Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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I was a little worried that these would brown or discolor as they dehydrated, but the blanching took care of that.

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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.

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