Dehydrating fruits & veggies

No matter the house chore, we find ourselves in an ever-evolving society filled with new technology, equipment and tools with an end purpose of making life easier for us. The same can be said about food dehydration.

Long before the introduction of fridges, freezers and even canners, food dehydration was a necessity for any family wanting to preserve nutritional food longer periods of time. One could only guess that the method was invented out of pure instinct to improve the survival chances of families. Most likely, someone wanted to avoid food gathering when the climate wouldn’t allow for many things to grow – and to avoid risking your health. Fast forward to today and it has yet again become trendy but also smart to preserve certain types of meat, vegetables and fruits, without sacrificing their nutritional value.

Thanks to science, we can now enjoy the ancient method of food dehydration without the lengthy process of for example sun-drying, by simply using an electric dehydrator instead. Best of all, it is quite fun to prepare and economically smart for both small and large families wanting to make dry fruit for long-lasting snacks or perhaps save leftover Shiitake mushrooms for soups.

What makes food dehydration such a financially smart move, is that you can preserve seasonal ingredients all year long, rather than experience them only during their short seasonal lifecycle. It doesn’t hurt that whatever you end up dehydrating is very easy to put away and store in smaller jars and sealable bags without taking up too much space – because of the loss of water during the dehydration process. One perfect example is beet, that comes in large sizes but amazingly disappears to about 1/10 of its original size one dehydrated.

Putting the financial benefit aside, the method of food dehydration is also about moisture removal to eliminate the growth of mold, yeast and bacteria.

Thanks to modern society we can, as previously mentioned, reduce the dehydration time by using electric dehydrators. Your options are plenty and the size, effectiveness and temperatures are all there for you to choose what is best for you. Patience is still a virtue with dehydration time taking anywhere between 3 to 48 hours. With that said, the overall effort is low and all you really do is wash, cut and place fruits, veggies, etc. on tray.

Cleanliness is key but very little needs to be done, as long as you keep your dehydrator and its equipment clean. One neat little trick is to get non-stick tray liners that are easy to clean off when necessary. You can find several options on Amazon.com.

http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/DRYING/dryfood.html

Posted in DIY, Tips.