If you’re planning on eating more healthily, then it’s important to think about the practicalities of changing your diet. You can have the best new diet in the world but if you can’t stick to it, then it’s not going to do any good!
That’s why using strategies like preparing your food at the start of the week, or grabbing a smoothie on the way into work can be so helpful. There are plenty of gadgets out there too that make eating healthily that much easier, from smoothie makers to calorie tracking apps.
In this article we’re going to look at one more piece of technology that may be able to help in your quest to eat more nutritiously: food dehydrators.
What Is a Food Dehydrator?
Food dehydration is actually nothing new and dates back several centuries. When it was first used though, the process simply involved hanging foods out in the sun to dry. This consisted mainly of fruits and vegetables but also some proteins.
This process still works today but there are a few downsides. For starters, it rather relies on a dry and sunny climate to work! It only takes a little rain and your ‘dehydrated’ food suddenly becomes quite the opposite!
What’s more, hanging food outside your house is rather an invitation to critters, pests and other animals that you might not want snooping around your back yard. Finally, it can stink rather and isn’t always the most hygienic decision.
Thus food dehydrators have been introduced to essentially accomplish the same feat. There are two different types of food dehydrator that both do this however:
These work using a wooden container with a glass panel at the top. From here, trays of sliced foods can be inserted in a stacked manner where they will receive the magnified heat of the sun to dry them out.
Solar dehydrators have the considerable advantage of requiring no electricity, which makes them very eco-friendly and free to run. What’s more, solar food dehydrators don’t cost anything to use – as you can actually make your own if you’re DIY-minded.
The downside is that these solar models take up a fair amount of space in the garden and they require you to head outside every time you want to grab something to eat from them. They’re not quite so practical for those reasons…
Electric dehydrators are the more modern option and work by using power from the mains to heat and dehydrate your food. These tend to be cylindrical in appearance and quite large but still compact enough to fit on the side in the kitchen. Again, you’ll still need to thinly slice your food, which is still inserted in a format stacked as shelves.
It may interest you to know that neither of these two methods are the ones most commonly used when drying fruit for use in cereals and sweets. In these cases, the fruit is more often ‘freeze dried’. This is a much faster process that involves using a vacuum in order to suck all the droplets of moisture out of the fruit instantly after freezing them. This results in a somewhat different taste and texture and isn’t something you can really do yourself at home.
The Benefits of Dehydrating Your Food
So the question remains: why dehydrate your food?
Well, from health perspective, the biggest benefit to dehydrating your food is that it prevents it from going moldy. This is an especially important point if you live on your own, in which case you will no doubt know that most fruit and veg is packaged for families: it’s all too common to buy a pack of bananas or oranges, only to find it’s covered in a thin furry mold by the end of the week and you have to throw a lot away.
Either way, having a steady supply of fruit and vegetables normally means making repeat trips to the supermarket and spending a fair amount of money in the process. Dehydrating your food takes away this pain however, allowing you to buy large amounts of fruit cheaply in bulk and then store it all to eat at will. The end result is that you will eat more healthily. The same also applies to your vegetables.
This is like preparing meals at the start of the week to ensure you eat healthily. At the end of the day, we are more likely to stay healthy if we make it easier for ourselves to do so. When you have an endless supply of fruit and vegetables that won’t go off, this is exactly what you are doing.
Now you might be wondering whether dehydrated food tastes good. The answer is that it certainly can! If you’ve ever had a bag of dried fruits, then you’ll know how tasty these are. What’s more, dehydrating food can also be used to make delicious treats like ‘vegetable leather’ which is chewy and sweet.
If you’re looking for a way to get more fruit and veg in your life while saving time and money then, consider investing in a fruit dehydrator!