In yesterday's post, I outlined how a dehydrator can save you money -- LOTS of money.
And as if that weren't enough to get you to add one of these to your list of "kitchen must-haves," as promised, I will continue by explaining how this great black box can:
- Save you time
- Save storage space, and
- Boost the nutritional value of food
Today we'll cover the first two and we'll get to the nutritional stuff hopefully tomorrow.
Before we get into this, please remember that with all of these ideas for cooking and eating more healthfully while doing it on a budget -- it's all one step at a time. The last thing I want you to do is to read all about this (or anything on my blog, for that matter) and then stress out thinking, "There's no way I can do all of this!" and then give up in exasperation.
We've all been there, stressing out and being close to giving up. And I am convinced that the stress can be just as bad for you as eating processed junk foods.
None of us is completely healthy and none of us has it all figured out. I hope we can share ideas, encourage each other and gradually make changes in our lives that make us more healthy and better stewards of the gifts God has given us.
So -- stay with me, OK?
How can a dehydrator save time?
1. Dehydrating takes a lot less time than canning. No finicky sterilizing of jars, no blanching, etc. Because of all that, I am still scared of canning. Sure, there are some foods that take a bit of extra work to dehydrate, but primarily you just wash the food, slice it if necessary, put it on the dehydrator trays, turn on the machine, and you're done. Then you go about your business while the machine does its work.
2. Cutting down on trips to the store. You'll have dried foods available year round and won't need to run out to go grocery shopping as often (and you'll also save money by not loading up on things that you don't need at the grocery store :-))!
The space saving feature of dehydrated foods is pretty much a no-brainer. Fruits and vegetables are made up primarily of water. Actually, the amount of water that is in them in almost unbelievable! Here are some examples of foods that you might dehydrate:
Isn't that something? When you dehydrate the water out of these foods and then store them dried, the space that they will take up ranges from 5-16% of their original size. Think about the difference between storing a teeny tiny bag of sun-dried tomatoes in your fridge versus finding space for 5 quart jars on your shelf!
If you have a limited storage space, whether in your pantry or your freezer, then a dehydrator is for sure the food preserving tool for you.
I use and recommend the Excalibur Dehydrator for a number of reasons. As an authorized dealer, I can get a great deal on one for you as well (including drop shipping to your door and freebies as well). Just contact me either by leaving a comment here, through my Contact Me page, or by emailing at adrienne at wholenewmom dot com. Either way, your purchase helps keep this free resource going and I very much appreciate that :-).
For other dehydrator posts, check out:
What kind of food preservation do you do?