Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dehydrating a 10 lb Bag of Potatoes


Potatoes are a survival food, one high in in vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, all with zero grams of fat. They are easy to grow and produce a high yield even in poor soil. One year we grew them on our deck using only trash bags filled with soil. This year however, we concentrated on tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini which is why we purchased a 10 lb sack of potatoes for dehydrating.


We used our Nesco stackable dehydrator with about 10 layers, allowing the potatoes to dry overnight. We peeled and par steamed the potatoes so they would not darken while dehydrating. Then sliced them- you should check your dehydrator's instructions to see how thick to slice them- placing them in a single layer on each of the 10 trays. The heat was set at 125 degrees and allowed to run overnight. This morning we had layers of nicely dried potatoes. See how pretty they are, beautifully translucent. I placed a two cup measuring cup next to the bowl to give you an idea of how they reduce.

We were just short of 10 lbs, taking out about four to six potatoes for both dinner and some homemade chips. You can also peel them with an apple peeler and then lightly flour the peels, placing them into hot oil. When removed, season to preference: salt or garlic, cajun seasoning or pepper- your choice. They are delicious.


I am not certain how much we saved doing this ourselves; however, based on what I pay for a small box of dehydrated au gratins, I think we may be ahead of the game. We will make up our own recipes plus they are easy to store, transport if we go camping or need some quick emergency food. The dehydrators are so easy I might pick up another bag so I can double my stash.


photo link

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

My sister dehydrated potatoes this year. It sounds like a great idea, and I might have to plant some next year so I can try it too.

ellen b said...

I'm really impressed with your efforts and results!

Annesphamily said...

How do you prepare your dehydrated potatoes? I am always looking for new ideas and trying harder to save money! Great post! Anne

Judie said...

I love the idea of growing potatoes in a big plastic bag!! How clever!!

EG Wow said...

I have an air dryer but have never thought of using it for potatoes!

beckyp said...

When we were kids my dad had a dehydrator We only did apples I bet you saved a lot of money making the chips your self

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Annesphamily: We peeled and sliced the potatoes, steam blanched them for 5-6 minutes and then laid them in a single layer in the dehydrator. The Ball Blue Book (canning) provided the method.

All: Thank you for the comments!

Wanda said...

Wow, you are very resourceful. We do less and less of this sort of thing because it seems with just the two of us that it's more trouble than it's worth. I might have to reconsider...

Vicki/Jake said...

I'm with Judie, growing them in a plastic bag...awesome!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

What a great idea for the winter pantry!

Lady Farmer said...

All these years, I have never heard of anyone dehydrating potatoes! What a great idea! As soon as some of my other canning is finished I think I may try this. Could you share a recipe or two of how you use your dried potatoes ~ sounds like fun to me!
:~P

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

This is my first year to dehydrate potatoes so I haven't tried any recipes; however, all those boxes of au gratins that I am stashing away have the very same thing inside, dehydrated potato discs. So, I can either soak them 30 minutes to an hour (hot water rehydrates more quickly) I can do just about anything with them, a casserole, au gratins, I could probably mash them or make hash browns. I'm going to experiment. I saw some recipes here http://www.realfood4realpeople.com/potatoes.htmland also from Washington State Potato commission http://www.potatoes.com/recipesandnutrition.cfm?Section=D

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

The potato commission has a lot of different dried potato recipes from the kind I made to flakes, just click on the links.

Catawissa Gazetteer said...

Does the Potato Commissioner get a uniform, maybe one with a helmet with one of those pointy thingy's on top? And what about a spud patrol to enforce commission rulings?

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

She sits here just shaking her head.

Jenny said...

OMG! This is such a cool idea! I've never, ever thought of dehydrating potatoes. I feel like a goofball. I'm going to send this to one of our kids. She grew a lot of potatoes in her front yard and this might be a way to store them for longer!

Thanks for an interesting link to Alphabe-Thursday's letter 'U'.

I found this to be quite fascinating.

A+

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thanks! We are just now learning to make good use of the dehydrator and I kept looking at all those boxes of au gratins I stashed away thinking, there has to be a better way-and a tastier way. I'm so glad it worked!

Heidi said...

Great post Kathy. Thanks. I tried to do this before reading your instructions and they got dark. I didn't blanch them long enough... After seeing yours, I am willing to try it again.