Food dehydration is the way of the future. A food dehydrator makes complicated cooking easier. Yogurt making, for example, is made simpler when using a dehydrator, which otherwise follows a very complicated creation process. But why would you try to make yogurts and beef jerky when you can actually buy this stuff from the market? Two reasons why you shouldn’t buy ready-made packaged goods off markets:
- It costs you more money: Have you ever bought a bag of chips and thought, “Why should I pay for the extra air that comes with the chips”? If you ever have, then you are in for a treat. Food dehydrators reduce the cost of food preparation. Now you can have all the more amount of chips according to your taste, while paying a price far less than the actual bag of chips. Moreover it’s healthy! Be it a homemade bag of potato chips or homemade beef jerky, what you get is free from artificial tastes and chemicals that are used as preservatives. In addition to that, it saves you money by trimming down all the food waste. Some of us like to use our garden produce in our cuisine. But when you find yourself producing more crop than you can actually consume, you start giving them away to your neighbors. Although generous giving may reserve a seat for you in Heaven, you still find your trash bin filled up to its brim. Here’s where using the food dehydrator will become neat and clever. You can preserve fruits and vegetables for a longer time and eat them without any worries, because they won’t be going stale.
What’s more? Do you know dehydrators actually enhance the taste of your fruits and vegetables? You can add your preserved food to a number of eatables to enhance their taste.
- It is less healthy: Homemade foods are obviously healthier and removes your concern about the added preservatives. Like previously said, buying ready made goods mean putting your circulatory system at the risk of artificial chemicals. Canned foods especially are to be steered clear of. Most of them get a spray of sodium and potassium for preservation. Needless to say these chemicals, although present abundantly in your body, will cause harm when you ingest them. MSG is another chemical that creates inconvenience. MSG stands for Monosodium Glutamate, frequently added to dried foods and beef jerky. Headaches, problems related to unsettled stomach and feeling lethargic are among the many problems MSG creates. Sugar too. What’s wrong with sugar? It is ordered into the envelope of unhealthy food when added to dried products like dates, natural jellies, raisins etc. Opting to make home-dehydrated food items in your home means these chemicals won’t find a way to end up in your circulatory system.
All about Food Dehydrators:
Food Dehydration is easy. When you store food to be dehydrated, one flick of a button will activate a fan, which will start blowing hot air over your food items. This hot air makes the extra saturated water present in food items evaporate. After sometime, your food will be dehydrated entirely. Some dehydrators work on convection but this is tedious and generally time consuming.
This is the basic principle on which dehydrators work. Furthermore they can be classified into two divisions:
- The Stack-able Tray type: Food in this dehydrator is stored in stacks of trays, on top of another. The trays are separated by a minimum distance of 2 centimeters. Choosing this is very economical and it takes up little space. The only downside of using these dehydrators is that you cannot put food having a height more than the distance between the trays allow. Moreover, accessing the stack-able type dehydrator would be a problem. Suppose you want to get access to the middlemost tray. Yes. You have to pick up the trays that are on top of the middlemost tray to get the food items out. Some dehydrators are provided with as much as 20 trays. Lifting each out individually would not only create notorious accidents, but it would also make the usage of such a dehydrator burdensome. See the problem?
- The Shelf Tray type: As the name suggests, food can be stored across numerous shelves. Accessing this kind of dehydrator is easy, as you just have to pull out the specific tray you need. Imagine using the trays of your kitchen oven and you will get the picture. Moreover, pull-out trays allow more food to be stored in the dehydrator.
You know the basics. 4 things you have to keep in mind while going to buy a dehydrator:
- Usage: Some people like to leave the food dehydrator operating while they go out. If you are one of those people and you don’t like over-dried foods then you would select a dehydrator that comes fashioned with an auto-switch that turns off the dehydration after a given amount of time. Moreover you have to know what purpose the dehydrator will be serving. If you like creative cooking and making yogurts, you would like to use a dehydrator with non-stick trays.
- Types of food to dehydrate: Different kinds of food have different amount of saturated water in them, hence require different kinds of dehydration periods. If you are dehydrating different kinds of eatables at once then you have to select a dehydrator having an adjustable heating mechanism.
- How big is your family? A bigger family needs more food. If you have a big family and you would use the dehydrator frequently if not daily, then settle for dehydrators with large capacities. If you have a small family and you would use the dehydrator on occasions then you would choose a lesser capacity model.
- Maintainability: Proper maintenance is necessary. The insides of the dehydrator can get pretty messy, and needs to be cleaned. When not in use, take out the trays and clean them up.
Armed with this knowledge, you can now go invest in a dehydrator without any hassle.
Some more information for the new buyer:
- Get the best out of your dehydrator by following recipes that use dehydration techniques. Most of us who don’t know how to operate a dehydrator would only end up in misusing it. If you can’t make it work at its maximum efficiency, following “How To” books would be best idea for you
- The time taken to dehydrate a food is directly proportional to the amount of water it has in it. The more the water present, the more time it will take. The best idea would be to group similar things together while drying them.
- Rehydrating fruits and vegetables won’t be a problem. This can be done by soaking the dehydrated foods in clean water.
- You don’t have to worry about the nutritional value of dehydrated foods. Nutritional experts say dehydrated foods lose very amount of nutritional value as the original food. Some minerals and vitamins that are prone to low heat (such as vitamin C) would be lost, but other higher Vitamins will not be affected.
Numerous functions of a dehydrator have made it a favorite among chefs and housewives. Not only does it make up for healthy eating, it saves you money and provides support for you to hone your cooking skills. Dehydrators have evolved into an excellent item that every kitchen needs.