There are many amazing reasons for enjoying dehydrated foods. For starters, their health benefits will make them a welcome addition to your kitchen and life. It’s a healthy alternative to a lot of store-bought foods that can negatively affect your health. Consuming dehydrated foods can help you eliminate the added sugars, chemicals, and preservatives that often come in processed food from your diet.
Food dehydration has never been simpler. It is a technique that has been used as far back as prehistoric times, where our ancestors sun-dried seeds, fruits, and even meat to keep them throughout the year while migrating and when food sources were scarce during the changing seasons. Nowadays, people have turned to dehydrated and dried foods for a healthier and more natural and vitamin-rich food source that is easy to make at home and has a long shelf life.
There are several drying methods, which include sun drying and oven drying. However, both of these methods are very time consuming and are not the most convenient way for dehydrating or drying your foods. The modern dehydrator has become the go-to method for food drying. It has made it easy to dehydrate all your beloved foods, by removing about 75 percent of the moisture they contain in a short amount of time. Once you have dried out your fruits and vegetables, you can store them for a long time. If you need help choosing the best dehydrator, Simple Green Moms have got you covered with a curated list to see which one will suit your needs. If you want natural, healthy, and vitamin-rich snacks, then purchasing one may be right for you.
Below are nine benefits of dehydrated foods you should know about:
1. All Natural
Nothing is better than knowing you have access to all-natural foods all year round, regardless of the season. Lots of fruits and vegetables are seasonal, so you miss out on their specific benefits when they are not available. Dehydrating foods and storing them all year round is a better alternative than buying store-bought frozen fruits and vegetables that are not in season as they contain a lot of preservatives and lose a lot of their nutritional content when frozen.
2. Healthy and Nutritious
Dehydrated foods are generally 100% natural, as you use dehydrated foods in their raw form. This allows you to get all the benefits from foods since vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, carotene, magnesium, and iron, are not compromised. On the contrary, when you cook your food, it loses a lot of its nutrients due to the high heat exposure.
The amazing benefits present in fruits and vegetables are left unchanged when dehydrated, and sometimes they increase in nutritional content. This enables you to meet your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.
3. No Sugars, Additives, or Preservatives
By making your own dehydrated foods, there are no hidden sugars, trans-fats, additives or preservatives. This allows you to provide your family with preservative-free foods that are not loaded with sugars and sodium. Making your own dried fruit and fruit chips, for example, is hassle-free and they differ from the store-bought dried fruit that includes added refined sugars, sulfur dioxide to prevent discoloration or food colorings that can be very harmful to your health.
4. Antioxidants and Fiber
Dried vegetables and fruits are very high in fibers and you can have them stored and handy for your daily required fiber intake. Fruits such as apples, cranberries, strawberries, and mangoes retain all their antioxidants and nutritional value.
5. Perfect for Plant-based Diets
Fruits and vegetables are the obvious staples in any vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet. The best foods to provide plant-based dieters with the required vitamins, minerals, and fiber intake that they lose out when restricting meats are dehydrated fruits and vegetables. There are unlimited plant-based recipes that you can make with a food dehydrator, including fruit snacks, crackers, trail mix, and even vegan jerky.
6. Low Risk of Bacteria and Contamination
Dehydrated foods run a very low risk of bacteria, fungal growth, and contamination. Bacteria and fungi thrive in wet and moist environments. By eliminating the moisture factor through dehydration, you ensure the longest shelf life of your stored snacks and goodies. Make sure to store and pack all dehydrated foods correctly. They have to be in sealed and airtight containers that are moisture-proof. The only threat that leads to contamination of food going bad is any remaining moisture that you didn’t get rid of. So, as a rule, when dehydrating food, always aim to over-dry just in case.
7. Eating Less Portions
When you dehydrate fruits, you get concentrated fruit sugars and a high level of nutrients that you need to preserve your energy while performing active tasks. This means you have an energy-packed dehydrated snacks that you can consume in small quantities throughout the day. This is why dried foods are a go-to staple for backpackers, hikers, and campers. Just be careful not to over-nibble on your dehydrated snacks as they still contain sugar, so consuming large quantities of them is not so healthy.
8. Reduces Waste
This is more of an environmental health benefit, but will indirectly benefit you as well. The dehydrating process extends the shelf life of food greatly. So, by taking food that is almost reaching its expiry date and dehydrating it, you have extended its usage for even longer. This saves you money, helps the environment in terms of eliminating waste, and keeps your shelves stocked.
9. Prepares You for Emergency
Preparing simple and nutrient-rich snacks with dehydrated fruits and vegetables is a great idea for when you are on the go, or for snacking emergencies when stuck at work or in traffic. They are a great alternative to junk food, candy, and chips for your kids at their games or on long car trips.
Dehydrating food allows you to have enough healthy food on hand that keeps you well for a long time. By replacing your snacks with dried fruits and vegetables, you will go a long way in maintaining a healthier lifestyle while still enjoying lots of tasty snacks and recipes. With the help of a good dehydrator, you can get all your required doses of nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants in a hassle-free and convenient way.