Step 1: The Equipment:
I started with my very ancient but trustworthy dehydrator which has 8 trays.
I used only 5 trays.
Step 2: One Pound of Organic Spinach.
This spinach was not going to be used by the recommended date.
You can use any Spinach, from the garden or store.
Step 3: Pick Over the Spinach But Do Not Rinse.
Unless it is very dirty (like dirt from the garden), rinsing will just add moisture that will not do much else for cleanliness. It will add quite a bit to your time and this is the fast method.
Step 4: Begin to Load the Trays.
I do not carefully place the leaves but make a loose level lay. You will see that as the leaves dry a lot of space will open up.
Step 5: Filling In
Fill in the airy spots. The leaves will shrink as they dry and add space to the tray.
Step 6: How High?
This is a side view for approximate leaf height in the tray.
Step 7: Lofting the Leaves
After the leaves begin to wilt a good bit (about and hour), I reloft them and make sure that all areas are getting good air flow.
Step 8: Two Hours
This is about 2 hours in and the leaves are quite wilted now but not dry.
You can see that air spaces have opened up everywhere.
Step 9: 3-4 Hours
If the spinach needs to be shifted for any damp spots just poke with your fingertips as the leaves that are dry will shatter. Finish the drying inspection and when satisfied with the dryness, unplug the dehydrator, take the topper off and let sit until cool.
Step 10: Very Dry. Time to Put Up.
The leaves are completely dry. There are a lot of spaces between the dried leaves, this is why we do not worry about crowding in the beginning. And of Course, This Saves Time.
The leaves are various shades of green and mostly greener than the photos represent.
Step 11: Brittle
I put the trays over the Dehydrator top to catch the broken leaves if I try to take them off the tray by hand.
Tipping them into a large bowl will work also.
Step 12: Comparison
This is how much of the original tub the dried lofty leaves fill. If you were to crush them they would of course take up less space if space is an issue.
Step 13: Size of Storage
This first picture is my storage container next to a pint canning jar so you can see the size.
I loosely packed the leaves in the white tub, labeled and dated it.
Ready to use or put on shelf. I would use it within a short time since this is not air tight packaging.