14 June 2014

Dehydrating Onions for Fresh Flavor with a Long Shelf Life

Too many onions? So many you know you'll never use them before they go bad? Or, you want to take advantage of a sale, but don't for fear of rot and waste?

Get rescued by your food dehydrator! Turn those onions into dehydrated onions and onion powder. The fresh flavor will remain, and you'll have the added benefit of a product that lasts for months.

I was at Aldi's the other day and picked some sweet onions they had on sale at 79¢ for 2 pounds. I already had some dehydrated onion in the pantry, but I've been wanting to add onion powder to the arsenal. Having each of these on hand is pretty important to me. First of all, I'm rather lazy in the kitchen when it comes to savory food preparation (but I'll happily spend all day making sweets -- what's up with that?). And second, I detest the burn that results from chopping an onion. I usually beg kindly request someone else to do it for me.

If you remember (or pinned!) my tomato powder posts, you might have the gist of what we're going to do. A difference, however, can be found in the initial preparation of the onions. With the tomatoes, I used my mandolin. For the onions, I used my food processor (links to exact one I purchased six months ago). It has a wide mouth, so I could easily feed it large chunks of onion to slice finely and quickly. Minimal effort, minimal tears!

After the super fast slicing, I quickly loaded up my dehydrator. A few tears were shed, and a couple of nostrils burned a bit -- nothing I couldn't handle. :-)

Since I was going to suck every bit of water out of these guys, I didn't worry about touching or layering. In fact, I forced all of the sliced onions onto just four shelves. If I had more (I really should get some), I would have thinned the layers so they would have dried quicker. The onions literally took a full day to dry at 135°.

If you are looking simply for dehydrated onion -- you're done! Just break up the pieces and throw them in a jar. Use them in anything and everything that you are already adding a bit of liquid to. They are just as flavorful as a freshly chopped onion, and even retain the texture! Here's some I jarred up a while back.

My end goal for today was onion powder, so I pressed on simply by filling my blender and letting her rip on a high speed.

Um, may I interject here? I'm starting to think I need a new blender. Mine is at least 17 years old -- no joke -- and I really thought I was going to burn the motor up the other day when trying to make a smoothie. Any cheap frugal suggestions?

...And we're back to the onion powder.  Well, really, we're done.  That's it.  Store the powder in a jar in your pantry.  Out of 4 pounds of onions (minus 2 singles I left for someone else to chop if they so desired), I got a full 1/2 pint jar of powder.

Shared at Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturdays, and some of these fine hops.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.

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