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All you need to know about Food Dehydrators
If you are new to Food Dehydrators, it can be a little confusing to understand exactly how they work, let alone know which model is the right one for you and your kitchen. But don’t panic, we are here to help! From top tips on how to get the most use out of your food dehydrator to delicious, yet healthy recipe ideas, the below guide will have you dehydrating food like a pro in no time.
- The science behind dehydrating foods
- Advantages of using a Food Dehydrator
- What exactly can you make with a Food Dehydrator?
- How to use a Food Dehydrator correctly
- The BioChef range of Food Dehydrators
The science behind dehydrating foods
Drying food using sun and wind to prevent spoilage has been practiced since ancient times, and was the earliest form of food preservation - it helped our ancestors through droughts and famines. Fortunately, today's technology has made this process much easier and more effective, with modern-day dehydrators regulating the temperature for even and consistent drying.
Utilizing a built-in fan, a dehydrator slowly distributes heated air throughout the appliance to eliminate the moisture from foods. By removing as much water as possible, it intercepts the proliferation of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds), preventing food from spoiling or going bad, and therefore allowing us to savor them for a longer time.
Advantages of using a Food Dehydrator
There are a wide range of benefits to be experienced from dehydrating foods; this range extends from nutritional wellbeing, to significantly cutting down on food waste, and most importantly saving those extra pennies! We’ve narrowed these down to what we believe are the top ten benefits to owning a food dehydrator:
- Great-tasting food with an increased number of enzymes and nutrients
- Zero additives and preservatives: 100% control of what is going into your food
- Reduce food wastage and extended shelf life - for up to 2 years!
- Save money on store-bought dehydrated foods
- Efficient storing - take less than one sixth of their original storage space
- Portability - dehydrated foods are lightweight, compact and travel well
- Precision Drying - complete control with adjustable thermostats
- Flexible & versatile - only limited by your imagination
- Simple & Easy to Use - set and forget drying system
- Safe - very low risk of bacteria and spoiling
The process of dehydration also helps to make it easier to take the recommended 'five servings of fruits and vegetables a day', in the form of practical and tasty snacks.
Dehydrating is a fun, easy and cost-effective way to preserve fresh foods for storage, or to make healthy snacks which you can enjoy right away. For best results, it’s essential to know the bare essentials before you start using your food dehydrator. Watch our how-to video and browse over our advice further below.
What exactly can you make with a Food Dehydrator?
In the past, dehydrated food generally made us imagine unappetizing, tasteless food. However, the raw food movement has managed to change our minds and introduce us to more healthy eating habits and foods that deliver on flavour.
From veggie chips to yogurt. There’s a whole host of tasty foods and recipes a food dehydrator will allow you to create. Here are a few examples:
- Dried fruits such as apples, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and kiwi fruit
- Healthy chips made from vegetables such as beetroot, carrot, parsnip and sweet potato (with no oil)
- Jerky using a variety of meats: beef, lamb, fish and poultry with preservative-free, fresh marinades and spices
- Healthy bread alternatives such as flax seed bread, pizza bases and crackers
- Dried fruit roll-ups - simply blend fruit (and even add some yogurt), dehydrate and roll up. Perfect kids‘ lunchbox snack.
- Aromatic herbs and spices, e.g. basil, parsley, oregano
- Healthy granola, activated nuts and seeds
- Healthy dog and animal treats without preservatives
Even young ones, who would often prefer to eat a bag of crisps than a piece of fruit, can have fun preparing their own crispy snacks made from dehydrated fruits and vegetables. Check our recipes and enjoy preparing healthy and homemade "crisps" with your children.
Use your imagination to discover new ideas to make using a food dehydrator, and find inspiration in the recipes that we offer over on our Blog.
How to use a Food Dehydrator correctly
Modern food dehydrators are easy and efficient to use. The thermostats and adjustable digital timers give you full control and peace of mind, delivering perfect results every time.
Storing dehydrated foods
Once the dehydrating process is complete, allow dried foods to cool to room temperature before packaging up (avoids condensation).
For best results, you should consider using a vacuum sealer to store your dehydrated foods. Ziploc bags can also be used with great effect, just make sure you force as much air as you can out of the bag before sealing it shut.
Protect your dehydrated foods from heat, light and moisture by placing them in a dark, cool and dry area.
The BioChef range of Food Dehydrators
As with all our products, we only offer dehydrators that are of outstanding quality, responsibly made and represent genuine value for money. From entry-level machines for the novice through to high end appliances for the dried food aficionado, we can recommend a dehydrator to match your needs.
When deciding which model is the right one for you, size is a key factor. You don’t want any appliance taking up considerable space on your kitchen countertop, and that’s why we provide food dehydrators in various sizes.
For the beginners, we advise you to start with BioChef Arizona Food Dehydrator with 6 trays. For those already familiar with dehydrating foods looking to upgrade model, or for families that would like to make larger batches, we recommend a higher capacity dehydrator like the BioChef Arizona Food Dehydrator with 10 trays.
For commercial use, you can count on the 10-tray BioChef Arizona Professional Food Dehydrator or the BioChef Premium Food Dehydrator offering 16 trays. Whatever your situation, we can recommend a food dehydrator that will meet the needs of your diet.
BioChef food dehydrators have achieved high recognition thanks to their reliability, so it is not surprising that raw food lovers and those who decide to adopt a style of conscious nutrition, choose to integrate a food dehydrator from our collection to their kitchen.
Still unsure? Head over to our handy Food Dehydrator Comparison for further information.