crispness.
Rehydrated in cold water, mushrooms are good enough to put in dishes that call for raw mushrooms such as green salads. You can use them with confidence in any cooked dish that calls for cooked or fresh mushrooms.
Chopped Onions increase in volume about 1.3 times when soaked in cool water. When boiled, they increase in volume 3 times and the weight increases 4 times. Raw, they aren't quite as good as fresh onions but are certainly good enough to use in place of raw onions in such dishes as potato salad.
Cooked in meat loaf, stews or whatever you add onions to, you will not notice any difference between fresh and dehydrated onions. Rehydrated onions, soaked in cool water, look very much like fresh cut onions and can be used interchangeably in most places where fresh onions are used. They retain their flavor quite well.
Mixed Peppers consist of red and green bell peppers. They increase in volume about 2 times when soaked in cool water; the weight increases 6.1 times. Rehydrated in cold water, the raw peppers have nice color and the flavor is good enough to use in dishes that use uncooked peppers such as the raw salsa that some people like.
Not quite as crisp as fresh, cut bell peppers and consisting of much smaller pieces, you may or may not like them in green salads. Cooked in a casserole, soup or stew, I don't think you'd be able to tell the difference between fresh peppers and dehydrated peppers.
Hashbrowns increase in volume 2.6 times when boiled in water; their weight increases 5.8 times. Dehydrated, they are hard and smartly break when bent. To rehydrate, pour the dehydrated potatoes in 3 parts of boiling water. Let them boil until tender which usually takes about 10 minutes.
They will absorb most of the water. Unlike raw, grated potatoes, when you boil these spuds they won't turn into mush. After they are soft, drain whatever water is left in them and throw them in a hot, oiled frying pan. They take more heat than fresh potatoes to brown. These are quite good and you'll be suprised at how good they taste.
Tomato powder increases in volume about 1.66 times and increases in weight about 2.7 times when making it into a thick tomato paste. Of course, it will stretch further if you wish to make it into tomato sauce - increasing in volume about 2 1/2 times. Adding more water still, you can thin this down to the consistency of tomato juice. It's color is little darker and had a bit more of a bite than tomato juice - With a couple of shakes of celery salt and a shake of Tabasco Sauce it really kicks!
Tomato powder is extremely hydrophilic which means it just loves water. In fact, it will absorb moisture right out of the air. Tomato powder that has absorbed any moisture from the air can turn hard as a rock. This happens when it has absorbed too much moisture. This is not so much of a problem in dry climates, however. The can of tomato powder in my pantry has been open for over a year now and it's still a powder. If you live in a high humidity area, upon opening your can, you may wish to transfer most of it into smaller, airtight containers to prevent this from happening. If it does 'set up' on you, it's still useable. Break a chunk off and put it in water. It'll soften up. You can add tomato powder in any dish where you'd use tomato paste or tomato sauce. The flavor should be the same and we think you'll be really happy with it.