Dehydrating foods is a healthy practice and dehydrated food also has many benefits. It adds a new cooking technique to your cooking and introduces new recipes. The dehydration process does not require any chemical additives or preservatives; this is why it is the best health-oriented process. Dehydrated foods are far better than the store brought ones which can prove harmful to health.
Initially, dehydration was carried out by lacing a single layer of sliced food onto trays and drying them directly. Eventually, it was carried out in the oven. However, it is not easy to maintain a set time and temperature in it. The air also does not circulate properly in the oven, leaving the batch unevenly dehydrated. For proper food dehydration, a home-based dehydrator is a must. These now come in compact designs which can be placed conveniently in kitchen cabinets. Following are some of the amazing benefits of dehydrating food at home.
9 Amazing Benefits of Dehydrating food
Access to foods all around the year
If you get your hands on some extra produce during seasons, such as citrus fruits or vegetables, you can dehydrate them. Dehydrated foods can last long when stored properly. In this way, you can access seasonal fruits and vegetables all around the year. It is a better option than buying reserved fruits and vegetables from the cold storage, a better option than buying which also contains chemicals and preservatives.
Retains all the nutrients
Dehydrated foods are all-natural because they are in their original raw form. The procedure involves the circulation of dry air through thin food slices. This removes the moisture content slowly but does not cause losses of Vitamin C, Iron, magnesium, and other important nutrients. In this way, the benefits of fruits and vegetables remain the same when they are dehydrated. They can also meet your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals. In other food cooking and reservation methods, nutrient losses do occur because of high heat exposure. Dehydration also improves the flavor of the food.
Ideal for plant-based diets
The main constituent in any plant-based, vegetarian, or vegan diet is fruits and vegetables. The best foods to dehydrate are also fruits and vegetables. Therefore, dehydrated foods can become an important part of the diet. There are innumerable recipes that can be reared by using a dehydrator. This includes fruit snacks, fruit leather roll us, vegetable crisps, crackers, meat jerky, et foods, etc.
Fewer chances of microbial infestation
Bacteria, fungi, and viruses grow best when the conditions are damp and moist. This is why fresh produce of fruit and vegetable is always prone to spoilage. The dehydration process aims towards moisture removal. This ensures an enhanced shelf life of all the dehydrated fruits and vegetables. However, it is essential to store all these foods properly in a sealed or air-tight container. Use oxygen absorbers which prevent the oxidizing of the foods.
Helpful in the portion control diet
When on a weight loss diet, the person is asked to control the food carefully they are eating. Dehydrated foods lay an important role in such kinds of diet. These dehydrated foods give you more concentrated fruit sugars and a high level of nutrients in smaller portions. Thus, they meet all your energy and nutrient needs and do not cause overeating or binge eating. This is why these foods are also the best energy source for hikers, mountaineers, and backpackers.
Excellent source of antioxidants and fibers
In these times, when diets have revolutionized and included a vast range of fast foods, we often fail to achieve the benefits of antioxidants and fibers. However, dehydrated foods offer an abundance of these. Since they are consumed mostly as snack items, you can ensure to get your daily recommendations of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber from dehydrated fruits and vegetables. Children who usually do not eat raw vegetables love to consume dehydrated fruit leathers or chips and get their supply of nutrients.
Eco friendly method
Dehydration is the simplest and most Eco-friendly food reservation method. Usually, the food which is about to expire is thrown into the trash. However, if near to expiry, fruit, and vegetables are dehydrated, their shelf life can be enhanced and used as a healthy snack option. This not only saves money but saves the environment from the stress of eliminating waste. Also, the food is easy to store and reserve without any harmful additives or preservatives.
Emergency food sources
Dehydrated foods can be quickly re-hydrated to be used in the preparation of cereals, porridges, snacks, and sous. They also prove to be a healthy alternative to junk foods, candies, and salted crisps. Dehydrated fruits can be taken on long car journeys. These foods rove to be emergency food in long, harsh winters or other conditions when access to food becomes difficult. This is a great advantage of dehydrating food.
Considerations for food dehydration
For proper food dehydration, you need a good quality food dehydrator suitable for home use. Read the dehydration guides thoroughly before starting. Select good quality products for dehydration and washes them thoroughly. Slice it up in even slices and arrange in a single layer on the dehydrator tray. Set the timer and temperature according to the type of vegetable.
After the dehydration process, select the appropriate container to store your foods. This includes either sealed glass containers or vacuum bags. Both of these will keep the dehydrated foods safe from microbial infestation. It is always recommended to lace some oxygen absorbers in the plastic containers to absorb all the oxygen and prevent the oxidization of fruits and vegetables.
Read: 10 Best Food Dehydrator Consumer Reports
The best thing about dehydrated foods is that diabetic or hypertensive patients can safely consume them. They prove to be great snacks for these people and give them a quick shot of energy. They are free from additives and preservatives, so pregnant and lactating mothers can also safely consume them. If stored properly, they can last for more than five years as well.
Now that our readers know about so many benefits of dehydrated foods, we hope you enjoy the recipes and bring healthy and nutritious snacks to your tables.