A Couple of Important Benefits to Food Dehydration Versus Other Methods of Food Storage — Food Storage/Dehydration – POST #4

Sunday Nov 27, 2016

A Couple of Important Benefits to Food Dehydration Versus Other Methods of Food Storage — Food Storage/Dehydration – Post #4

First, let me go ahead and say this – yes, dehydrating your food for storage can take a little more time in preparation than maybe other methods of food storage.  But, most of time spent in dehydrating items is in the dehydrator – so, you can multi-task and do other things during this time.

Many items such as yellow squash, corn, okra, etc. have to be blanched regardless if the item is being prepared for frozen storage or dehydrated storage.  So, the prep time is about the same.  These same items can be much more labor intensive in preparation and processing it they were being canned.

Now, let’s take a look at several very important benefits to dehydrating items for your food storage versus other methods such as freezing or canning.

The most important benefit that I have for using dehydration for food storage is the longevity of the finished product.   Dehydrated food, when stored properly, can last up to 20 or more years!    Yes, the extended shelf life is so worth the effort.   Let’s dig a little deeper into the phrase “when stored properly”.   The best method of storage that I’ve found and works for me is canning jars and using my FoodSaver and the FoodSaver Wide-Mouth Jar Sealer and Regular-Mouth Jar Sealer.   This ensures I have vacuum sealed storage of my dehydrated food in food grade canning jars.   I also store my sealed jars in my pantry – a dry, cool, and dark place.

I live in an area that is prone to hurricanes.   This means that there can be times that we are without power for a week or more.   If my food storage was frozen and I did not have electricity for a week or more, all of my food storage would ruin.  This is another reason that I like to dehydrate.   There are similar issues for those of you who live in other areas of the country that are prone to power outages for various reasons.

Another benefit to food dehydration is dehydrated foods maintain the majority of their nutrition and color.  Dehydrated foods don’t lose their nutritional value and maintain water soluble vitamins and minerals.   And yes, I had to test this because it was a little hard to believe that a dehydrated corn could be re-hydrated and look just as it did before I dehydrated it – but it did :-)

A very important benefit is SAVING MONEY!   I noticed this especially with herbs and spices.  At the grocery store, herbs and spices can cost quite a bit per container.  But, if you purchase these items in bulk (or better yet, grow your own) you can dehydrate them for a cost that is a fraction of what you’d have to pay for the same items at the grocery store.

Space – dehydrated fruits and vegetables take up substantially LESS space than their canned or frozen counterparts.

Another money saver – dehydrating items can help reduce waste!  Yes, every time I dehydrate, I check out my refrigerator and freezer for items that our family will not have time to consume before their spoil.   These items also go into the dehydrator :-)

Time Saver – using dehydrated food can be such a time saver for me and my family.   It’s so easy to make those “convenience foods” and even snack foods myself (without preservatives!).  One of the greatest time and money savers for me is dehydrated rice (instant rice).   When I use my rice cooker, I go ahead and cook an entire cooker full – not just the amount that we are going to consume for the one meal.  Then, I dehydrate the rest and make my own “instant rice”.

I would love for you to post some of the benefits that you’ve identified :-)

 

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