For some people their experience with dehydrated food may be limited to things like those little onions on McDonald’s hamburgers, instant potatoes and beef jerky. Yes, these are examples most of us can relate to, but there is a whole other list of food dehydration benefits you may be unaware of.
Dehydrating certain foods can enhance taste, add new textures, provide an emergency food source and save on shelf space.
1. Changing (and even improving) Taste
The best examples of this benefit are raisins and prunes. They start out as grapes and plums but after dehydrating them, you can barely recognize their original form. The same could be said with many fruits, vegetables and meats. Even many herbal teas use the dehydration process to lock in the fresh fruity flavors of their blends. Perhaps this can inspire you to do a little experimenting with food dehydration on your own. Try it on some of your favorite (and not so favorite foods), you never know what you might like until after you dehydrate it!
2. Great Emergency Food
Those of us who live in places that can be affected by earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards and tornados may want to look at dehydrated foods in a whole new light. In fact, in case of disaster, dehydrated food may be a life saver because it doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking and stays fresh for quite some time. These can be eaten on the go and even if there are no adequate cooking sources available.
3. Cut down on Cost
You know how you end up stocking up on fruit as soon as the grocery store offers a sale? It seems that in a mere matter or days they are already beginning to spoil. Fresh strawberries, are bound to go bad and can end up costing you money if you don’t freeze them in time. If you dehydrate them though, they last a lot longer and taste the same when you add moisture to them. This is a great way to afford fresh fruit in the winter time.
4. Healthy Snack Option
In light of the growing obesity epidemic, the need for healthy “kid friendly” snacks is more important than ever. You can dehydrate almost all fruit and this provides a healthy alternative to sugar laden snacks. Instead of baking cookies with the kids dehydrate pears instead. These little things will make the experience something to always remember and cherish. Once kids taste them they often see them as hard candy and this may help satisfy their cravings for sugary treats.
5. No Hidden Ingredients
The most important thing about food dehydration though is the ability to control what goes into your food. If you have ever opened a bag of beef jerky you can tell it’s unhealthy as soon as you see that pack of silica, a poisonous chemical used to keep moisture off of clothing products. This is supposed to preserve the freshness of the food but do you really want poison sitting right next to your food?