Dehydrating food doesn’t sound particularly healthy or sexy. In fact it brings up visions of TV dinners and Pot Noodles. But you might be surprised by the types of food that can be ‘cooked’ with one in terms of deliciousness, nutrition and simplicity. Dehydrators are relatively inexpensive and extremely simple to use. Lets dive deeper and find out how to Have Fun Getting Healthy with a Food Dehydrator.
It’s about a 2.5 minute read. Here’s a brief outline.
- What is a Dehydrator
- Benefits of Dehydrating
- Eat Raw Food with Attitude
- Care Free ‘Cooking’
- Preserving Food
- Recipes and Ideas
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What is a Dehydrator
A dehydrator works a bit like a large hairdryer blowing hot air around your food and slowly removing the moisture. If you put your food out to dry in the sun the end product would be similiar.
I have mine out on the shelf all the time in the kitchen, probably in the place where a microwave oven would normally sit!!!.(yes, that’s a suggestion) This ensures it’s not just another piece of unused kitchen equipment sitting in the cupboard.
Benefits of Dehydrating
The main benefit of dehydrating food at low temperatures is that even though they don’t taste raw they still are in fact raw and maintain a full nutritional profile.
Set your dehydrator to no higher than 46 degrees celsius , (115 Fahrenheit) and your food will ‘cook’ but still remain ‘raw’ with all of the beneficial nutrients, antioxidants and enzymes intact.
Eat Raw Food with Attitude
Dehydrating food brings variety to your raw whole foods. It gives them a different texture and feeling for example chewy or crispy or it can warm and soften so that it can almost feel like it has been cooked depending on what you are making.
This means that you can make things that are ‘cooked’ but still have all the benefits of raw.
Care Free ‘Cooking’
Another great benefit of Dehydrating food is a that it’s a bit like using a slow cooker. You can just forget about it and do your own thing while it does its.
It generally takes hours, even days, and you wont ‘burn’ or ‘overcook’ anything. It’s very lenient on timings.
The dehydrator dries as a method of preserving food for use at a later date . For example dried fruit, herbs or vegetables.
Recipes and Ideas
I use my dehydrator extensively but the 2 main things I make in it, that are indispensable to my healthy lifestyle are Raw seed crackers and Raw Chocolate Brownies. ( subscribe to my blog to receive free recipe)
The raw seed crackers replace bread or biscuits as a carrier of tasty dips, spreads and even butter. The Brownies are my sweet treats.
Here’s some ideas for healthy things that you can make in your dehydrator.
- Raw sweets and desserts (banana bread, chocolate brownies, cookies… there’s a whole world of healthy raw sweets out there – google for inspiration)
- Raw seed crackers (loads of recipes on the internet)
- Dried fruit (see below)
- Dehydrate excess herbs, vegetables and fruit for later use in stocks, soups, stews, juices and smoothies…From a glut from your own garden or that were ‘bargains’ at the supermarket.
- Raw savoury snacks like Kale crisps and Spiced nuts and seeds
- Raw dehydrated bread
- Raw Fruit leathers/rollups. (click here for more and recipe )
- Raw main course recipes (really just for serious raw foodies)
- and much more
Many store bought dried fruits contain added sugars, sulfur dioxide and unhealthy fats. When dehydrating your own fruit you know exactly what is in them which will be nothing, except fruit.
It’s so simple to do – slice fruit* put it on dehydrator shelves, set temperature to 46 degrees C and forget about it for hours. (6 hours maybe more…**)
*Fruit like berries are placed in whole.
**Dehydrating times will vary between different makes and models and the end result you, yourself are looking for but it’s hard to get it wrong.
Dehydrating your own fruit can be especially useful if you have your own fruit trees in the garden with excess fruit.
To get the best idea of how amazing this concept is I recommend you go and eat a meal at a raw food restaurant. It really is incredible. You may be served things like ‘lasagna’ or ‘pizza’’ and they will taste like them but believe me they won’t be anything like their traditional namesakes in reality.
What they will be is
- Highly nutritious and extremely healthy
- Totally raw and plant based
- Absolutely delicious.
This type of dehydrating is very time consuming and expensive, It’s only really relevant if you want to be a high raw vegan and you have a lot of time on your hands but interesting nevertheless.
We all need ideas on how to make getting healthy more fun and we could all do with eating more of our fresh produce raw. It’s the best way to maximise on the fantastic nutrients it offers us. A dehydrator offers you numerous, fun, funky, tasty and dare I even say sexy ways to do just that.
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