When you find dehydrating lettuce with a whole head of fresh, crisp lettuce that is quickly turning into the wilted stuff that you just push to the back of your fridge, it’s time to start dehydrating. It’s easy to do and allows you to enjoy those delicious green flakes all year round, even when your garden is out of season.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is one of the most important vegetable in human food and is very useful as a salad mixture and as a raw material for various dishes. It is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Its nutritional value depends on the type of leaf and its color – dark green leaves contain more nutrients than iceberg lettuce.
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In this study, the thin layer drying behavior of shredded lettuce was investigated using an indirect pilot solar dryer. During the drying process, the trays with shredded lettuce were weighed every 20 min for moisture content measurements and drying curves to determine the water loss from the product. Several drying models were adjusted to the experimental data, and the model with the highest coefficient of determination (R2) was chosen as the best.
After washing the lettuce, place it on a nonstick dehydrator tray and set the dehydrator to 95-115°F / 35-46°C. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours until the leaves crumble easily in your hand for optimal nutrition retention. This dehydrated lettuce is ideal for adding to salads, soups, casseroles, egg dishes and more. Make sure to remove the fibrous membranes found on the bottom of each leaf as these will prevent the lettuce from drying evenly.