Dehydrated potato flakes are a highly portable, convenient source of nutrition. They are fairly easy to cook, don’t weigh much and keep for a long time without refrigeration. Also, you know what’s in them when you make them from scratch and they taste better.
Preparing the Potatoes
Peel the potato and cut it up into medium-size pieces.
You can wait until after you boil the potatoes to peel them, if you prefer. The skin will come off of some of the pieces while they boil. Let the potato pieces cool off a little, slide a butter knife or fork under the edge of the peel and pull it off. It should come off easily.
Put the potato pieces into a pot and add enough water to generously cover them. It takes about 4 cups of water to cover 1 large baking potato in a medium-size pot.
Add a pinch of salt, if you like. It isn’t really necessary but many people prefer the flavor. I use 1 to 2 grinds of sea salt.
Bring the water to a full, rolling boil. Turn the heat down to about medium so the water stays at a steady boil and boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes. They are done when a fork slides through them easily.
Take the peeled, cooked potato pieces out of the pan with a spoon and put them into a large bowl. Do not throw out the potato water. Mash the potatoes with a fork or hand potato masher.
Add 1/2 cup of the potato water and blend it into the potatoes. A mixer works best for this part. Blend them until they are completely smooth. Add another 1/4 cup of potato water and blend them some more. They should be the consistency of runny pudding. Add more water, if necessary, until they are the right consistency.
While adding water to the potatoes doesn’t make much sense, it does need to be done. The potatoes must be thin and a little runny or they will not dehydrate and break down properly.
Dehydrating in the Oven
Line a baking pan or pizza pan with parchment paper. Cut the parchment paper down to size so it fits neatly on the bottom of the pan. Parchment paper that extends beyond the edges of the pan will scorch.
Spread the mashed potatoes out evenly in a thin layer (no thicker than 1/4 inch) on the parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and lightly smooth it over the potatoes.
Dehydrate the potatoes for 6 to 8 hours in a 170-degree Fahrenheit or 75-degree Celsius oven. Leave the oven door open slightly to allow the moisture to escape.
Dehydrating in a Dehydrator
If you are using a dehydrator, use the fruit leather tray or the pans/sheets designed for use with your dehydrator.
Set your dehydrator at 130 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit or 55 to 65 degrees Celsius and leave the potatoes in for 6 to 36 hours, depending on how quickly your dehydrator works. Check them after a few hours and turn over the chunks that are getting dry.
Making Potato Flakes
The potatoes will be dry, crunchy and white-gold to golden-brown when they are done.
Put the dehydrated potato pieces into a food processor or blender to crunch them up into flakes. Grind them up as much as you can. The finer the grind the smoother the mashed potatoes.
Using Homemade Potato Flakes
Reconstitute the potato flakes with about twice as much water as flakes. For example, 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup flakes makes 1 serving. The amount of water required will vary so you may want to experiment. Add a little salt, 1 to 2 teaspoons of butter and about 1/4 cup of milk to the potatoes to improve flavor and texture. Put the salt in the pan with the water, bring it to a boil, remove from heat, mix in the flakes, milk and butter. You can also use coconut oil or olive oil instead of butter.
If you keep the potatoes flakes in a regular container they will last between 6 months to a year. The best way to store them would be in Mylar bags, add oxygen absorbers, keep them in a cool, place and the flakes could last for 5 maybe 8 years.
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