How would you like to enjoy seasonal foods all year around that are free of preservatives and additives and save yourself some kitchen storage space? This is all possible, when you take advantage of dehydrators. In fact, dehydrating food is one of the oldest and healthiest methods of preserving food. When you dehydrate food, you are basically just removing the water from the food to prevent bacteria and mold buildup. With that being said, there are some misconceptions about how this process affects the nutritional value of the food. This whole process will only affect the nutritional value on a small level, as long as the process is completed correctly.
There are several different benefits that you can receive from dehydrating food. Some of these benefits might include more flavors, sweeter taste, and much more fragrance, but how is all of this possible? Below you will learn some important tips and information that will help you when it comes to dehydrating food.
Choosing The Correct Temperature
When it comes to dehydrating food, it is imperative that the food is at least 95% dehydrated, before you store it. If your food items are soft, spongy, or sticky you have not completed the dehydration process correctly. Correctly dehydrated food should be crunchy, hard, and breakable. The amount of time that it takes to dehydrate a certain type of food can depend on the environmental temperature of the room. You want to make sure that your dehydrator is located in a warm, dry area away from windows or breezes.
Preparing Dehydrated Foods Properly
However, before you even begin dehydrating your food items, you need to make sure that you are prepared properly. This would include washing the food items with anti-bacterial vegetable cleanser. Make sure that you are wearing gloves or otherwise you are just going to transfer the oils from your hands to your foods. If you are choosing to dehydrate low-acid vegetable, it is recommended that you steam them for around 10 minutes, before you begin the dehydration process.
Never Rush The Dehydration Process
You usually never have to worry about over dehydrating food, but it is never a good idea to turn up the temperature on your dehydrator to speed up the process. This will only seal up the outside of your food items, leaving much unwanted moisture in the inside of the food.
Learning To Be Efficient
A dehydrator is just like an oven, in the fact that it needs to be pre-heated. This will allow it to heat up and warm to the right temperature, before you add in the food items. Keep in mind that food items that require the same temperature should be prepared and dehydrated together. This will not only save you a lot of time, but also it will save you a lot of effort.
Properly Storing The Dehydrated Foods
Once the dehydration process is done, you will be ready to store the food. However, many people make the major mistake of storing the dehydrated foods right away. It is always best to let the food items cool before you stick them in airtight containers. Properly stored dehydrated foods can last anywhere from 6-12 months.