Have you ever thought about buying a food dehydrator? In the 1970s I remember my Grandmother buying her first food dehydrator and subsequently buying one for my Aunt and Mom for Christmas. This was during a time when Californians were just starting to plan ahead for potential earthquake and other possible world disasters. And also, came during a time when healthy eating became a priority.
So we dehydrated everything (fruit, raw meat, vegetables, etc.) and found that not only was it a great way to make and save nutritious food, but it was a lot of fun too. You don’t need a separate meat dehydrator, fruit dehydrator or dog food dehydrator. All these foods may be made from the same machine, whether a household brand or commercial dehydrator. And maintaining flavor and freshness is easy since most dehydrated foods can last for years if properly stored.
Even though we had books with food dehydrator recipes, we found it very easy to come up with our own recipes for dehydrating raw food or cooked food leathers. My favorites by far were the fruit leathers we made by blending various ingredients (such as pineapple, coconut, apples, bananas, apricots, pears, etc.) with a little spice (maybe nutmeg or cinnamon), and simply pouring squares onto non-toxic plastic cling wrap, placing it on the food dehydrator rack and dehydrating for 10-20 hours (depending on the moisture content of the food). We’d then just peel them off the plastic and pack them up for school snacks. Although many times the dehydrated food never lasted that long because it seemed we could eat them just about as fast as we could dehydrate them for great tasting finger foods.
Think about it though. In the unfortunate event of an earthquake or other natural disaster that may make obtaining food a challenge, wouldn’t it be great to know that you had homemade beef jerky, dried apples, banana chips, and even dehydrated granola on the ready? Foods reduce to about ¼ their original size, but maintain almost all of their nutrition (still sweet with NO added sugar!!!). And they don’t need refrigeration, just storage in a glass jar or plastic bag in a dark cool cupboard. Wouldn’t that help put your mind at ease?
As an adult, I started dehydrating my own food, and even dehydrating nutritious pet food. And dehydrating your own food is economical if you buy fresh raw foods in season (when they’re less expensive) and drying them to save for a time when those same fruits and vegetables may cost more. Amazingly, the flavor is just as tasty and in some cases, even better tasting than fresh. Dried vegetables are easy to rehydrate and great to add to soups or stews. Think of how much fresh food gets wasted because it doesn’t get eaten in time. And think then of how much money you can save by dehydrating that food instead of throwing it in the trash. Even leftover mashed potatoes can be spread into ¼ inch thick rectangles (place non-toxic plastic wrap over dehydrator drying rack first), and make your own potato chips! In this day and age, we need to do everything possible to save money, and our food dehydrator has been one of the best investments we’ve ever made.
If you like to make homemade gifts for the holidays, think about making a fresh chicken soup, or maybe your special spaghetti sauce, dehydrating it until crispy and then blending it to a powder. Put it in a leftover glass jar with pretty ribbon and a tag with rehydration instructions (instructions are basically…just add water) and you have a wonderful homemade gift for your family and friends.
Or buy food dehydrators for the ones you love this Christmas to improve your family’s health, help them prepare for disaster, or just to make great snacks or healthy dehydrated pet food. Share with them your favorite food dehydrator recipes for dehydrated meals and how they may avoid having food go to waste to save money.
Please visit our food dehydrator website and blog and share your favorite dehydrated food recipe, dehydrating tips and ideas. Go to http://www.BuyFoodDehydrators.com today and enjoy!!!