Preserving Food by Dehydration

After recommendations from fellow healthy eating bloggers I have just bought myself a 5 draw Excalibur dehydrator in preparation for preserving and storing the excess fruit and vegetables I will be getting in peak growing season once my Aquaponic system is up and running.

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So far I’ve tried bananas, which taste delicious, and very easy to prepare, just peel and cut in half.

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and now I am in the process of dehydrating apples.

With the apples I used a mechanical corer, peeler and slicer. Then just laid the pieces on the drying tray.

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I am now looking forward to trying other fruits in season as well as vegetables.

Why Dehydrate?

Drying is easy
A wide variety of fresh foods can be dried, especially fruits and vegetables. These foods can be eaten dried for snacks and parties, or reconstituted for cooking and baking. Drying is easier than canning or freezing: you simply wash, slice and load food onto the dehydrator trays. Within hours your foods are dried and ready to eat or store.

Dried foods taste great and are nutritious
As food dries, natural food flavours and sugars tend to concentrate – giving dried foods a sweeter and stronger burst of flavour than fresh foods. Dried foods are nutritious, too! Drying preserves important nutrients that cooking often destroys. And since you don’t add sugar or other additives, dried foods make delicious and healthy snacks.

Dried foods store easily
Dried foods take up less space than canned or frozen foods because when you remove the moisture, food shrinks in size. They store in any convenient airtight container or pack and are lightweight – just right for lunchboxes, backpacks or camping trips.

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19 Responses to Preserving Food by Dehydration

  1. sarasinart says:

    I’ve just really gotten into dehydrating veggies and haven’t tried fruit yet. Many places you read instructions say you need to put things on the fruit before you dehydrate them, to keep them from turning color, etc. But it sounds like you’re finding that you don’t need to do that? Thanks.

    • Thanks for the comment Sarasin. Perhaps you could tell me a little about your experience with vegetables? I haven’t tried them yet. Which ones do you find do best when dehydrated?
      Paul

      • sarasinart says:

        Veggies are easy, so far, lol. I’ve tried carrots and celery, which I use a lot of in soups in the winter. I know there will be lots of those things available reasonable next summer, so I’ll dry a lot for the winter. I blanch both of those about 3 minutes, then into cold water. I eat collard greens, and they come in huge bunches! I don’t always need a big bunch. So I tried drying them, and was well pleased with the results. They dry quickly too, since the leaves are thin. I wanted to try dehydrating them since I plan to plant some in my garden in the spring. Now I know it works, and I’ll plant extra to dry to use in the winter. I haven’t tried other veggies yet, cos this is the beginning of my learning….but I will.

      • Thanks for your quick response. You may have seen my plans in the blog for an Aquaponics system that I should have up and running by May. This will provide me with a lot of surplus so preserving through dehydration and fermentation and perhaps bottling (which I haven’t tried yet) will be essential.
        Please keep in touch with any advice or thoughts from your experiences won’t you?
        Paul

      • sarasinart says:

        No, I Hadn’t seen that post yet but I’ll search it out. Good luck! It’s fun to be frugal and as self reliant as we can be.

      • You’ll find in the menu under Sustainability. My aim is to provide organic vegetables and fruits for my friends and neighbours at supermarket prices as well as educating them on how to become more sustainable themselves whilst eating a healthy whole-food, plant based diet.
        I am a semi retired Occupational Therapist with some experience working with people with mental health problems, so I’d be very interested in your thoughts on the mainstream treatment prescribed. Do you have any thoughts on whether a healthy diet has any positive effects?

  2. sarasinart says:

    I’m following your blog now, cos you present so many interesting things.

    I’ve worked in mental health myself for over 20 years. I am on board with the mainstream treatments that are being given, although they could still always improve. And, we are in the clutches of budget cuts that are cutting services back. Treatments only work if they are available!

    So many of our people can’t afford, or don’t interest themselves in, truly healthy diets, so I don’t have much info on the effects. But, I have some health issues myself (type 2 diabetes, controlled with diet and exercise, and high BP) so I talk a lot to our folks about ways they can improve their physical health. They probably get tired of me preaching, but I preach on!

    They see and hear me living as healthy as I can, and some of it is bound to rub off.

    • Thanks.
      In regard to Type II diabetes there is a great deal of very well researched information to show that it can be completely reversed by going onto a whole-food, plant based diet. Unless that is, the kidneys have been very badly damaged, but even then a reduction in medication can be achieved and quality of life improved. Have a look in the books section of my blog for more information.
      Can I just say, that this is not quackery, it is well researched and has been well proven by many thousands of people world wide.
      All the best and I hope we can keep in contact.
      Paul

  3. sarasinart says:

    No, I believe this is not quackery. I do eat meat, and thought I was living “pretty” healthy. Diagnosed with diabetes, tho, I did change everything. I lost 15 lbs and changed my diet completely, incorporating much less meat, more veggies, more whole foods, and more grains, as many whole grains as I can get in. I never did eat much processed food and eat almost none of that stuff now. I also changed the meat I eat, now buying from local farmers who raise animals as they should be raised, and also get eggs from chickens treated the same way.

    My doctor offered me the oral meds, but, knowing that this will probably get worse as I get old(er) lol, I said I did not want them; I was determined to control this with diet and exercise. I have done that for about 2 1/2 years, and now my blood sugars and a1C’s are always normal. And I have maintained my weight as well.

    So, although I eat meat, which is probably not good, I realize, I have technically reversed type 2 diabetes…for now.

    How long have you been Vegan? We can keep in contact, since I’m following your blog and will make comments. I also regularly tweet posts on the blogs I follow. More readers is good!

    • That’s brilliant. So good to hear about your improved diet. Keep on going the way you are going and I am totally confident that you have reversed the diabetes for good (not just for now).
      Great to talk to you from the other side of the world.
      Paul

  4. sarasinart says:

    Oh, on my blog, I did write a post about some of my dehydrating experience so far. If you want to look at that, it’s called Nesco food dehydrator.

  5. sarasinart says:

    Good talking with you as well and I’ll be seeing how your progress goes. Very interesting, your project!

  6. uberdish says:

    Congratulations on your new purchase!! You’ll love it! Try Sour Cream and Onion Kale Chips and Almond Cakes from “Whole Foods to Thrive”. Delicious!

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