How to rehydrate dehydrated food

Written by sommer leigh
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How to rehydrate dehydrated food
Rehydrated dried fruit can be used in a variety of dishes. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Once you rehydrate a dehydrated food, you can use it just as you would use it fresh. Only fruits and vegetables are rehydrated, or reconstituted, as it's also called. Rehydration requires a source of liquid, with many options available, depending on the food and your taste preference. After you rehydrate the food, use it in any dish calling for a fresh version of the specific food or eat it as is, if you prefer.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Shallow container
  • Liquid - fruit or vegetable juices, water, milk, stock, yoghurt or liqueur
  • Saucepan

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  1. 1

    Place the dehydrated food in a single layer in a shallow container.

  2. 2

    Pour a thin layer of some type of liquid over the food just to cover it. Choose from fruit or vegetable juices, water, milk, stock, yoghurt or liqueurs. Some foods need more liquid. Watch the foods to see if they soak up the liquid and add more liquid as needed, up to about 3 cups total liquid.

  3. 3

    Allow the food to sit in the liquid until it's completely soft. This may take as little as one hour to as many as eight hours. Place the food in the refrigerator after a couple of hours.


  1. 1

    Place a saucepan filled with 1 cup of water on a hob burner set to medium-high heat.

  2. 2

    Allow the water to come to a boil.

  3. 3

    Add 1 cup of dried food to the boiling water.

  4. 4

    Turn the heat down to low to bring the mixture to a simmer.

  5. 5

    Allow the mixture to simmer until the food completely softens, usually within about 15 or 20 minutes.

Tips and warnings

  • Leafy greens and tomatoes do not require soaking. Simply simmer them in water until they are tender.
  • Freeze the liquid leftover from rehydrating and use in soups, gravies, fruit leathers or other recipes calling for the specific liquid.
  • Add dehydrated food to soups and stews without rehydrating them; they rehydrate as they cook in the liquid from the soup or stew.
  • Do not oversoak food as it causes the food to lose flavour and become mushy.
  • Eat dried meat as it is; don't attempt to rehydrate it.

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