A couple of years ago I bought myself a dehydrator for Christmas. I had been hearing for a while about the benefits of dehydrating food and besides, it sounded kind of fun. Whether you’re a hard core off-gridder and build your own solar powered food dehydrator or whether – like me – you purchase one that uses electricity, I highly recommend giving this form of food preservation a try.
In this article, I will outline some of the benefits of using a dehydrator and then tell you about some of my favorite dehydrator snacks.
Benefits of Dehydrating Food
Drying food in order to preserve it has been around a very long time. In fact, it’s one of the oldest methods of preservation. When stored properly, dehydrated meats can last months and dehydrated fruits and vegetables can last up to a year. (Not that any of that stuff sticks around that long in our home!) Also, both will last years in the freezer.
Not only is the food preserved, but it is preserved without the use of added salt, sugar or other chemical preservatives. Do you know what homemade dehydrated apple chips are made of? Apples! That’s it. (You may add other things if you like, but I’ll get to that later.)
If you’re unaccustomed to dehydrated food, you’re likely wondering what it tastes like. After all, if you take something fresh and remove the water it shrivels up and might not look as appealing. Well, the answer is that dehydrated food is actually bursting with flavor. When you remove the water, the natural sugars and other flavors become concentrated. In my opinion, dehydrated fruit is better than candy.
And finally, dehydrated foods are healthy. When food is dehydrated, it retains almost all of its original nutritional value – unlike canning or freezing. As an added bonus, if you are on a raw food diet, you can eat dehydrated foods because they can be prepared at temperatures that are lower than 115 degrees F.
The possibilities of health foods and snacks that can be prepared in a dehydrator are many. You are limited only by your imagination – and what recipes you can find on the Internet!
What To Use
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