- When possible, preserve fresh, locally-grown rutabaga for the best quality and nutritional value.
- Know when fresh rutabaga is available in your state with this seasonal food guide.
- If this is your first time drying or it has been awhile, it is recommended that you read General Drying Information before beginning.
1. Selection & Ingredients
- Choose firm, round rutabagas.
- Clean, food-grade dehydration equipment or oven with drying trays or racks that allow for good air circulation.
- Many types of food dehydrators can be used and are explained in detail in Food Dehydrators.
- Large covered cooking pot (for blanching)
- Metal blanching basket, cheesecloth or mesh bag (for blanching vegetables prior to drying)
- Colander, strainer or slotted spoon
- Large bowl (for cooling blanched vegetables in ice water)
- Hot pads
- Storage containers
- Clean, dry home canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight-fitting lids or plastic freezer bags
- Vacuum packaging is also a good storage option
- Cutting board
- Timer or clock
3. Prepare Ingredients
- Wash, remove tops and peel. Cut into slices 1/4-1/2" thick.
- Fill large cooking pot with 1 gallon of water and bring to a rolling boil.
- If desired, add 1 teaspoon (4 grams) citric acid to the water as anti-microbial agent.
- Put no more than four cups of the vegetable pieces in a blanching basket, or a piece of cheesecloth or cloth mesh bag with ends secured.
- Lower vegetable bag into boiling water, making sure water covers the vegetables.
- Shake bag so hot water reaches all pieces, if necessary.
- Blanch for time shown in table below for your elevation:
Blanching Time for Drying
|Below 5,000 ft.
||5,000 ft. and above
|3 1/2-4 1/2 minutes
||4 1/2-5 1/2 minutes
- Start timing as soon as water returns to a boil.
- Monitor heat to ensure continuous boiling.
- Remove vegetables from boiling water and submerge briefly in a large bowl of ice, only long enough to stop the cooking action.
- NOTE: Do not cool to room temperature.
- Drain on paper towel or cloth.
- Arrange blanched rutabaga in single layers on drying trays.
- Dry at 140° F in an oven or dehydrator.
- If necessary, turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period.
- Vegetables can scorch easily toward the end of drying, so monitor more closely as drying nears completion.
- Dried rutabagas should be brittle.
- Store dried rutabagas in moisture-vapor-proof storage containers or bags.
- Label packages with name of product, date and method of pretreatment and drying.
- Store in a cool, dry, dark place or in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Properly stored, dried vegetables keep well for six to 12 months.
- Discard foods that have off odors or show signs of mold.