Whether you produce a bountiful harvest from your garden or you’re a shopper who buys in bulk when foods go on sale, there are many reasons to try dehydration over other food storage methods, and the process is not difficult.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of essential nutrients and are the perfect snack you can have between meals. Aside from good nutrition and convenience, there are many other good reasons to dehydrate produce. Here are a few of them.
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables can have intense flavours. Once all the water has been removed from the produce, you’re left with all the goodness and flavour, making them ideal for snacking on or enhancing dishes.
Dehydrated foods offer something different in the healthy snack category. Dehydrated foods don’t lose their nutritional value and maintain water-soluble vitamins and minerals. This is especially useful if you have children. One way to get kids interested in eating dehydrated foods is fruit leathers, sometimes referred to as fruit rolls or fruit roll-ups. They’re formed when fruit is pureed cooked, dried, and rolled or cut out. The sticky solution is then spread on a non-stick surface on which it is dried. When dried, the fruit leather can be easily cut into strips and shapes and readily goes into lunch bags for school, road trips, or outdoor activities.
3. Storage and preservation
Dehydration helps remove any extra moisture from food so as to prevent any spoilage or decay. Using a dehydrator is a great way to enjoy produce when they are out of season and is an alternative to freezing or canning. Because of the water removal through drying, dehydrated foods shrink up considerably which means you need much less storage space for dried foods.
When you’re in need of some quick energy, dehydrated dried fruits and vegetables are ideal. With a calorie, nutrient, and sugar content that has become much more concentrated, dehydrated produce makes for the perfect high-calorie snack. This makes them ideal for athletes, a snack to keep you going at work, or an energy booster between meals.
5. Saves money
Compared to the electricity cost of freezing or canning, dehydrating is a far cheaper form of preserving your foods. Once you’re past the initial purchase of the dehydrator, it’s just a matter of looking for bargains at the supermarket or from your own garden and then getting busy. The best bargains in produce are usually found when a particular fruit or vegetable is in season so you can transfer all that fresh goodness into dehydrated versions at a low cost. It’s also a great way to avoid food waste if you have an excess amount of fruit and vegetables which you can dehydrate and preserve to enjoy for a later time.
6. Shelf life
Dehydrated fruits typically last for 12 months. Vegetables are good for approximately six months. You’ll never have to run to the grocery store at the last minute for carrots, onions, potatoes, green beans, or any other pantry staple if you have jars of the dehydrated version in your cupboard.
7. Kids love them
Dehydrated fruits are a healthy option for the kids whether they’re at home or for their lunchbox in school. Dehydrated vegetables become far more appealing to kids also as they can be made into flavoursome chips which are a great healthy snack.
8. It’s easy
The basic act of dehydrating involves washing and then slicing the food, laying it out on a tray, turn on the dehydrator, and then flip the pieces over as needed. Job done. How hard was that? Food dehydration is simple. You don’t need anything fancy and, unlike canning, you don’t need a lot of additional equipment.
Dehydrating food is a great way to stock your cupboards at home with food staples and healthy snacks, and it can be done at a cheap price. No more food wastage or last minute runs to the shops, too. By dehydrating your fruit and vegetables, you will have an endless supply of healthy treats you and your kids can enjoy!