How Do I Choose the Best Dried Broccoli?

Kristeen Moore

Dried broccoli is made from a process of dehydration, and it is an alternative to canned or frozen vegetables. Broccoli may be purchased from a grocery store or farmer’s market and dehydrated at home, but there are a few steps that you need to take in order to complete the process correctly. An alternative is organic broccoli, or even green vegetables that you grow in your own garden without the use of chemicals. If you want a more convenient method, then you can purchase cans of dried broccoli online or from a specialty food store. No matter which version you choose, the food must be rehydrated properly prior to consumption.

Dried broccoli can be made at home by cutting up fresh heads and letting it dry out.
Dried broccoli can be made at home by cutting up fresh heads and letting it dry out.

Fresh vegetables are the most popular, and utilizing dehydrated versions is often preferable to packaged broccoli. Canned broccoli often has a mushy texture, and many brands contain high levels of sodium. Although frozen vegetables are the next best choice to fresh varieties, many people still prefer the taste and texture of just-picked broccoli. Although dried broccoli is used in a number of ways, the most popular methods are utilized for noodle or rice casseroles, as well as in soups.

The least expensive way to obtain dried broccoli is to purchase the vegetable on your own. Grocery stores often carry it year-round, and it is also widely available in farmer’s markets. After cutting up your broccoli of choice, you then let it dry at 100° Fahrenheit (or approximately 38° Celsius) for up to 24 hours before storing it in an airtight can.

Conventionally-grown broccoli can contain leftover chemicals on the product, such as pesticides, so you might consider choosing an organic version instead. Although such broccoli might produce a better-tasting product when rehydrated, it might be more expensive in some regions. An even cheaper alternative is to grow broccoli in your own garden without the use of chemicals before dehydrating.

For the sake of convenience, there is always the option of purchasing packaged dried broccoli. Such products still contain the same nutrients, but you do not have to go through the dehydrating process. The directions vary by brand, but most are intended for adding to various broccoli dishes while cooking.

Although proper dehydration is required for preservation purposes, you must also rehydrate dried broccoli correctly before serving. For the best results, boil water and then take the pot off of the burner before adding the vegetable. Dried broccoli should rehydrate within 30 minutes of being placed in the water — placing the vegetable in boiling water can ruin the texture, and even strip off some of its nutrients.

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