Dried (Dehydrated) Foods are the oldest way to preserve food. Dehydrated foods are on the scene since a long time. It can be easily found in the local supermarket. You can buy dry carrots, dry peas, dry beans, and dry potatoes and place them in your cupboard at home for some time.
There are plenty of options available and before deciding upon certain types it is best to try the tastes. Food dehydration is a complete scientific process of removing water from food. Hot air is then circulated through it that actually hampers the growth of bacteria and enzymes.
Why have dried (dehydrated) foods as apart of your food storage?
Dried foods are delicious, nutritious, easy to make, lightweight and have long shelf life. The input of energy is less than what is required to freeze or make them canned. The storage space is less as compared to what is required for the can jars and containers in the freezer.
The myth is that due to drying, the nutritional value of the food does not remain the same. This is not true. In fact, it is only modestly affected by drying. During drying, Vitamin A is retained and as Vitamin A is light and sensitive, the dried (dehydrated) foods containing it should be kept in dry and dark places. The dark green and yellow color vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, sweet potatoes and winter squash have high amounts of Vitamin A. However, Vitamin C gets damaged due to exposure to heat, but treating the foods with orange, lemon, and pineapple juice in advance increases their Vitamin C substance.
Dried (dehydrated) foods are extremely good for health as they are high in fiber and carbohydrates. They do not make people gain fat as they are low in it. The dried foods are not dried completely that makes them capable to mold. When the inside temperature of food goes to 145 degrees F, the microorganisms are killed successfully.
How dried (dehydrated) foods are prepared?
There are many considerations and guidelines that have to be taken care while making the dry foods. To be specific of their final best quality and coherent drying, a dehydrator is used, particularly in the places with fickle weather. Some sharp knives and food blender or processor will make the drying job very easy.
The equipments used for the processes have the deep kettle with a lid, wire basket, colander and a clear mesh cloth bag to clasp and generate. A bowl of any material except metal is used to pre-treat fruits and vegetables to avert discoloring.
Storing the dried (dehydrated) foods
- The cool and dried food has to be kept in a close container.
- They have to be washed and dried before the storage.
- The home canned jars are good containers that are used to store the dried foods.
- The dried or dehydrated foods are used in the three to six months. After the due time, they may lose their color and flavor.
tore them in a cool, dark and dry place.