You may think that because you’ve gone Paleo or even Keto that you can never enjoy your favorite breakfast foods again. No, ma’am! Try this method for making dehydrated Paleo hash browns from Paleo and Keto approved veggies. Dehydrating them before you use them is the secret to keeping them perfectly moist, without being a soggy mess.
I Invent Fire
How do you make perfect hash browns? This has been a question that has haunted me my entire adult life. I love hash browns but have never enjoyed making them at home because they end up soggy and smushy. Bleh.
One year, during a time when we were struggling financially, I opened a can of shredded, dehydrated potatoes from our food storage pantry. They were all I had to make the hash browns the kids were asking for for Pancake Night. I followed the instructions on the package for re-hydrating them, but left out just a bit of the water so that the potatoes would be a little less wet.
It turns out, I discovered that this – using dehydrated shredded potatoes – was the secret to making excellent hash browns! I felt like I’d invented fire, or something.
How to Make Perfect Hash Browns
Since that night, here’s what I’ve learned about making perfect hash browns every time:
- Use dehydrated shredded veggies. Whether you’re making regular or Paleo hash browns, using dehydrated vegetables is THE best way to control the moisture level in your finished product. You can also shred raw veggies and strain them through a mesh sieve with a weight on top for at least an hour. This will remove quite a bit of the moisture. In my opinion, though, dehydrating is quicker and better.
- Use enough eggs in your Paleo hash brown mix. Don’t skimp.
- Use coconut oil in your fry oil mix. You can use your favorite fat – grass fed butter, ghee, bacon fat, whatever – but include a good amount of coconut oil for crispy edges. I don’t suggest you use only coconut oil because it has a very low smoke point and might start smoking before you’re done cooking. I almost always mix coconut oil with another fat when I’m sautéing, and certainly when I’m frying. However, nothing will give you those crispy edges like coconut oil.
To Dehydrate Veggies for Paleo Hash Browns
If you need guidance with learning to dehydrate anything, please visit my friend Shelle at Rockin W Homestead. She has a free mini course on learning to dehydrate foods. You can also check out her book, Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook.
To get started with dehydrating the veggies you’ll need for these Paleo hash browns, use your cheese grater or your food processor to grate at least four cups of Paelo/Keto approved veggies. This is a great thing for the kids to help with, by the way. Don’t let a fear of sharp objects in the kitchen keep you from including your kids in cooking.
Back to Paleo-approved veggies for hash browns. The ones I typically use are:
- winter squash
- yellow squash
- sweet potatoes
Grow Your Own Paleo Veggies?
FYI, you can learn to grow all these veggies yourself! Growing your own veggies gives you power over how they’re produced, if they’re sprayed with herbicides and when they’re harvested. Part of eating healthy is finding ways to eat food that’s been produced free of harmful chemicals. This is so much simpler to do when you’re growing your own!
Just a note for those on the Keto diet
Which veggies you use may vary according to your body, the way you track your carbs and even what day of the week it is. If you see a veggie on this list (like sweet potatoes) that you don’t use, then don’t use it. No worries!
Steps to Dehydrate Shredded Veggies:
- Wash, skin and shred your veggies.
- I like a mix of at least one of each of the above veggies – sometimes I’ll throw in an extra onion because I really love onion. You can also double the amount of each veggie so that you have a lot of extra. This makes for quicker breakfasts in your busy mornings!
- Loosely sprinkle them onto your dehydrator trays. If you have areas that are compact with shredded veggies, move those around and try to loosen them because they’ll take longer to dry.
- You may want to set your dehydrator to a living foods setting, but for speed I set mine at 135 for 2-4 hours. At this point I check the shredded veggies. Most will be done by now.
- If you still have clumps that aren’t quite dry, put them back in to process another 2 hours. Check them again.
- When you’re satisfied that all the shredded veggies are dry, remove them from the dehydrator. They should have reduced in size by over half. They should also be brittle and firm. (You can see how Chickadee Homestead dehydrated her yellow squash here.)
- To store, place your dehydrated veggies into a glass container with a lid away from heat and light. Store for about one year.
A little trick I learned from Shelle is to keep your stored dehydrated veggie container out on the counter for a few days to check for condensation. If you get condensation inside the jar, your veggies aren’t all the way dehydrated. This can be really helpful when you’re first learning to dehydrate foods.
To Re-Hydrate Shredded Veggies for Paleo Hash Browns
This is super simple, so don’t worry too much about amounts and measuring.
For a decent batch of Paleo hash browns:
- Place 4 cups of dehydrated shredded veggies into a heat-proof container.
- Cover these in boiling water.
- Allow the veggies to sit in their bath for at least 10 minutes.
- Fluff with a fork and check for saturation. If you have a pocket of dry veggies left, add a little more boiling water. If you added a little too much water, pour it off and save it as vegetable stock the next time you make soup.
The wonderful thing about this method is that you can control how wet your finished Paleo Hash Browns end up. Dry hash browns = crispy, tasty hash browns!
Dehydrated Paleo Hash Browns Recipe
This is really more of a method than a recipe, but I’ll share it here so that you have guidelines to follow. If you’ve followed the above instructions for making your Paleo Hash Brown dehydrated veggie mix, then the rest should be easy.
- 4 Cups Dehydrated shredded Paleo veggie mix
- 3-5 Cups Boiling water
- 3 Fresh eggs
- 1/4 Cup Almond flour, or 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
- 1 Tbsp. Curry, or Turmeric
- 1 tsp Granulated garlic, or 1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
- 2 tsp Sea salt and black pepper
- 1/4 Cup Coconut oil
- 1/4 Cup Other fat - grass fed butter, duck fat, bacon fat, ghee, etc.
- Place the dehydrated shredded veggies in a heat-resistant bowl. Cover in the boiling water. You may not need all the water, or you might need all of it.
- Allow veggies to sit for at least ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and check for saturation. If you still have pockets of dry veggies, add a bit more boiling water. If you have extra water, save and use as veggie stock for soup.
- Once hydrated to perfection (according to your tastes), mix in all other ingredients besides the fat.
- Heat a cast iron or other frying pan on medium heat. Melt the fat. Heat the melted fat until a sprinkle of water over the pan pops and fizzles.
To learn how to dehydrate vegetables, please visit the post.
Why Do Hash browns Stick to the Pan?
Not enough oil! Hash browns are a fried dish, that means they need enough oil to thoroughly brown and crisp as they cook. If you’re using healthy oils like butter, olive, coconut or ghee, you’re paleo hash browns will still be suitable filling and healthy when you use enough fat to fry them well.
Be sure to pre-heat the fat in the pan before you add the hash brown mix. Do NOT overheat! Keep your temperature right in the middle and be patient while the hash browns cook. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to speed up the process.
This will result in uncooked centers, sticking to the pan, and an off flavor.
Other Paleo Breakfast Ideas:
I think that hardest meal of the day to switch over to grain-free/carb-free has got to be breakfast! I’m so wired to think of breakfast as oatmeal and waffles and toast. As healthy as I’ve made these items (bread without yeast, for example), I still can’t eat them every day without having an adverse reaction.
Just switching to using almond flour and baking as often as I did before wasn’t the answer either, though. The only thing that’s really helped make breakfast better with Paleo and Keto ways of eating has been to think of breakfast as another veggie meal. It’s taken time, and I still eat an almond flour breakfast here and there, but simple, sautéed veggies or these stellar Paleo hash browns have become my staple breakfast foods.
To jump start your brain in coming up with Paleo breakfasts (don’t worry, there are plenty of baked breakfasts here, too), here are a few ideas: