Why Dehydrate Foods?

Dehydrating has been a way to preserve foods for thousands of years. It’s a sure way to be able to make food last longer and preserve the nutritional value. Dehydrating can be used to preserve fruit, vegetables, meats, nuts and grains.  Aside from that, herbs can be dehydrated through this process faster than air drying.

I choose to dehydrate foods to save space in the freezer. I’m also able to store more food in less space for longer time periods. I even realized that sometimes kids like to eat dehydrated foods better than the fresh food!

You can dehydrate food under a multitude of methods. All you need is air flow, heat and a way to keep the bugs away. The goal is to remove the moisture without overheating your food. Fruit dehydrates at 135 F., vegetables at 125F. and meat at 155 F. Drying times will have to be adjusted.

Dehydrating can be as easy as putting a layer of food on a rack and sitting it on your car dash as the sun dries your food. You can do this for meat, fruit or vegetables. It’s a strange technique, but works just fine for quicker drying foods.

Electric dehydrators are available at many price ranges. Always buy the best you can afford with dehydrators because you will get what you pay for. The Excalibur is one of the better electric dehydrators. It comes with many racks and they are square making it easier and more efficient.

A sun dehydrator is fairly easy to make and is an iconic way to say “I’m a homesteader and don’t need the electric company.” Many plans are available and will make this build much easier. These dehydrators can be modified to fit many more trays than an electric dehydrator could. It has no cost to run, and food that is sun dried seems to taste better. Large dehydrators can be made on wheels and makes it easier to turn and follow the sun.

As a kid, my mom would just lay some newspaper on the picknick table and spread out our apple slices. We would cover the apples with a cage made with window netting. This worked great and we couldn’t wait to eat them.

Dehydrating your food will keep much of the vitamins and nutrients intact. Most of the time, you will find that fruit is better dehydrated and kids will eat more than they do fresh fruit. Any dehydrated foods can be rehydrated by soaking in hot water, and you can even make up some mason jar soup with mixes of dehydrated food.

Lastly, fish is great dehydrated. I like to salt it and we end up with a fish jerky. That may sound weird to some, but it’s great. It can then be eaten as is or put in soup or shredded and used in other meals. Fish gives us important essential vitamins and minerals. If you want to be healthy, eat your carrots and fish!