Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
Do you know what are the benefits of a food dehydrator?
A food dehydrator is an electric appliance which uses both air and heat to remove the moisture or water content from foods. Water is what makes food spoil or go bad and without water, bacteria and mould can't grow. Bacteria, yeasts and molds need the water in the food to grow and drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food. Usually a fan and a heating element are used to create the dehydration environment.
Drying food using sun and wind to prevent spoilage has been practiced since ancient times, and was the earliest form of food preservation. Fortunately, today's technology has made this process much easier and more effective, with modern day dehydrators regulating the temperature for even and consistent drying.
Read on to discover the top reasons why so many people are using dehydrators to dry their foods today!
Benefits of a Food Dehydrator
1. Reduce food waste & extend shelf life
Never waste food again with a food dehydrator. Using your leftover fruits and vegetables in a food dehydrator will extend their shelf life for up to 2 years! Yes, that's right - 2 years!
You can reduce food waste by preserving food with a dehydrator and keeping your pantry stocked year-round whilst saving yourself some money in the process. Simply use the dehydrator to dry your herbs or make veggie chips, include kale, beetroot, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and even green beans.
Save foods that would otherwise spoil, like the forgotten fruit in the back of your refrigerator, and turn them into delicious healthy treats and snacks like fruit leathers. Dehydrated food can be also be "re-hydrated" simply with water or by adding to soups, casseroles, stews or pasta sauces.
2. Create Healthy & 100% Natural Food
Dehydrating foods requires only one ingredient, the food you’re drying, so not only is it 100% natural, but you benefit from all the minerals and fibre of the whole fruit, and unlike cooking and steaming, you don’t lose any of the nutritional content of the foods you are dehydrating.
Many store-bought dried fruits contain added sugars, sulfur dioxide and trans fat - all of which can be harmful to you and your family!
Sulfur dioxide is sometimes added to store bought dried fruit in order to prevent discolouration. Sulfur dioxide can cause asthma, skin rashes and stomach pains. Sulfur dioxide is particularly present in dried apricots, which is what gives them the bright orange colour.
By making your own dried fruits, there is no additives or preservatives - you are in control of what goes into your food!
3. Cost Savings
Processed, store bought snacks can be expensive and organic dehydrated foods are often highly over-priced. You can save a lot of money by using your own food dehydrator and by purchasing fresh food items in bulk when in season, or by harvesting your own produce. Food dehydrators are extremely cost effective to run.
4. Efficient Storing
Dried foods take less than one sixth of their original storage space and don’t take up much of the space in your refrigerator or freezer. Simply pack the foods clean and dry into canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight fitting lids or vacuum seal bags (in single portion sizes) and store them in your pantry for the perfect go-to snack.
Dehydrated foods are compact, lightweight and they travel well, ideal for camping and outdoor trips. By dehydrating foods at home, you can create the perfect snack for your children’s school lunch boxes or a midday hunger-buster while you’re on the road or at work.
6. Precision Drying
If you’ve ever tried to dehydrate foods in your oven then you’ll understand the frustration it can sometimes cause - not only because of the higher electricity costs that you’ll have to pay, but because most household ovens don’t even start their temperature gauges below 90 degrees (celsius)!
In contrast, by using a food dehydrator, you have complete control when drying foods at lower temperatures. For example; the BioChef Arizona Dehydrator offers an adjustable thermostat range of 35 - 70 degrees celsius - significantly lower than your average household oven. Because of these low temperatures, food created with a dehydrator is said to preserve the living nutrients and enzymes in fruits and vegetables.
7. Flexible & Versatile
Whether you want to activate some nuts or make a batch of veggie chips, food dehydrators provide you the flexibility to do all of it. Below are just a few things you can make with a food dehydrator:
- Dehydrated Fruit Roll Ups - these are a winner with the kids! Simply blend fruit (and even some yogurt) dehydrate and roll up. It’s the perfect lunchbox snack.
- Dried fruits such as grapes, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and kiwi fruit.
- Healthy vegetable chips - make crispy chips from beetroot, carrot, parsnip and sweet potato with no oil.
- Jerky - experiment with different varieties: beef, lamb, fish and poultry with preservative-free, fresh marinades and spices.
- Make healthy bread alternatives such as flax seed bread, pizza bases and crackers.
- Healthy granola, activated nuts and seeds.
- Healthy dog and animal treats without preservatives.
For more ideas, tips and tricks, check out our food dehydrator recipe section here.
8. Simple & Easy to Use
Food dehydrators are essentially fool-proof! With the straightforward set and forget system, you simply prepare your food by slicing into pieces, pop onto the trays, set a timer and walk away. It’s that easy!
With the temperatures set so low that it’s almost impossible to over-dry your foods. And if you do, you can always ‘re-hydrate’ them with a little water or by adding them to soups, casseroles, stews or pasta sauces.
9. Safe Preservation - Very low risk of bacteria and spoiling
Unlike other preservation methods, because food dehydrators remove the water content from foods during the drying process, the risk of bacteria growth or spoiling is very low. In fact, dehydration is commonly used by campers, hikers and even astronauts because of the safe nature of the preservation method!
Vitality 4 Life have carefully selected and designed a range of food dehydrators, each with their own features, to make the dehydrating process simple and easy.