5 Reasons You Need a Food Dehydrator

5 Reasons You Need a Food Dehydrator

Tiffany Magennis

Image provided by Urban Homemaker
Image provided by Urban Homemaker

Most everyone wants to be healthy. However, it’s easy to be deterred by the high prices of healthful dehydrated foods can leave a bad taste in your mouth.  So then, what is the health conscious person to do when feeling a bit peckish, but not wanting to stray from their diet, or budget?

Enter the mysterious food dehydrator. Many people who think of dehydrated food have images of astronauts opening pouches of dinner, or jerky hanging in a store room fit for a horror movie.

How would you use this thing, anyway?

The real life story of the food dehydrator is far closer to home than is given credit for, and incredibly useful for more than homemade jerky, which raises the first point of why everyone should own one.

1) The Food Dehydrator is a Multitasking Tool

The food dehydrator is a machine which uses low temperatures to slowly dehydrate its contents, which makes it an excellent candidate for gentle cooking.  For example, if you need to gently heat a delicate sauce, it can be placed into the food dehydrator and have zero risk of scalding. Better yet, the cook doesn’t even need to watch the sauce while it is being warmed! If you practice the raw food diet, the food dehydrator will be a vessel for placing your raw cookies, bars, or chips while still being true to your lifestyle.

2) You Will Be Encouraged to Eat More Healthfully

It’s hard to deny that living a healthier lifestyle would be far easier with whole, ready-made snacks on hand.  A few of these snacks are fruit and vegetable chips (think potato chips without the oils or preservatives), fruit leathers, and fruit gummies. Kale chips in particular have become a recent food trend, and are easily made in a food dehydrator in any spices you choose. Better yet, have the kids help you make new combinations and flavors!

3) Increase Storage Life of Food 

Since the water is reduced in dehydrated fruits and vegetables, their shelf life is greatly expanded. Less water means less opportunity for rot, which in turn means less waste. Gardeners in particular benefit from food dehydrators, since they can preserve their food at its prime, and then re-hydrate them if desired. This can also be applied to herbs! To rehydrate dried food, all that needs to be done is add twice as much water than dehydrated fruits/vegetables and wait.   After the food is hydrated, it is ready for cooking.

4) Crafts 

This is a lesser known use for the food dehydrator that relates to the multitasking point above. Flowers can be dried to perfect specimens for scrapbooks or wall decoration by setting the food dehydrator on a low temperature. Potpourri can be made using the same method, and has the benefit of being customized to your preference of scents. Paper can also be made in the food dehydrator by combining paper pulp and/or flowers and spreading the mixture onto thin sheets.  This may take some time because of the low temperature, but the result is having handmade paper!

Dehydrated flowers can make tea
Dehydrated flowers can make tea

5) Jerky

Make your own, however you want it, for a fraction of the store bought price. Spicy, savory, umami, or sweet, in any type of meat, you are the master and commander of your jerky.

photo provided by Nesco.com
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