What can I do with a dehydrator?
People are understandably apprehensive when shelling out money for a dehydrator. A home dehydrator can cost as much as USD 250.00 or more. It is because very few people have them in their kitchens or maybe because only a handful knows what goodies they can create out of it. Dehydrators keep food longer by removing the food’s moisture content. Without moisture, bacteria and fungi cannot spoil it. Despite the lack of moisture, the food’s innate nutrients remain.
If you have just purchased a dehydrator or have been able to borrow a friend’s dehydrator just to get a hang of it, here are some of the things you can do with it.
- Raw food ingredients. The most popular use for dehydrators is to prepare ingredients for raw food recipes. Raw food diet uses food that has not been cooked and has retained its nutrients. By removing moisture from the food, it becomes easier to incorporate the ingredients without spoilage and still remain edible.
- Easy trail mix. Nuts, fruits, and grains can be placed in the dehydrator for the custom trail mix you want. Dried nuts and grains improve the texture while dried fruits provide sweetness that is not overpowering or too tart after being moisture free. Keep the mix in moisture-free containers and you’re good to go.
- Guilt-free sweets. With a dehydrator, you can take fruits in season and make fruit leather. It requires minimal preparation of the fruits – a thorough wash and slicing it in thin strips and placing them purposefully on the stacked trays. After drying them thoroughly, you get fruit that can satisfy a sweet tooth minus the chemicals.
- Chips and crisps. Vegetables are good for the body because of the nutrients and fibre they provide. However, not everybody likes it because of its texture. Processing leafy vegetables and cut up root crops into wedges and slices create the most interesting chips and crisps that are crunchy, edible, and nutritious as well.
- Potent powders. Kitchens rely on salt and cheap seasonings for taste. Herbs and spices are great addition for flavour and aroma but they can be a bit expensive. Making your own seasoning by pounding dried up herbs and spices is possible with a dehydrator. Not only do you save money, you also enjoy rich food without the extra salt.
- Soup cubes. It may seem like a stretch but it is possible to dehydrate soups and broth into bouillon cubes. Bone soup and chicken broth have healthy properties but it can spoil easily when poorly stored. Dehydrating it keeps its nutrients without the risk of putrefaction or spilling. Just add enough water when needed.
- Pet food. Commercial food for your fur babies may not be good for their health as it can contain ingredients that can harm them when eaten long term. Dehydrators allow you to customise their food according to the diet they need as suggested by the veterinarian. You can make them in bulk and store them after.
Unlike other food preservation techniques, it’s easy to get used to a dehydrator. It’s just a matter of placing food on the trays to allow uniform air currents to move around and keeping the temperature in it constant. Since modern dehydrators have timers and thermostats, after placing food strategically on the stacked trays, you’re ready to go.
Dehydrators are not just exclusive to food preservation. You can also make fire starters with wood chips, fragrant potpourri with the right ingredients or powder dried herbs and minerals for the perfect incense. Preserve beautiful flowers of the season by drying them before display. Crafters use dehydrators to hasten the drying process of their projects. If you’re into making special stationery paper, dehydrators make it possible. When you do employ dehydrators for any other use aside from food preservation, make it exclusively a food-free. Label it so you know which unit is for food and which one is for crafting.
Tips on reducing water usage is right here!