Dehydrators are efficient and come in a variety of models.
Drying food is one of the oldest ways to preserve food. People in warm, dry climates have found it easy to preserve their foods simply by properly spacing their produce out and letting the air take the moisture out of the food. Most of us, however, live in cooler or more humid climes and need a bit of an assist to preserve food by drying.
Drying food takes the water from the produce. This is an important step because micro-organisms need moisture to survive and to consume or spoil food. By taking the moisture out, microbes are unable to do their "dirty" work. Properly dried fruits and vegetables will have 80-90 percent of their water removed.
Because drying does not violently heat food, it does not destroy as many of the nutrients as canning or cooking. Dried foods can be reconstituted by adding water or often simply consumed dry. Common dried foods we eat every day include raisins, plums and beef jerky. Dehydration is used to make packaged soups, coffee, tea and most spices.
If you have a garden or access to seasonal produce then drying foods is an activity you should explore.
There are many ways to dry foods including:
Preparing the produce is an important initial step to all types of drying.
What to do with all of your dried foods is also important.
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