Benefits of Drying Foods
Are you thinking about drying foods to preserve them? Just about every season has some food you can dry, and the variety of foods you can dry is amazing – from berries in the summer to wild game jerky in the fall.
You can dry all kinds of vegetables. For instance corn and green beans are popular dried vegetables. And of course, you can also dry and all sorts of fruits – including even bananas and apples which are available year-round in most grocery stores.
But why bother? Are there any benefits to dried foods?
Absolutely! Here are some of the benefits of drying foods.
Have you looked at the price of jerky and dried fruits and vegetables in your grocery or health food store? You might have had to look twice – they’re expensive. They are particularly pricey if they are healthful versions, free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Drying your own wholesome food is much less expensive, especially if you dry foods that are in season and/or on sale.
Also, bringing along some of your own dried foods on car trips and vacations can save you a lot of money on snacks and meals on the road.
Shelf Life of Dried Food
If you like camping, dehydrated food is great to take along – it’s lightweight, doesn’t require refrigeration, and is high in nutrition. You can also store it for use in an emergency, and include it in emergency kits you may have for yourself and your family. If the power goes out during a summer storm or due to some other act of nature, you can still have fruit, vegetables, and meats available for a meal.
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Convenience and Portability
There’s no doubt that dried foods are convenient. They are especially handy if you have children and need to grab a quick snack on the way out the door. What if one of your kids needs to go to the ER, and you don’t know how long you’ll be sitting there? You and the other kids will need something to eat. Even for running errands, it’s nice to have snacks in the car. In fact, you can have a take-along bag with dried foods that you always take with you in the car.
Dried food is also convenient when you can’t get to the store, such as during a snowstorm. It’s also nice to be able to have dried produce on hand for soups and stews and other recipes. You can serve up a fresh-tasting raspberry sauce with your holiday roasts without spending a ton of money on store-bought berries.
Dried Food Is A Healthy Food
Dried foods retain most nutrients, except those that depend on the presence of water. All of the fiber is intact in dried foods. And it’s chemical free, devoid of preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. Think of being able to reap the nutritional benefits of, for example, raspberries in December when you feel a cold coming on.
Easy and Inexpensive to Prepare
Dried food is not particularly complicated to make. You don’t need to fuss over sterilizing jars, using a pressure canner, and spending money on added ingredients like sugar and vinegar. You just dry the food – it’s simple, and the food is not too far from its natural state.
Dehydrators Make It Simple
To make it even easier, you can purchase an economical dehydrator to to help you dry food in your own kitchen. They are simple to use, and help get the job done with a minimum of fuss.
Nesco SQT-2 Add-A-Tray for Square Dehydrators FD-80 and FD-80A, Set of 2
Food Square-Shaped Dehydrator Adjustable thermostat Air-circulation drying fruit
Nesco BJX-5 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit