WHAT IS DEHYDRATING?
Dehydrating is a method of drying foods to preserve them. Types of things that can be dehydrated are endless and include: fruits, vegetables, animal proteins, herbs, flowers and meats. This method removes moisture from foods to preserve them.
BENEFITS OF DEHYDRATING
Dehydrated food tastes great
No preservatives or chemical additives needed
Storing dehydrated food takes up less space
Cost savings, buying growing your own food or buying in season
Portability-Food is easy to carry
Increasing raw foods in diet
Buy foods in bulk in peak season
TYPES OF DEHYDRATING
- Takes 3 times longer than a dehydrator and uses more energy.
- Drying in the oven takes longer because ovens don’t have built-in fans for air movement.
- Set Temp. low as 140 degrees F. You want food to dry not cook.
- Leave oven door open 2 in, to improve air circulation.
- Is the oldest/ simplest method.
- Is cheap and environmentally friendly.
- Solar power has been used for thousands of years.
- Works best in climates with high temperatures/ low humidity.
- Preserves more of the natural flavors.
- Useful survival skill to have when living off grid.
- Anything can be sun-dried.
- Herbs, hot peppers, mushrooms are common thing air dried.
- Foods are strung on strings, tied in bundles and suspended to dry.
- Enclose in paper bags to protect from pollutants.
- Low humidity
- need a source of low heat–120 degrees F to 150 degrees F
- Air circulation is a must
- Is a quick way to dry small quantities.
- Often tastes overcooked rather than dried.
- Good for flowers and herbs.
- Place small amounts of flowers/herbs between paper towels for 3 minutes.
- Check to see if dry, repeat for 30-second intervals until dry.