The number of people now choosing to use a method known as dehydration to help preserve food has substantially increased over the last few years. Certainly whenever I watch a cookery program someone seems to be choosing to use this method.
Of course, after doing some research I feel that using this method of cooking is a great idea especially for those of us following a Paleo diet. In this article, I aim to explain why.
Dehydration is the ideal method of helping to preserve all kinds of foods including meat, fruit and vegetables by helping to remove the moisture from them. Once the food has been dried it helps to then prevent the growth of microorganisms within it that cause it to then decay. As a result of this, the shelf life of what you eat on your Paleo diet food list has been extended.
Along with meat, fruit and vegetables it is possible to dehydrate herbs, flowers even bread (that can then be used as crumbs later on). You can also if you want to dehydrate certain cuts of meat to make treats for your pets. In fact, you can actually dehydrate pretty much any food that has water in it.
The answer to this question is yes. It is possible for you to dry different types of fruit or vegetables together, as the flavours they omit shouldn’t mix. However, I wouldn’t advise that you dry onions with anything else.
There are some sources that suggest that a very small amount of the nutrients found in the food will be lost during the drying process. However, around 90% of all the minerals and vitamins to found in Caveman diet food will remain. You need to be careful about what temperature you use to help dry the food out. Although a higher temperature, of course, helps to dry the food out a lot quick, it will also result in more of the nutrients found in the food to be lost.
How long it takes, of course, depends on the kind of food you are wanting to dehydrate, how much you want to dehydrate and how capable the dehydrator you are using is.
If you pre-treat food it may help to improve the colour and flavour of certain ones, but pre-treatment of foods isn’t necessary. The options available are to either dip, blanch or marinate the foods first. You may want to pre treat pears or apples as this can help prevent them from oxidizing when they become exposed to air once again, which in turn will prevent them from turning a brown colour.
It is vital to make sure that all the foods you have dehydrated are then stored in airtight containers or bags. Once in the bags or airtight containers, they must then be kept in a cool dry place out of the sun and away from humidity.
To ensure that it maintains its appearance and nutritional value then dehydrated food must be stored for no longer than a year. If you can afford to invest in a machine that allows you to vacuum pack the food that you have dried as this helps to extend its shelf life further. However, another way to help extend the shelf-life of the food you have dried for 2 or 3 times longer is to keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.
If you wish there are certain foods once dehydrated that can be made into powder i.e., onions, tomatoes etc. You simply place the foods you have dried into a processed and blend until the desired texture has been achieved. Then you can use items such as seasoning in sauces and pastes.
I hope that the questions above have helped with answering any questions you may have regarding dehydrated food. I know they have me and I am seriously looking to invest money in a food dehydrator in the very near future, may even get my other half to buy it as a present.