If you could have food last forever, wouldn’t that be a dream? The benefits of food dehydration certainly include having food last longer, but they can also give your food a new purpose.
The Secret Benefits of Food Dehydration That Will Make an Expert Preserver
Let’s start with the main question first
Food dehydration refers to the process of removing water from vegetables, fruits, and even meat, as a means to preserve it longer.
You don’t need an advanced machine though. An oven, or even simply the sun, can be enough to dehydrate your food.
Some of the current reasons for food dehydrating are geared towards preserving food longer. But it also gives you more control over the ingredients that go into your food.
The methods of drying foods vary, but for the most important, they involve heat to remove moisture and allow your food to dry, which makes it last longer.
Now, let’s explore the common techniques out there
Sun-drying is the oldest method in the book and one doesn’t need external or complicated equipment.
The best foods to sun-dry include fruits and vegetables since they are high in both sugar and acid. Meat, though, can get bacterial overgrowth if left under the sun.
You can set up your fruit on a rack with aluminum foil reflecting the sun from beneath but make sure there is air passing through still.
Another easy method for dehydrating food is to use an oven. However, the oven does have to be left on for many hours, so take this into account.
One of the key points here is to keep the oven door slightly open so that moisture can escape.
Set the food on a rack as well, allowing for the oven heat to dry it slowly.
Finally, you can use a food dehydrator, which works by using mid temperatures to dry your food, but it can do it much quicker than an oven and without the hassle.
It’s time to discuss the 8 benefits of food dehydration:
Benefit #1: You can buy food in bulk without any worries
Nowadays, the less time we spend in a grocery store, the better. Instead of having to buy produce and meat little by little, you can buy food in bulk without worrying.
All you have to do is make sure you begin the dehydration process before the fruits or vegetables start going bad.
If you like to add seasoning, you can dehydrate your foods. Then use them as needed in any kind of recipe, allowing them to last longer.
Benefit #2: You can control what ingredients go in your food
Because buying meat and produce is hard to do at times, some people prefer to buy premade food, and that can often lead to the consumption of unhealthy ingredients.
If you prefer to know exactly what goes into your food, but can’t afford to buy fresh food every week, then dehydrating is a great alternative.
When you sun-dry or oven-dry your food, you can pick any seasoning, oil, or other ingredients, and you are sure that the food is safe.
Also, once the food is dehydrated, you can use it however you like. And you won’t even have to go through the process of using extra fat.
Benefit #3: You can have your favorite foods accessible year-round
Another advantage of food dehydration is that your favorite foods will be available to you at all times.
This makes things great when it’s the dead of winter and you want to eat strawberries or pineapple.
Also, because there are a large variety of foods you can dehydrate, the menus will be unlimited, regardless of the time of year.
Some of the meats you can dehydrate include beef, chicken, lamb, and fish.
As for vegetables, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, corn, onions, potatoes, and pumpkin are commonly dehydrated.
Finally, some of the best fruits to dehydrate are apples, bananas, coconuts, kiwi, mango, watermelon, and peach.
Benefit #4: You will have more space in your fridge and freezer
Regardless of the methods of drying food, once dehydrated, your food will shrink.
Storing dehydrated foods can be liberating for many, as these foods can be stored in airtight containers or Ziploc bags.
If keeping long-term, you may want to have them in vacuum-sealed bags. But they can remain at room temperature without any issues.
On top of being a good way to save money, another one of the benefits of food dehydration is saving space in the pantry and kitchen.
Benefit #5: You can make healthy and energizing snacks
If you are an athlete, or you like to snack on fruit, or even have long days at work where energy is key, then food that has been dehydrated is a good option.
For one, fruits and vegetables that are dehydrated have a higher amount of sugar. This can be handy in certain situations.
For example, this is particularly efficient if you are in the middle of a hike and get tired, you would usually snack on premade trail-mix,
Instead, avoid the added sugars and carbs, and eat some homemade mix with dehydrated fruit and nuts of your choice.
The same applies to other situations when you may need energy, such as running races or working all day.
Benefit #6: You will get your daily value of vitamins, minerals, and more
Another reason to love food dehydration is that you can usually preserve the nutrients in the food.
If you tend to avoid fresh fruits and vegetables, you can get your daily vitamins and minerals through dried foods.
Also, if eating healthy is not possible during workdays, including these dehydrated foods can be a good way to keep up with your nutritional needs.
Dried fruit and vegetables often have a high amount of fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, magnesium, and iron.
Benefit #7: You will save time as compared to other food preservation methods
Even though canning and pickling can be a good method to keep food safe and tasty, there is some work to be done and risks to take with these.
However, dehydrating food is pretty easy. It would only require you to wash your food, slice it, and placing it in the oven. You can also place it under the sun or in the dehydrator.
The process is very safe, and while sun drying takes some time, you may still relax and watch it happen.
Pickling and canning, on the other hand, require you to be on top of the process. And it can be dangerous.
Benefit #8: You won’t produce much waste with spoiled food or leftovers
Food dehydration allows you to save food on the verge of spoiling. So, it is a good way to not only save money, but also reduce your waste.
In times when it’s so important to stay on top of your usage and waste, why not add food dehydrating as methods to reduce these?
Also, these foods are very healthy; most of them can be bought organic and kept safely for many months to come.
Try food dehydration to improve your diet and your life
Now that you have heard the 8 powerful benefits of food dehydration, what are you waiting for?
It’s time to be conscious of your spending and waste, all while making tasty treats and foods to eat and use for much longer than ever before!