Why I Dehydrate Foods
Why I Choose to Dehydrate Food
This morning I’ve been watching the squirrels run about in the yard and trees. Up and down the trees they go. Their little cheeks puffed out with whatever they have found. The little squirrels are already packing away food for winter. I’m taking a note from the squirrels and packing away my food for winter. As Humans, we have gotten out of the habit of storing up food for winter. We live in times where you can get anything and everything you want at any time. At least until an emergency happens and then the shelves are bare. They go bare very quickly.
We had a drinking water scare a few months ago. We had to drive 10 miles out of our area to find water. Now if that is just a water hazard for a day can you imagine what it would be like without food, water, or any essentials you need? I am sure there are a lot of people that unfortunately, know this feeling all too well.
A lot of times we don’t pay attention to the price of produce. I know I never paid attention to the price of the out-of-season produce. I never noticed that it has a higher price tag. That made me think about why I dehydrate food.
I know, I know a lot of people dehydrate food to store it for the end of the world scenarios. I’m not an end of times kind of girl. However, I believe in being prepared for emergency situations. Guess it’s the Girl Scout in me. I dehydrate because I’ve been without both a job and money. I live on a very fixed income and buying food is very expensive these days. My goal is to have a storage of food built up just in case I’m without money again. I want to be able to at least eat and use whatever money I have to spend on bills instead of food. Lastly, I want to be able to have a stock of food in case of a natural disaster. Earthquakes, tornadoes, and flooding have all been big disasters in recent times.
One of the other reasons I dehydrate is because I want to know what is in my food. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer a few years ago. Since then I need to watch my consumption of soy which increases hormones in women. Soy is in everything these days. I checked all my labels of the brands we use in 2014. The mayonnaise didn’t have soy in it. Recently, I checked it again and found in that time frame they have started using soybean oil. In fact, it is the first ingredient! Now I make my own mayonnaise from scratch and it tastes a lot better. Without the Soy!
What Happens to Food, When It’s Dehydrated?
The process of dehydrating removes almost all of the water from the food. This process compacts the flavors into a small piece of food. It also heightens the flavors. This makes flavors sweeter or more sour, tart or bitter than normal.
Dehydrating at home is not the same as store-bought dehydrated foods. Commercially dried foods use chemicals to keep them soft, chewy, or crunchy. They also like to use chemicals to heighten the flavors of green, slightly ripe produce. I prefer to keep it as natural as possible.
Once the water has been removed, the food is smaller and can be stored in a small container. I can store multiple pounds of vegetables in a one-quart mason jar. Throw in a moisture absorber and use the vacuum seal lid sealer to remove the air. That food can last for years. Some foods last longer than others. It’s always best to check.
I dehydrate food in case of emergency, loss of wages, and to know what is in my food. Storing my food long-term in large plastic boxes. I want to be like the squirrels and store up as much as I can for winter or an emergency. Whichever one comes first.
Until next time!