Ever since I first received my first food dehydrator, I’ve fallen in love with it – and I think you would’ve noticed in my previous post just how excited I get talking about it. I apologize if we don’t exactly see eye to eye, because right now you’re probably thinking ‘Well, why dehydrate food when I could just buy raisins at the supermarket?’
There’s so many advantages that come with dehydrating your food and here I’ve listed the top 8 benefits for you. Read on to see what they are.
1. Dehydrated food is healthy for you!
Enzymes are proteins found in both our bodies and in an abundance of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables which help us digest and absorb food. A diet that’s rich in enzymes is said to be important for good health and greater energy levels because we end up putting less strain on forcing the body to produce its own digestive enzymes. Instead, the ‘raw’ food is able to digest itself.
106-118°F (40-50°C), give or take, is said to be the temperature range where food begins to lose some of its enzymes plus other important minerals and vitamins. This is what happens when we cook our food but since food dehydrators work at temperatures below this, dried foods still contain these living enzymes and almost all of its nutritional value and fiber.
The result? Healthy, homemade dried foods that you won’t have to feel guilty about
2. Dehydrated food is healthy AND full of flavor
By removing the water content, the flavor in foods that remains is concentrated and intensified. So fruits naturally become sweeter without any added artificial sugars, colorings and preservatives compared to those shop store banana chips (which are actually deep fried).
You’ll end up snacking on tasty dehydrated treats instead of all the other junk food out there, the best of both worlds really
3. You can make good use of those leftovers by preserving and storing food
Did you know that 40% of the average household bin is food? That’s a lot. With a dehydrator though, you don’t need to worry about wasting food that’s about to go off.
Got a too many apples hanging around? Make some cinnamon apple chips!
Or maybe some leftover fresh herbs? Don’t throw it away! Just chuck it into a dehydrator and store it for future use. To learn how to dehydrate your own herbs, head to this post.
4. It saves space (the dried food, not the dehydrator)
Most fruits and vegetables are made up of 80-95% water while meats are around the 50-75% range, so when you dry them they’ll shrink down to at least half its original size. When you compare this to storing home canned foods in jars, this is much more convenient to for the pantry since it doesn’t take up much space or require a refrigerator.
On another note too, because dried food is so much lighter in weight, this makes it perfect for the everyday lunchbox.
5. Grow your own veggies? Make the most of your fresh harvest all year round
If you find yourself growing so much fruits and vegetables that you and your family can’t seem to eat up in time, why not dehydrate them now for future use?
If you’ve got herbs that’s in season, make the most of it and dry them now to add to your cooking repertoire. Other dried vegetables like mushrooms and tomatoes can also easily be re-hydrated again by soaking them in water – perfect for stocks, soups and stews during the winter.
With so much quality fruits and vegetables stashed away, you’ll easily find yourself eating a much more healthy lifestyle too (win).
6. Dehydrating is fool-proof and kid-friendly
No master chef? No problem because using a food dehydrator is easy peas that it’s impossible to stuff up (don’t take my word for this though. The temperatures are set so low that you have nothing to fear about burning or over drying.
All you have to do is lay out the food, push some buttons, do your own thing for a few hours and come back to indulge. Heck, you’ll be an instant sun-dried tomato gourmet chef in no time
This also makes it a great way to spend time with the young ones in the kitchen. Kids can help you wash and arrange foods on the trays to be dried or even better, they can help make yummy fruit leathers! It’ll definitely encourage healthier eating habits, especially when there’s a deliciously sweet reward at the end of their kitchen adventures.
7. It saves money! Who doesn’t love money?
Dehydrators itself range in price, but however much you decide to spend on one, it easily pays itself back. See some grapes on sale at the local shop? Make the most of the discounts by buying in bulk to make raisins (or sultanas).
Next time when you’re feeling like baking a loaf of raisin bread, there’s one less ingredient you
need to worry about because you’ve already got it. Or of course dip them in melted cacao when you’re craving some chocolate covered raisins
By drying foods for future use, you’re instantly saving yourself time and transport costs to head back to the supermarket (fuel ain’t cheap you know!). And after you realize how delicious dehydrated goodies taste, you’ll instantly be saving yourself extra dollars on buying processed snacks and those supposedly ‘healthy’ dried fruits!
8. You can make beef jerky