Benefits of Dehydrating Food
Dehydrating food is the easiest way to preserve food. Drying has been used to preserve food without refrigeration for thousands of years and is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to save your crops. It can also reduce the weight of camping and backpacking food, and it’s easy on your back and wallet.
Drying dramatically reduces the moisture content of foods so they last longer and still taste delicious.
This is because drying food reduces moisture content by 5-20%. In this area, bacteria that cause food to spoil cannot survive. By removing moisture from your favourite foods, you also extend their shelf life.
Types of Food Dehydration
There are several ways to dehydrate food, but some methods are more effective than others. This is because modern tools have helped improve the rate of dehydration and reduce the likelihood of food spoiling. These are the most common methods used today.
Drying in the Sun
It is difficult to imagine an older or simpler way of preserving food than drying in the sun. For about 12,000 years, people have cut fruit into slices and placed them on racks or clotheslines in the sun. Sun drying is very effective in places with a lot of sun. The ancient Romans often ate dried figs and raisins due to their Mediterranean climate. But the place with a minimum temperature of 86 ° F and relative humidity of 60% will also be suitable. Remember that it takes several days for the fruit to dry completely. Place it on a rack (avoid anything that is galvanized) and cover it with a second rack to deter flies and other insects.
Similar to sun drying, air drying is an ancient method of dehydrating food. The main difference is that air drying is usually done in the shade. That’s because this method helps preserve everything you need to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. It works well with young vegetables and herbs, especially those you save for culinary mixes or herbal teas.
Further development of solar drying, solar drying uses a solar-powered dehydrator to passively dry food. Since there is no element to provide heat or fans to circulate the air, solar drying does not use electricity. Solar dryers work outdoors and are generally installed as a mini tabletop greenhouse.
Oven Drying can be done in your home oven to slowly dry food at temperatures around 140 ° F. Because ovens are so large, they are not the most efficient dryers on the block. But they can save you the hassle of buying an extra unit if you want to dry quickly. It can also heat your home as you have to open the door to allow moisture to escape. If you are considering drying food in your oven, check that your oven is low enough. Anything above 140 F will cook the food instead of drying it.
Electric Dehydrator Combine ancient drying techniques with modern technology and voila – you have electric dehydrators. These small power plants are equipped with fans and elements to dry food quickly and efficiently. This means that it is practically not spoiled and has a tasty end result. Most electric dehydrators also come with a temperature indicator and dial. This will help speed up or slow down the drying time depending on what you are processing. If your dehydrator has a fan, consider using it in your garage or another area where noise is not a problem. This note also applies if you use your dehydrator in the summer and don’t want to heat up your living space.
If you are a microwave enthusiast and only have a small amount of food to dry, use your microwave to “defrost” to dry fruits and herbs. It usually takes about 20-40 minutes for fruits to fully dry in the microwave, but keep checking to not overdo it. Herbs in the microwave take 2 to 3 minutes.
Amazing Benefits of Dehydrating Food
Nutritious and Healthy for You
Dehydrator benefits from retaining the original natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in food much better than other forms of food preservation or cooking. In fact, a study in the year 2005 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition revealed that they discovered that dried fruits like dried cranberries, grapes, and plums contain twice as many antioxidants as their fresh versions.
This is important in our modern world, where we are surrounded by packaged and chemically modified foods with very little nutritional value.
Also, most healthy foods are not available year-round (or they don’t taste very good and are more expensive in the off-season).
No Preservatives or Chemicals
Dehydrated foods contain only one ingredient: foods that are dehydrated. You don’t have to worry about additional pesky chemicals or ingredients that you can’t pronounce.
Not only that, even dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be good for months, often up to a year! And store-bought dehydrated foods can last for many, many years.
Saves You Money
We could all use more ways to save money, right? Imagine buying produce in bulk at a discounted price (at your local garden or grocery store), dehydrating it at home, and having it available to eat year-round.
Think fewer extra trips to the grocery store, less gas consumption, and “gourmet” foods like sun-dried tomatoes or kale chips, without the addition of oils, preservatives, salts, or sugar, for a fraction of the price of the package.
With dehydration, all of this is possible! The profitability of food dehydration is truly amazing.
Easy Storage and Preservation
Now we come to the store. There are two benefits of dehydrating food for preservation:
- By removing all moisture from food, it inhibits the growth of bacteria so that food lasts much longer and is safe, and
- It shrinks the food that makes it. Storage is child’s play.
So you have healthier food in your kitchen for longer without worrying about spoiling. Therefore, it is important to invest in essential storage items like glass jars and other long-term storage containers, which is one of the best steps you can take. Then you can say goodbye to packaged groceries and old, moldy products you bought at the store!
Make an Assortment of Homemade Goods
It’s no secret that homemade meals and snacks are better options than your restaurant or packaged versions because you can control the ingredients in them. You can batch cook your dehydrated foods. If you do this, then you will always have an arsenal of healthy options to take from home.
But that’s not all. A dehydrator can do many other things besides preparing dehydrated food! You can use it to make homemade items like:
- Dried herbs
- Herbal teas
- Potpourri and dried flowers
- Dog treats
- Paper (from drying the pulp of recycled items)
A not unusual place criticism approximately ingesting healthful is that it`s difficult to do whilst traveling. I can recognize the reasoning, however, that`s in which the advantages of a meals dehydrator can prevent from resorting to the drive-through.
Dehydrating offers you healthful, non-messy snacks prepared to grab-n-go, making them extraordinarily smooth to take with you anywhere—withinside the car, on a plane, whilst backpacking, or on a tenting trip, etc.
Perfect for Plant-Based Diets
Fruits and vegetables galore! Obviously, these are basic elements of a plant-based diet. And if you just look at the examples of dehydrated foods in n. 1, you can see that most of them are planted.
There are tons of plant-based recipes that you can make with a dehydrator, such as pretzels, fruit snacks, raw bread, and vegan jerky, to name a few. And with a drying cookbook or other vegan cookbook recipe guide in hand, you’re sure to be able to make endless options for truly delicious and healthy plant foods.
How many times have you bought a lot of products at the store and found that you can’t eat everything before it spoils or becomes overripe? I know it because it has happened to all of us so many times.
However, because dehydration extends shelf life so well, you can avoid wasting extra food and avoid unnecessary waste. You will get the most out of the food you buy.