Dehydrating Lettuce

Dehydrating lettuce provides a delicious, low-calorie snack that is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals. The process takes a little time, but it is easy and worth the effort. Adding the dehydrated greens to soups, casseroles and egg dishes gives them an added nutritional boost. They also make a wonderful addition to smoothies.

Is lettuce a fat or protein?

Before starting the drying process, thoroughly wash the lettuce leaves. Remove any wilted or discolored leaves and discard them. Place the fresh, clean leaves in a salad spinner and dry them well. This is the key to a crisp, light green result. Once the leaves are ready, arrange them on cookie sheets with space between each leaf to allow for airflow. The trays can be covered with a kitchen towel to prevent moisture from spilling onto the leaves and ruining them. The ideal temperature setting for dehydrating lettuce is 125degF / 52degC.

The resulting dried leaves are called green flakes or green jerky. To use them, simply add them to meals in place of croutons. This simple step transforms traditional comfort foods like chicken noodle soup and macaroni and cheese. The delicate flavor blends into creamy soups and enhances the richness of casseroles, eggs and stews.

It is important to note that a link was not established between cut-edge discoloration and expression of the PPO genes (phoephorbide a oxygenase and phoephorbide a diphosphate). More research is needed to investigate these mechanisms. Nevertheless, it was demonstrated that dehydration can extend the shelf life of packaged salad greens.

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