Drying off foods has been a preservative method known to humanity since the ancient time. Dried fish and beef can last for weeks and were the nutrition sources when our ancestors were out wandering and gathering for foods.
Today, we have developed the method, and we get packed potato chips, dried cassavas or fruits, and beef jerky. They are the typical items sold in the snack aisle at the convenient store. Unfortunately, they contain unhealthy additives, such as excessive salt and artificial flavorings. Consuming too much of those snacks can increase the risk of obesity and high blood pressure.
If you want to have healthier snacks, you can make them by yourself at home using a dehydrator.
A dehydrator or oven?
The principles of both a dehydrator and an oven might sound the same. Both are heating up the raw meals in a closed chamber. And with enough efforts and wasteful energy, you can get more or less the same result of cooking with an oven and that of a dehydrator.
However, as suggested, energy efficiency should be the consideration here. An electric oven requires a lot more energy than a dehydrator to keep the heat constant. Low-temperature and steady heating with an electric stove can drain your household energy use to just one appliance. Besides, ovens lack ventilation, which makes them take much longer time to dry out an ingredient.
A dehydrator, on the other hand, is designed for steady heating and vaporizing moisture. It can efficiently suck the water out of fruits, veggies, and meats without wasting too much electricity.
Why dehydrated foods are healthy
Dehydrated fruits have more intense sweetness than raw foods. They are healthy because you can use them as a substitute for chips, which are high in calories, carbohydrate, and salt.
Also, preserving fruits and veggies by dehydration does not ruin their soluble fibers, vitamin, or minerals. Dehydration keeps the nutritional value intact.
With a dehydrator, you can choose the leanest and fat-free meat for your beef jerky. You can decide how much salt, or pepper on the beef strips. You can even make it plain if you want to. As long as you follow the right dehydration guide, you can make delicious dried dishes out of any veggies, fruits, or meats. A dehydrator will enrich your home menus, and improve your eating experience.
What to consider when choosing a dehydrator
When you decide to buy a dehydrator, you should think of how many trays that you need. If you usually cook for more than three people, than choose for the big one that has nine or more trays.
Be careful with the dehydrator that has plastic as its main body frame. It can affect the taste and the smell of your foods, especially after you use it for long and steady high temperature. Read reviews first, and pay close attention to whether or not the dehydrator is free from smell contamination.