I’ll gladly admit that when I first made onion flakes it was mostly because I wanted to play with our new dehydrator and I didn’t really think there was much of a reason to dry them out other than having fun. It seems odd to preserve something that cellars so well to begin with.
When I tasted the results, I realized I was wrong. Dehydrated onion flakes contain a small portion of the bite that their original flesh contained while keeping the essence of their sweetness. I can eat these like candy.
Other than eating them whole, dehydrated onions are very useful for bread, soups, salads, pizzas and sandwiches. If you’re planning to eat them without rehydrating them you may want to consider cubing your onions as the long pieces can be a little stringy/ chewy. It’s also a heck of a base for a dry rub for ribs, roasts or a savory to add to your stuffing in a turkey.
It’s also an added bonus that we NEVER run out of onions. The few occasions that I have found myself reaching into a bare cupboard have left me cackling like a mad scientist when I realize I have a secret jar of onions that will last FOREVER (well, a really, really long time).
As with all of our dehydration, we’ve learned that using a mandolin to cut your product will save you hours in the end. When all of the onion is the exact same width, the drying process is uniform and you don’t have to check your entire inventory piece by piece and selectively pull items out of the gentle heat. The mandolin also speeds things up if efficiency is one of your goals.
Sliced onions are laid flat on a preserving tray (you could technically use a cookie sheet) and placed under a low and slow heat – we use 125 degrees Fahrenheit (52 Celsius).
Be prepared that a lot of onion does not go a long way. Our last batch was 7-8 pounds and the finished product filled a 1-liter (4 cup) Mason jar.
This is part of our series of posts linked to our Preserving Autumn article in Edible Toronto. The posts will update daily from September 18th and you’ll be able to see all of the posts in the series by clicking here.