After canning 21 quarts of sweet potatoes last week, I still had more than a dozen potatoes left. It wasn’t enough to fill the canner so I decided to see if I could dehydrate them.
The process was fairly easy, and the yield for all those potatoes was only 2 quart jars, so it won’t take up much room on the pantry shelves. I haven’t tried reconstituting them and using them yet, but they are ready to go whenever I am so inclined.
The first step to dehydrating sweet potatoes is to peel the potatoes. Be sure to keep them in cold water so they don’t brown.
Next, I sliced them to about 1/4 of an inch. They weren’t perfect, but most of them were pretty uniform in thickness. I’ve got a mandolin, but mine doesn’t allow me to choose how thick I want things sliced. That’s on my gadget wish list.
While you are preparing the sweet potatoes, put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a full boil. Once the potatoes are all sliced, dump them in the boiling water. When the water returns to a full boil start timing.
As far as how long to blanch the sweet potatoes, there were various suggestions on the internet and in my dehydrating books. The range was from 2 to 4 minutes. Being that my sweet potatoes were fairly thin, I went with 3 minutes.
When time is up, remove the sweet potatoes from the boiling water and immediately immerse in ice water. Let them sit there for about 10 minutes, until completely cool.
After they are cool, spread the sweet potatoes on dehydrating racks and run for 2 – 3 hours at 140 degrees. Then reduce the temp to 130 and dehydrate until completely dry. I let mine sit overnight.
I was a little worried that these would brown or discolor as they dehydrated, but the blanching took care of that.
I can’t wait to try using these in some candied sweet potatoes. I fit all the potatoes, more than 12, in two quart jars and sealed them with my FoodSaver. In order to reconstitute, put the desired amount in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit overnight. It does take some pre-planning, but if these turn out as promised, I might be dehydrating more than I pressure can because they take up far less space.
There are so many options for preserving food and stocking the pantry shelves, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.