Dehydrators are fantastic to preserving and creating great tasting snack foods. Used correctly it’s a great addition to your kitchen.
The best thing about a dehydrator are there are endless things and ways to preserve food. There is no really hard and fast rule to it just time and a little experimenting.
I like to do my dehydrating over night as most foods take roughly around 8 -12 hours to dry but again this will depend on the type of food and what you want to achieve as well as the size you have cut the food into.
The reason for the long time is due to the dehydrator removing the water content of the food through the drying processing. Done correctly the food will not spoil as quickly, if left as is. The drying process will also help to retain majority of the nutritional value of the food as well. Added bonus.
A few tips to follow to make the most of your dehydrator:
- Correct temperature – different foods take different times to dry. Check your manual for the best recommended times and temperatures. As each dehydrator has slightly different recommendations. But a little experimenting will also be needed to ensure you have completely dried the food.
- You want to make sure that the food is about at least 95% dried to be able to store the food correctly and for it to last longer. You’ll know when its done when the food is hard, crunchy and breakable. If its soft, spongy or sticky put it back in the dehydrator for a little longer until you have the right texture.
- To help improve dehydration place your machine in a dry place away from vents, windows or breezes as these can affect your timing of drying your food.
- Don’t try to speed up the process as you may run the risk of drying the outside, but it may still be soft in the middle meaning your food will spoil. Keep it to the right temperature and time recommended.
- A little preparation can go a long way to helping with the drying process. Wash you food firstly to remove an potential chemicals. For low acid foods steaming first, pat dry then add to the dehydrator.
- For fruits like apples and banana’s to stop browning from happening sprinkle with lemon juice first.
- Just like your oven it helps with the drying process to turn on the dehydrator first prior to using – pre-warming.
- Try slicing everything to the same thickness, so it dries at the same time.
For tips on storing your food you have just dehydrator, it’s best to store in a dry cool place and in an air tight container or jar.
Allow the food to cool completely prior to storing it in the containers otherwise condensation will occur spoiling all the hard work.
Food that is dried and stored correctly will last months this way. The time the food can be stored will depend on the type food and how well you store it.
If you wanting it to last longer, then try turning the food into powder form. Once dried completely crush the food in a food processor or mortar and pestle.
Okay now you have a few great tips to help you with using your dehydrator. Give it a go and remember its all about experimenting to see what works best .
Dehydrators are a great way to save money and reduce food wastage. It will also help to get the kids and yourself to eat more healthy tasty food for snacks.
If you looking for a dehydrator to get started making great tasting healthy snacks and food then head over to simple country living shop and grab yours today and get drying.