What is a Food Dehydrator?
If you are new to the topic of Food Dehydrators, it can seem a little confusing to understand exactly how a dehydrator works, let alone which is the right one to suit your needs!
Simple to use, a dehydrator slowly distributes heated air throughout the appliance to remove the moisture from foods. It is important to remove as much water as possible during the dehydrating process as it is what makes food spoil or go bad; without water, bacteria and mould cannot grow. Bacteria, yeasts and moulds need the water in the food to grow, and drying effectively prevents them from surviving in the food. Usually a fan and a heating element are used to create the perfect dehydration environment.
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 though 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.
The shape of dehydrators and how they use the heat and air to dehydrate different foods is what sets each dehydrator on the market apart. We’ve done the hard part for you and drawn up a comparison table below; highlighting the differences between various food dehydrators, it is easy to make a more informed decision about which one will benefit you the most.
Easily Compare BioChef Food Dehydrators
Find out which food dehydrator is the best fit for you with our handy food dehydrator comparison table, below.
What can I make in a Food Dehydrator?
Our foodies at Vitality 4 Life have tried and tested our delicious recipes in the BioChef food dehydrator and have come up with some great recommendations of which tasty foods you can dehydrate. Here are a few examples:
- Dried fruits such as grapes, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, pineapple and kiwi fruit
- Healthy vegetable chips - make crispy chips from beetroot, carrot, parsnip and sweet potato with no oil
- Jerky - experiment with different varieties: beef, lamb, fish and poultry with preservative-free, fresh marinades and spices
- Make healthy bread alternatives such as flax seed bread, pizza bases and crackers
- Dried fruit roll-ups - these are a winner with the kids. Simply blend fruit (and even add some yogurt), dehydrate and roll up. Perfect lunchbox snack.
- Healthy granola, activated nuts and seeds
- Healthy dog and animal treats without preservatives
Be sure to check out some of our amazing recipes over on our Blog - and don't be shy to experiment with these to find the best combination to suit you!
10 Reasons to Buy a Food Dehydrator
There are a wide range of benefits to be experienced from dehydrating foods; this range extends from nutritional well-being, 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:
- Dehydrated foods taste great and let’s be honest, it is really fun to buy the freshest bananas, apples, apricots, tomatoes to make your own healthy snacks!
- Reduce food wastage & extend shelf life - for up to 2 years!
- Create healthy food: it is important to know exactly what is going into the foods you eat, it’s 100% natural after all.
- 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
What's the difference between store-bought dried fruit and the home-made kind?
This is the question on many people’s minds when looking to buy a food dehydrator; it is an investment after all… When thinking of dried fruits as an alternative to sweets and treats, there is a tendency to associate this substitute as a “healthy snack”. And if it’s healthy, why not eat as much as possible – right? In reality, this is not the case with your typical store-bought dried fruits; instead they contain plenty of added sugars, sulfur dioxide and trans fat - all of which can be harmful to you and your family!
To prevent discolouration of the fruit and to make them look extra appealing to your shopping cart, a food preservative called Sulfur dioxide is added to the produce during the dehydration process. There are many health risks that can be caused by this toxic gas, such as asthma, skin rashes and stomach pains. Sulfur dioxide is particularly present in dried apricots, which is what gives them their bright orange colour. Additionally, food additives are often used to alter the taste of some dried fruits; for example, store-bought dried cranberries are less sweet when dried naturally.
By making your own dried fruits, you can ensure that you are in complete control of exactly what goes into your food!
The Vitality 4 Life Range
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.