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OK, so remember the other day when we were talking about what to do when good onions go bad? And because putting them in time out seldom works I make onion powder?
And I told you that along with onion powder, the other thing I do with bad onions is make minced onions?
Good. Cuz today we’re talking about how to make dried minced onions.
“But, why would you go to all that trouble to make your own minced onions?” you say. And that’s a fair question.
And here’s my answer. Two answers, really. 1. Because I hate wasting food and 2. because I want to know what is in everything I eat or feed to my family and friends. Even something as innocent as dried minced onions can sometimes contain things I can’t pronounce.
Things to preserve it. And things to keep it from sticking together. And sometimes even “natural” flavors. Which we all know are really anything but natural. Because it’s made in a lab.
And we all know how well Frankenstein worked out. And he was “all natural”.
But back to the matter at hand. Which is minced onions in case I lost you back there. 🙂
I use minced onions in so many things. Onion soup mix. Italian salad dressing mix. Dip mixes.
And pretty much anything that needs onions fast and I don’t want to mess with finding an onion and chopping it up.
But anyway, after I made the onion powder I made a batch of minced onions.
And because I love you, I’m going to show you how to make your very own homemade better-for-you-cuz-there’s-no-weird-stuff-in-it dried minced onions! Woo Hoo! 🙂
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If you would like to know more about dehydrating food you can learn about it here.
Here’s what you need to make dried minced onions
- onions, of course
- mandoline slicer or sharp knife and cutting board (this is the mandoline that I love)
- dehydrator (this is the one I have)
- tray liners for the dehydrator trays. If you don’t have tray liners, no worries. Just cut some parchment paper to fit.
The first thing I did was, obviously, peel the onions and cut off any bad spots. And then toss that into the compost pile.
Then I set up my mandoline with my julienne blade. If you don’t have any fancy blades for your mandoline, you got the wrong one.
Just use the blade that will give you the thinnest slices.
And if you don’t have a mandoline at all, just ignore all that and cut the thinnest slices you can. The thinner they are, the faster they dry.
Now cut your slices (or julienne pieces) into a fine mince. Again, the more uniform the pieces are, the more evenly they will dry.
But don’t sweat it if your knife skills aren’t at the Iron Chef level. Mine aren’t either and my onions turn out just dandy.
Drying the minced onions
Now put the liners or parchment paper on your trays. Spread the onions out as evenly as you can.
Try not to have too many big clumps. Cuz then you have clods of minced onion instead of just minced onions.
As the onions dry you can periodically go and break up any clumps.
Put the trays in the dehydrator and turn it on.
Set the temperature to 145°F if you have a model with a thermostat. After 2 hours, turn it down to 125°F.
When I turn it down, that’s when I do my clod busting. It’s easier to break up the clumps now than when it’s all completely dry.
Drying time will depend on the size of your onion pieces, how much moisture is in them, and the humidity level.
When the pieces are completely dry, let them cool before you put them in a storage container.
And by storage container I mean canning jar. You saw that coming, right?
I use my FoodSaver to seal the jar to keep moisture from getting back in.
Of course, these babies don’t have to be used dried. If you need some onion but don’t have a fresh one to chop you can rehydrate them and use them just like fresh.
Here’s how to rehydrate dried minced onions
I use the boiling water method to rehydrate most of the things I use. The basic formula is 1 cup boiling water (or other liquid) to 1 cup dried food.
One onion makes about 1/4 cup of dried minced onions. So, if your recipe calls for a whole onion, you would take 1/4 cup of minced onions and add 1/4 cup of boiling water and soak for 5 to 20 minutes.
Just leave it in the water until it’s absorbed all or most of the liquid. Then use just like you normally would. For other amounts you’ll have to do your own math. 🙂
I love giving food gifts for weddings, housewarmings, and Christmas. These almost always make it into the baskets.
What are your favorite recipes that call for dried minced onions?.
Here’s more things to replace in your pantry: