This isn't the first thing I think of when I think of dehydrating foods… dehydrated potatoes. Normally they're termed “instant” which sounds more appetizing than dehydrated.
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Potatoes can be stored for a long time if you have a cool, dark, dry place to store them. A root cellar is ideal. But, if you’re like us and don’t have a dry, dark, cool place to store food – dehydrating potatoes is a good option.
This is not only cheap, but it is also healthier than buying the easily available store-bought versions.
This a fun project for you and your children, and a great way to store potatoes from your garden. You can actually prepare them by following the directions on the back of any instant potato package.
Wash potatoes and cut out any blemishes. Whether or not you peel potatoes is totally up to you.
Slice potatoes to about 1/8 inch or 2.5 mm thick. A mandolin is the best way to get the thickness consistent which is important.
If you want, you can also make shredded dehydrated potatoes. Use the coarse shredding side of your grater.
Whether you shred or slice potatoes, place them in a bowl of water right away to prevent oxidation. Potatoes will start to turn brown very quickly!
Blanch the potatoes by bringing a large pot of water to boil. Add potato slices or shredded potatoes to the water and resume boiling until slices are fork tender, about 4-6 minutes.
Fork tender means you can insert a fork easily without the potato crumbling.
Strain potatoes or scoop them out with a big slotted spoon.
Lay slices out on the dehydrator screen so they are not overlapping. Shredded potatoes can overlap.
Place in dehydrator and dry at 125° F/52° C for 8 to 10 hours. If you do a mix of shredded and sliced, be aware that the shreds may take a little less time than the slices and you may need to rotate trays or remove some before the others are completely dry.
Potatoes will be translucent and crisp throughout – just like the potatoes in a box of scalloped potatoes.
Allow to cool and store in a large container where they will not be crushed.
You might want to look into some silicone dehydrating sheets to make things easier for you once you get into dehydrating more and more things… herbs in particular. They can be rinsed directly with water and reused over and over again.
Making a dehydrated potato takes about three hours. You simply put them in a warm–not hot, WARM oven, and turn them until they are dry and crispy. (If they're brown, you made saltless potato chips. Oops!) Then simply crust them up into a powder and store them in any sort of air-tight plastic or glass container.
Using Dehydrated Potatoes
For hashbrowns, soak the shredded potatoes in water for 15 minutes, drain and pan fry.
For dried potato slices, either use them dry in casseroles, potato au gratin, or scalloped potato recipes. You can also pan-fry them after rehydrating them by soaking them in water for 15 minutes or so.