Dehydration is the world’s oldest way of preserving food but most people are unfamiliar with this type of food preparation and dehydrators are not among the mainstream appliances found in kitchens. There are many good reasons for adding food dehydration to your cooking skills. It can yield great tasting, nutritious food, requires no preservatives, and can be kept for months on the shelf. If you are interested in purchasing a dehydrator to make your own dried foods it can offer you many health benefits and a greener lifestyle, so be sure to use a food dehydrator during your fall food harvest.
Here are some of the benefits and basics of dehydrated food:
Food dehydration is nothing more than food such as fruit or vegetables, with all the moisture removed by the drying process, leaving a taste that is deliciously concentrated. You are also consuming food that was fresh when you dried it, something you cannot be sure of when you buy it from a store.
Commercially processed foods, especially organic dehydrated foods available at health stores, can be very costly. Making your own dried foods will not only cost less, but a dehydrator will help you save in many other ways such as:
- Food can be purchased in bulk or when on sale and preserved for later use.
- Foods that would otherwise spoil can be saved with dehydration.
- You can make your own dried herbs from fresh produce.
- Make special homemade treats to give as gifts.
- Replace your store-bought snacks with healthier versions.
All this will add up to a substantial cost saving on your food bill.
All Natural Food with no Preservatives or added Chemicals
The only ingredient required when using a dehydrator is the food you intend to dry. Many preservatives and chemicals are added to snacks available at grocery stores to extend the shelf life and enhance the appearance of the products. These preservatives are not only unhealthy but alter the taste and nature of the food.
Sugar is one of the ingredients often added to dehydrated fruit. When you dehydrate your own food you are in control of what goes into it and you won’t have to worry about all the unpronounceable chemical ingredients in store-bought snacks that may affect your health. With your own dehydrator, the result is 100% natural food that is tasty and nutritious. One of the things you can do naturally to retain the color of food is to add a little lemon juice for a tasty snack you can enjoy any time.
Portable Healthy Snacks
It can be difficult to find healthy snacks-on-the-go besides apples, oranges or maybe bananas that can be messy when driving. Dried snacks are compact, lightweight, and travels well, which is a major advantage for busy people on the run. It is also a highly concentrated form of food as an entire bunch of dried bananas can fit into a small sandwich bag that is easy to toss into a backpack or purse. Dehydrated snacks are also great for camping, children’s lunches, and a healthy snack after a gym workout.
For example, a massive $165 billion worth of food in the United States alone is wasted every year. A dehydrator will help reduce waste by preserving food that would otherwise spoil. As soon as fresh fruit shows signs of becoming overripe, it can be popped into the dehydrator instead of tossing it out. Veggies can be dried for use in casseroles and soups. With a dehydrator you can take advantage of an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables from your own or friends’ garden for use at a later time. Also by making your own, you reduce the package waste that you would throw out from buying packaged dried fruit and snacks from commercial stores.
When you own a dehydrator it will open up a myriad of possibilities for tasty snacks such as crackers, granola, cookies.