Preservation of food by drying it is not a new invention. In ancient times, people would dry seeds, fish, eggs, rice, among other things. In recent times, technology has made the process easy and fast. Apart from preserving food, dehydration helps save money and reduce waste.
Here are the top reasons as to why you should embrace the idea of preserving your food:
1) Save Money
Too much food goes to waste since you may not have an immediate idea of what to do with excess or leftovers. Investing in a food dehydrator will save money you can use for other necessities. A Nesco food dehydrator, for instance, is easy to use and can preserve your excess food for later use.
You can buy food in bulk, which in itself is a saving strategy, and dry it for use later. You no longer have to visit the grocery store frequently and thus save on fuel and gas. Buying foods that are in season and preserving them helps you cut costs since they get expensive when out of season.
2) Preserve Nutrients
Contrary to the belief that drying food saps off its nutrients, it retains them. Using a food dehydrator can help maintain food’s natural enzymes, vitamins and minerals compared to other forms of preservation. You can dry fruits, nuts, and vegetables and eat them later when they are out of season.
Dried fruits, for instance, are richer in antioxidants than fresh ones.
3) Chemical-Free Food
Most dried foods in the stores get preserved using chemicals or have additives. The compounds may not be safe for your health since they may be excess. When you dehydrate your food, there is no need for these chemicals or additives.
You only dry the food alone and keep it as it is until you need to use it. You can use the food after months or even a year, and it will be safe for consumption.
4) Easy To Carry
When going for picnics or a journey and you need to carry a healthy meal, it can be tricky. You need healthy snacks, but the healthy ones are not easy to carry around. They may spill over, create a mess, and go to waste.
With dehydrated food, you do not have to worry about wastage, spills, or mess. It can fit in containers and reach as it is in any destination. What more easy way to maintain a healthy diet and avoid junk.
5) Avoid Wastage
You may have noticed that most times you purchase food but do not get to consume all of it. Fruits or any food with moisture is not easy to preserve for long, and it may find its way in the trash can. However, you can minimize wasting any leftover food surplus by dehydrating it.
6) Saves On Storage
Compared to other forms of preserving food such as refrigeration, dehydration saves on space. Food reduces in size when its moisture content is not in it. You can store the dried food in different containers.
You can recycle the cans for the next time you want to preserve the food. When your storage space is minimal, you can stack up the containers.
Types of Dehydrated Food
There are many types of dried or dehydrated foods, such as the following:
Discovered in South Africa, including Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia, Biltong is a dry food that’s portable. These premium cuts of curated and marinated meat are made from beef silverside.
Motorcycle riders, bikers, and on-the-go individuals can benefit from carrying and eating biltong. It provides a rich protein source without sugar, like beef jerky, peanut butter, and dried peas. Its protein amount is also higher than in hummus and tuna.
Here are the important things you need to know about biltong:
•It's a great source of protein and energy to help strengthen your endurance.
•Biltong is air-dried in a specially designed drying room. It’s marinated with vinegar, pepper, rock salt, and coarsely ground coriander.
•Ember Snacks explains that biltong doesn't have gluten, preservatives, and soy, which is an excellent option for those with allergies.
•Biltong makes snacking more exciting when camping and other outdoor activities. It's a dried food that’s delicious and healthy.
2. Dried Fruits
Dehydrated fruits are palatable and easy to pack. The water content has been eliminated either naturally, via sun drying, or dehydrators or specialized dryers. Dried fruits are sweet with long shelf life and valuable nutritive value.
Dried fruits have the same nutritional value of freshly picked fruits. Many fruits, like cherries, strawberries, mango, cranberries, and blueberries are infused with sucrose syrup or any sweetener before drying. Candied fruits include papaya, pineapple, and kiwi fruit.
Here are the other examples of dried fruits:
3. Other Types of Dehydrated Foods
Aside from dried fruits and biltong, the other examples of dehydrated or dried foods include the following:
•Powdered soups and sauces
•Dried fruits and vegetables
•Dehydrated potatoes in a box
•Dried meats (such as biltong and beef jerky)
Now, you’re more aware of the benefits of dehydrating your food. Dried foods are easy to carry, perfect for on-the-go activities. Aside from longer shelf-life, nutrients are also preserved by dehydrating food.
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