Why Should You Own A Dehydrator?
Making your own dehydrated food has a lot of benefits. If you use your food dehydrator regularly, it can offer you savings, health benefits and a greener lifestyle. This convenient kitchen machine has quickly become a household staple across the Europe and Asian countries as it is easy to use, inexpensive to run and offer a healthy alternative to store-bought goods.
Read on to discover 10 reasons why you should own a food dehydrator in your kitchen!
1. Dehydrated Foods Taste Great
Using a food dehydrator to remove moisture from food items such as fruits, vegetables and meats, creates naturally concentrated, rich and delicious tasting food.
Not only that, but when making food yourself, you know the quality and freshness of the produce you are using - unlike when eating dehydrated foods purchased from the grocery store.
2. Reduce Food Waste & Extend Shelf Life
Never waste food again with a food dehydrator. Using your leftover fruits and vegetables in a food dehydrator will extend their shelf life for up to 2 years! Yes, that's right - 2 years!
Below are just a few ways you can reduce food waste by preserving food with a dehydrator and keeping your pantry stocked year-round whilst saving yourself some money in the process;
Manage a bigger veggie or herb garden without the worry of food going to waste - simply use the dehydrator to dry your herbs or make veggie chips. Some veggies that work great in the dehydrator include kale, beetroot, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes and even green beans.
• Buy bulk in season to save your family money. For example; buy a tray of persimmons in the middle of winter, dehydrate them and be having fresh persimmon smoothies at all times!
• Save foods that would otherwise spoil, like the forgotten fruit in the back of your refrigerator and turn them into delicious healthy treats and snacks like fruit leathers.
Dehydrated food can be also "re-hydrated" simply with water or by adding to soups, casseroles, stews or pasta sauces.
3. Create Healthy & 100% Natural Foods
Dehydrating foods requires only one ingredient, the food you’re drying, so not only is it 100% natural, but you benefit from all the minerals and fibre of the whole fruit, and unlike cooking and steaming, you don’t lose any of the nutritional content of the foods you are dehydrating.
When we think of dried fruit, we tend to associate it with a "healthy snack" and a lot of the time when people are dieting they consume large quantities of dried fruit thinking it is a healthy alternative to sweets or lollies. However, this is not the case when it comes to store-bought dried fruit. Many store-bought dried fruits contain added sugars, preservatives and additives- all of which can be harmful to you and your family!
By making your own dried fruits, there is no additives or preservatives - you are in control of what goes into your food! If you are tired of not being able to give your children and family healthy snacks, a food dehydrator is your answer.
4. Cost Savings
Processed, store bought snacks can be expensive and organic dehydrated foods are often highly over-priced. You can save a lot of money by using your own food dehydrator and by purchasing fresh food items in bulk when in season, or by harvesting your own produce.
So,take advantage of those deals from your local grocery store or farmer's market and remember to dehydrate your foods and store them for later.
5. Efficient Storing
Dried foods take less than one sixth of their original storage space and don’t require the ongoing electrical drain of a refrigerator or freezer. Simply pack the foods clean, dry, insect proof containers or canning jars, plastic freezer containers with tight fitting lids, plastic freezer bags or vacuum seal bags(in single portion sizes) and store them in your pantry for the perfect go-to snack.
This significant reduction in size means that you can fit a lot of preserves into a small area - which is especially ideal for camping, trekking and large families.
Dehydrated foods are compact, lightweight and they travel well.
As highlighted earlier, healthy foods and snacks can be expensive and you can’t always find, or have access to them on the go. By dehydrating foods at home,you can create the perfect snack for your children’s school lunch boxes, or a midday hunger-buster for while you’re on the road or at work.
7. Precision Drying
If you’ve ever tried to dehydrate foods in your oven then you’ll understand the frustration it can sometimes cause - not only because of the higher electricity costs that you’ll have to pay, but because most household ovens don’t even start their temperature gauges below 90 degrees (Celsius)! In contrast, by using a food dehydrator, you have complete control when drying foods at lower temperatures. For example; the himmel V3 Food Dehydrator offers an adjustable thermostat range of 35 - 70 degrees Celsius - significantly lower than your average household oven.Because of these low temperatures, food created with a dehydrator is often considered as ‘raw food’. A raw food diet has many benefits and is said to preserve the living nutrients and enzymes in fruits and vegetables unlike the heating process which is said to eliminate or deplete these from food.
Subsequently,if you’re on a raw food diet, or are just trying to eat more raw foods, a dehydrator provides a good alternative for preparing foods at a temperature below 46 degrees Celsius - the threshold temperature where enzymes and nutrients are considered to be maintained - than any other kitchen appliance on the market.
8. Flexible & Versatile
Whether you want to make fruit leathers, activate some nuts or make a batch of veggie chips, food dehydrators provide you the flexibility to do all of it - plus you have the option to run the machine for a period of hours, or over a number of days!
Whileyou are only limited by your imagination, below are just a few of the thingsyou can make with a food dehydrator...
• Dehydrated Fruit Roll Ups - these area winner with the kids! Simply blend fruit (and even some yogurt) dehydrate and roll up. It’s the perfect lunchbox snack.
• Dried fruits such as grapes,blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and kiwi fruit
• Healthy vegetable chips - make crispy chips from beetroot, carrot, parsnip and sweet potato with no oil
• Jerky - experiment with different varieties: beef, lamb, fish and poultry with preservative-free, fresh marinades and spices
• Make healthy bread alternatives such as flax seed bread, pizza bases and crackers
• Healthy granola, activated nuts and seeds
• Healthy dog and animal treats without preservatives
9. Simple & Easy to Use
So simple and easy to use, food dehydrators are essentially fool-proof! With the straight forward set and forget system, you simply prepare your food by slicing into pieces, pop onto the trays, set a timer and walk away. It’s that easy!
Plus,you’ll be thrilled to know that the temperatures are set so low that it’s almost impossible to over dry your foods, and if you do, you can always‘re-hydrate’ them with a little water or by adding them to soups, casseroles,stews or pasta sauces.
10. Safe Preservation - Very low risk of bacteria and spoiling
Unlike other preservation methods, because food dehydrators remove the water content from foods during the drying process, the risk of bacteria growth or spoiling is very low. In fact, dehydration is commonly used by campers, hikers and even astronauts because of the safe nature of the preservation method!
himmel has carefully selected and designed a range of food dehydrators, each with their own features, to make the dehydrating process simple and easy.
For more information on our food dehydrator and accessories range, click here.
LIMITATIONS OF A FOOD DEHYDRATOR
After reading the benefits, you’re likely wondering what can’t this thing do? Here are some things to keep in mind before purchasing a food dehydrator.
• Dehydrated food isn’t necessarily raw: Although dehydrators operate at temperatures much lower than a conventional oven, most recommended settings are well above the 104°F raw-food limit.
• They won’t make garlic and onion powder: Unlike commercial driers, home dehydrators aren’t going to dry your onion and garlic enough for powders. You can dry them for re-hydrating purposes.
• They don’t contain smells. You’ll love the smell of drying apples, but the air can become quite pungent when dehydrating items like garlic or onions. Don’t dry them outside if there’s threat of rain.
• Don’t work well with high-fat foods: Because dehydrators simply remove moisture, you can’t dry high-fat food like avocado and have the results be shelf-stable. If you’re making jerky, blot the fat that comes to the surface. While the meat will be safe, the fat can go rancid. If you’re not going to eat the jerky within a week, freeze it to protect the flavour.
HIMMEL’S DEHYDRATOR TIPS:
To get the most out of your dehydrator:
i. Give it room to breathe: Make sure it has adequate ventilation. Dehydrators require air circulation to work.
ii. Don’t let food overlap: It might be tempting to squish a lot of food onto a tray, but items shouldn’t touch or they won’t dry evenly.
iii. Don’t mix sweet and savoury. Because the air circulates, flavours can transfer. While you can dry similar items at the same time — strawberries and peaches, for example — don’t mix fruit with aromatics.
iv. Use the best quality food: Like with jam, use the best fruit you can for dehydrating. Remove any bruises or soft spots before drying.
v. Don’t dry any fruit with visible mold. The drying process won’t kill the mold spores.
vi. Rotate trays: If you’ve stacked the dehydrator to capacity, rotating the trays on occasion will help even drying.
Ready to give dehydrating a try? Contact himmel and start with the recommended recipes from himmel.
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