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Hey, everyone. I'm canning up some of the meat from the freezer right now, and as I was getting the chicken in the pot to cook, it occurred to me that I'm going to need a lot more onions and celery to get through the winter than what I have. I'm hoping to be able to stay home 90% of the time here soon, and only go to town for absolute essentials. So I thought about freeze dried or dehydrated onions and celery. Do any of you use them, and what brand/source do you recommend? The one time I tried dehydrating onions… Well, it was an interesting experience. The hubby and cats all suffered torments thanks to the sulfuric compounds (I was protected by a fan in the kitchen, had NO idea of the pain I was inflicting), and I'd prefer to not repeat that one.

The other thing is this - I was looking on Honeyville's website and saw freeze dried broccoli. Have any of you ever tried it? How is it? How well does it reconstitute? Is it only good for soups? And can I grab some of the huge bags of frozen broccoli from Walmart and dehydrate it?

Thanks!
 

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I dry celery, onions and even garlic at home, but I do the stinky stuff in the furthest room with the door shut or out under the carport, lol. I also learned from first-hand experience, peeeuuuwwww! :D I also chop them, put in baggies and freeze too, no need to blanch first. I save the tops, root ends and peels in a baggie in the freezer until I'm ready to make stock.

You can dehydrate the frozen broccoli, as well as other frozen veggies. I catch them on a good sale sometimes and do that. It (the home dried broccoli) and the commercially dried are good in soups or casseroles, but not so much for fresh eating unless you like really soft broccoli. It tastes fine, just has a really limp texture. It's yummy in broccoli rice casserole, if you like that, or broccoli cheese soup. :)

I order lots of stuff from Honeyville. You might find the prices a little better at other places, but you pay a lot more in shipping. At Honeyville, it's always $4.99 no matter how big your order is. They have a lot of sales too. If you get on the mailing list, you'll get frequent notices, and right now I saw they have $20 off if you spend $100, so that's 20% off, not bad at all if you place large orders like me. I don't have a mailer at the moment, maybe someone else does and can chime in with a discount code for you. I've liked everything I've ever gotten from them. Hope this helps!
 

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We had an onion disaster last year and used Frontier dried onions, they were great. Amazon has them.

As for broccoli, I wonder. I'd use it in rice, soups, cheese sauce kind of thing, can't imagine the rehydrated texture would be good for just eating. But I haven't actually had the freeze dried broccoli.
 

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I've made dehydrated celery. It has to be chopped pretty small and blanched so it will be tender when rehydrated.

I like the smell of drying onions. They don't affect anyone else in the house either. If you could put the dehydrator in a separate room and leave the window in that room open a crack it might help. I've got 20 pounds waiting for their trip through the dehydrator.
 

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My dehydrator sits on the back porch. The onion or garlic smell is barely detectable. I did celery once and didn't like it.

I've used dried broccoli in casseroles. We prefer our broccoli steamed, so I don't think we would like the dehydrated on it's own.

Dawn
 
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