Dehydration is one of the easiest and most effective ways to preserve food. Believe it or not, any type of food can be preserved this way for an indefinite amount of time. What happens here is that the moisture is extracted from the food, thereby stopping it from being spoiled. Microorganisms that grow and spoil food can only develop in humid conditions, so when you remove the water out of the equation, the food can last a lot longer.
Many believe that dehydration is a new trend, however, that’s not true at all. People have been dehydrating their food since prehistoric times. Long before we could enjoy the best food dehydrators on the market, we used to sun-dry our seeds, herbs and meats, so we can enjoy them later on. It’s not that we still can’t sun-dry our food, we certainly can, it’s just that the tech advancements have made the process much faster and easier.
Why Does It Work?
The question here today is, why does dehydration work so well and why should you do it? First of all, as we already mentioned, food tends to go bad rather quickly and if you don’t want to waste any of it, you have to find a way to keep it preserved. Now, there are many different ways in which you can do that, but almost all of them affect the nutritional value of the food (for instance, pickling adds too much sodium into the mix), which is not the case with dehydration. Foods nutritional values stay exactly the same since the only thing you’re removing is the water, which can be easily added back later on, if you wish to do so that is. If you wish to snack on healthy, crispy chips – you can do that as well.
What Are the Benefits of It?
One of the most obvious benefits of the dehydration process is the simplicity of it. When you try to can food, you have to go through a bunch of different preparation steps. You have to wash and prepare the jars, prep the food and so on. That’s a quite time-consuming process, unlike dehydration. All you need to do is wash and chop up your food any way you like, place it in a dehydrator and come back in 10 to 12 hours. The only ‘work’ you’ll have to do is to clean the trays and put your dried food into the containers.
Another fantastic thing is how handy and useful these foods become once the winter comes. It’s no secret that fresh fruits and veggies aren’t easy to come about once the winter strikes, so having all of the necessary, already prepared veggies is quite a time-saver. Let’s say you want to make a stew or a pot of chilli? All you need to do is grab a jar or zip lock bag you keep your veggies in and get to cooking. Also, you don’t have to chop or prepare anything – you’ve already done it.
Finally, let’s talk about storage space. Some of us live in apartments and we don’t have a lot of space to store our foods. Since we’re extracting the water out of our food, which in the case of some veggies can be up to 95%, it’s easy to see how much more compact dried food compared to the fresh one actually is.
To Sum It All Up…
As you can clearly tell, dehydration has many benefits compared to the other forms of preserving food. It makes the food last longer, it doesn’t affect its nutritional value, it’s easy and quick to make, it doesn’t take up a lot of cabinet space and so much more than that. Just remember to correctly label your jars – you wouldn’t want to add some mint to your pizza when you were looking for oregano, right?