I m never really good at telling people what I would like for Christmas. I don't really need anything and the thought of people spending money on me is ridiculous. However, after much deliberation, I finally thought of something! A food dehydrator! Of course! Now, ask me 5 years ago if that's what I would have wanted.. not a chance, probably. Reason number 9,782 how I know I m getting older..
|Top to Bottom: Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas and Cranberries|
What is Food Dehydration?
It is the very simple process of removing moisture from food. Sun or electric power is usually the main sources of energy to dehydrate food. Product that is heated in electric units release moisture and as it releases the moisture, air is moved over the product with a fan which blows the moisture from the fruit, vegetables, fish and meat out of the unit through vents.
Why Bother Dehydrating Food?
It is a good question because the world we live in gives us so many choices for food. For most people in the civilized world, we have an abundance of food. We can eat at a restaurant, get food out of the freezer, open a can or buy fresh fruits, vegetables and meat at the store.
Unfortunately, most of the prepared food that we buy is not necessarily good for us. That includes restaurant food, frozen food and canned food. Many of these processed foods have so many preservatives and additives that it is not good for our health. Fresh fruit, vegetables and meats are our very best shot at getting a nutritious meal.
So, back to the question -- Why then should we dehydrate food? Dried fruits and vegetables retain almost all of their nutrients. In fact, the dietary recommendations by the U.S. government include dried fruits because of this.
You will rarely find any vegetable sold that is dehydrated because it is not sweet. Most dried items are sold as snack foods. Many, if not most, have sugar added, but they are still nutritious. Most of the nutrients are still in the dried fruit. Don’t get sucked into the sugar though because sugar is sugar no matter how you get it.
Many people do not like to eat fruit or vegetables. It does not matter what the reason, they just don’t like to eat them. However, many of the people that will not eat fresh fruit and vegetables like or have learned to eat dehydrated snacks.
What is So Good About Dehydrated Snacks?
Dehydrated snacks retain most of their nutrient value. Vegetables and fruit lose 50% to 80% of their nutrient value when cooked in the standard way. Most people overcook their vegetables because of the taste. To get the most out of a cooked vegetable, it should be just barely heated, but for most this is unacceptable.
The best way to keep the nutrient in the vegetable or fruit is to eat it raw or dehydrate it. The taste changes when it is dehydrated and you have the opportunity to season the vegetable or fruit when you do it.
What else is good about dehydrated food? Besides being an excellent source of nutrients, they are low in calories unless coated with too much sugar. Many people have found that dehydrating fruit makes for a great mid-morning, mid-afternoon or evening snack. It can satisfy the desire for sugar while filling the empty spot in our stomachs and supplies our bodies with life giving nutrients.
Another great feature of the food dehydrator is that it allows you to prepare in advance the vegetables and fruit of the season so that you have a supply for the rest of the year. (Dehydrated food can be kept up to 20+ years if stored properly!!).
Many people who are campers or hikers love to have dehydrated food with them on their trips. They are light-weight and easy to carry. Most importantly, they pack a powerful punch when it is time to recharge the body’s engine. Jerky as well as the dehydrated fruits and vegetables really fill the bill for many outdoor people.
Just when you think those weren’t enough reasons -- there are other reasons for dehydrating fruit and vegetables! Many people want to store food for possible difficult times ahead. This is an excellent method because it does not require refrigeration if stored properly.
Why Buy a Food Dehydrator?
Obviously the decision is yours to make. The options are almost never ending. Some food dehydrators are larger and will do more food at one time. Some have timers and others don’t. Some have a better physical appearance than others, but the essential job of the food dehydrator can be found in all food dehydrators.
I say go for it. Try it!
|Tell me this doesn't look absolutely delicious!|
All the best --