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Advantages of Dehydrating Food
You don’t have to be a prepper to see some advantages of dehydrating food, but if you are, there are some significant extra benefits for you. One of the biggest reasons people love it is because the dehydrator does all the work in the hot summer months when much of the produce is cheaper, but never heats your house as canning might. However, there are many, many more reasons it’s a great alternative to other types of storage.
The food flavor is far more intense when you dehydrate it. You’re simply removing the moisture, so it condenses all the flavor to a more compact area. Thinly sliced tomatoes dehydrated and then used as a condiment for sandwiches and salads literally rehydrates in your mouth in a burst of flavor. If you’ve ever purchased the cardboard tasting tomatoes in the winter and compared the flavor with dehydrated ones, you’ll be looking for a food dryer immediately.
The nutrition remains the same in dehydrated foods. Unlike boiled or other cooked foods that are subjected to higher temperatures, dehydrating is done at low temperatures and preserves the nutrients and phytochemicals of the fruit or veggie.
You won’t need as much shelf, refrigerator or freezer space to keep the food. The size of the food shrinks as you lose the water content so it takes far less room to store and doesn’t require freezing or refrigeration, which adds to the advantages of dehydrating food.
Not only is dehydrating food easy to do, just slice, layer and set the dehydrator, you also know exactly what’s in the food. You control it and know there are no preservatives, just fresh wholesome produce with lots of nutrients to help preserve your family’s health.
For preppers, dehydrated food lasts a long time and is light weight, in case you need to have several days of food when you bug out on foot. You can make the food last even longer by adding a few simple steps. Oxygen, moisture, heat, light, rodents and insects are all enemies to preserving foods. The dehydration process removes the water content, so it handles the moisture issue, but to address the oxygen problem you need oxygen absorbers with the food and then seal them in Mylar bags to eliminate the heat and light issue. Store those bags in a food grade bucket and you’ll have the final solution to rodent and insect invasion.
There are a multitude of different ways to dry foods. As a special project, you might try sun drying some, smoking some or using other techniques, rather than relying strictly on a machine that may not have the electricity to be used in a long-term disaster. As with all foods, even though there are advantages to dehydrating food, the food still needs to be labeled with dates and rotated out of the food supply and onto your table regularly.