Preserving Fruits and Vegetables with Dehydration

Tired of eating plain fruits and vegetables? Do you want to try a different way on consuming them? Or, do you just want to find out how to save them in order to be consumed later? One sure way of preserving your fruits and vegetables is through the process of dehydration.

Image by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) via Flickr

You may have heard about or seen people dehydrating their food. This is because the process of food dehydration has existed for centuries. It is regarded as the oldest form of food preservation.

A long time ago, people use salt in preserving their food then they let them dry in the sun. Due to the innovations in technology, a food dehydrator is used in today’s world as a means of preserving food. With a food dehydrator, the process of preservation is much easier rather than the old process of salting and drying up food in the sun.

What happens when you dehydrate fruits and vegetables?

Through the process of food dehydration, water is removed from the fruits and vegetables. With this, moisture in the food is now absent – bacteria and mold cannot thrive in that kind of environment, therefore, your fruits and vegetables will not spoil.

Not only is the water removed from the food, but also vitamins A and C. This is due to the heat and air acting upon the fruits and vegetables when they are dehydrated. However, most of the other vitamins and minerals present remain intact, so it is still safe to utilize dehydration as a means of preserving food. And this method of food preservation gives food a different taste than canning does.

Here is a video about an example of dehydrating grapes. The video is about making raisins and it involves dehydration.

What are the advantages of food dehydration?

Aside from prolonging the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables, there are other reasons why you should dehydrate your food. These are:

  • Dehydrating food is nutritious since more vitamins and minerals remain intact.
  • It is one of the easiest and quickest ways of preserving food.
  • Dried foods do not take up much space and they are light-weight.
  • You can ensure the quality of your fruits and vegetables.
  • It is cost effective.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables do not need to be refrigerated.

How to dehydrate fruits and vegetables?

There are three methods you can employ in dehydrating your fruits and vegetables.

  1. Salting and Sun drying. Through this process, you use salt as your preservative then you let the food be exposed under the sun for three to four days. The temperature should be at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Oven drying. This is not as efficient as compared to electric dehydrators, but you can still utilize this method with your own oven in the comfort of your kitchen at your home.
  3. Electric dehydrating. This method is considered as the best way of dehydrating food since it is energy efficient and it has heat control.

 

 


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