We've already talked about how, with a dehydrator, you can
With a dehydrator, you can also increase the nutritional value of the foods that you are already eating. Find out how....
Increasing nutrition in your food is especially important today because:
- the nutritional content of our foods isn't anywhere near what it used to be.
- Many of us are struggling with health issues like autism spectrum, Crohn's, IBS, candida and food sensitivities. All of these are linked to deficiencies in our digestive systems so it's crucial we make the most of the nutrition in our foods and improve the digestibility of what we eat as much as possible
How to Increase Nutrition By Dehydrating
I first heard about soaking nuts and seeds to enhance digestibility in Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions. However, I'd still do this even if there were no nutritional difference, because they taste so much better soaked and dried -- they turn crispy and wonderfully flavorful. If you spend enough time on "real food" blogs, you'll see soaked and dehydrated nuts called "Crispy Nuts."
- Why dehydrate grains and beans, you may ask? To make your own flour, of course!
- Now, I admit, I haven't done this much, but it sure is the way to do it if you are going to make certain kinds of flours.
People on gluten-free diets often turn to special flours like bean flours, quinoa flour, etc. Well, we all know what happens when one eats too many beans, right? To prevent your bean flours from adding more insult to your already stressed-out intestines, you need to de-gas the beans and then dehydrate and grind them. It's a few extra steps, but it just might prevent a lot of illness (and tooting 🙂 down the road.
Above are dried mung beans which I plan to make into mung bean pancakes. I'd also love to soak and dry garbanzo beans for use "as is" or in a gluten free baking mix (like Bob's Red Mill's).
Quinoa flour can't be made without soaking and drying unless your quinoa is exceptionally clean. Quinoa is coated with bitter tasting saponins that must be rinsed off prior to eating (and thus, prior to grinding quinoa into flour). Again, this is an extra step, but bulk quinoa costs about half of quinoa grain, so you can save room in your pantry by purchasing just the grains and grinding the grain into flour.
3. Preserves more of the nutritional value than canning
That doesn't mean that I don't hope that someone will invite me over to learn how to can salsa and tomatoes sometime this summer, but it does mean I prefer dehydrating over canning when it comes to preserving food.
That being said, I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what can be dried and how to use dried foods in cooking. But from what I have read, there's a lot to learn and a lot of fun experimenting to be done.
There are so many great resources for dehydrating techniques and recipes. I would highly recommend that you get sheets for making fruit leathers and things like flax crackers and sun-dried tomatoes that otherwise would drop through the trays and make a big mess inside your machine.
I personally use and love the Excalibur Dehydrator.
Now, these dehydrators aren't cheap; but they're really worth it. They work great, dry evenly, and have a great 10-year warranty.
What do you do with your dehydrator? Or what would you LIKE to do with one?