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Using A Dehydrator - Country Living

Using A Dehydrator

I have a few reasons I want to talk about using a dehydrator today. I also have a free resource to announce on dehydrators.Free Mobile App on Dehydration

Out of all the small appliances taking up space in my kitchen, my dehydrator is truly one of my favorites.

I had never heard of a dehydrator until I moved out of the city. My first dehydrator was purchased used – I paid $8 for it – and trust me I got my money’s worth! I even made money from that little counter top machine – but I’ll tell you that part, later.

When you have a way to dehydrate your own food you can be sure that the food will last longer, that you can feed your children or yourself healthier, and it will save you money.

If you garden at all, or if you like to buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season, you will love the freedom using a dehydrator affords. Since many foods can be dried and stored, you might not be freezing and canning quite so much in late fall. Men love it too – we made more than a few pounds of beef jerky in that old dehydrator over the years.

Nutritional Value of Dried Foods

To ease your mind about the nutritional value of dried foods versus canned or frozen foods, here are some facts:

  • The caloric value of fresh foods and dried foods are the same.
  • Fruits and vegetables maintain their fiber content and their carbohydrate value. They also maintain any minerals that they may have had before drying.
  • Vitamin A is light sensitive. Vitamin A is retained during dehydration as long as you dry your food in semi-darkness and store them in near complete darkness when done.
  • Vitamin C is air-soluble and since dehydration is an air-based process, some vitamin C will be lost during dehydration. This is mostly true if items are sliced for dehydration. It is the area exposed to air that will lose their vitamin C.

Making Money With A Dehydrator

I’ll tell you how I came to make money with my dehydrator since Autumn is drawing near and Christmas is just around the corner. If this is something you’d like to do, the time to start is right now.

A few years ago I put my dehydrator to work for me making lovely items that people went crazy for at a Fall Craft fair.

I made nearly $1500 in sales in the first 6 hours selling a product that cost me only $1-$2 each to make using a dehydrator and very little of my time for the entire batch. I documented a few of the ideas I used in a cell phone app I just released this week – you can get Dehydrator Dashboard for free on Google Play. You can read all the ways I put these fruits and embellishments together to make really beautiful and salable decor. The gist of the products were dried apple slice garlands with a few special twists. They look beautiful strung above a door or window and even draped around greenery on staircase railings.

Healthy Snacks

Without going into a long winded tirade about what’s wrong with our food supply allow me to say that folks who eat food they’ve grown themselves, purchased locally, bought in season, and shop organic are going to be healthier humans all around.

If you have goals to eat healthier, more frugally, or with a more conscious attitude, a dehydrator is a must. Making fruit leather, drying fruit for cereals, drying vegetables for soups and stews, making delicious and nutrition jerky (beef, venison, or turkey jerky) – these are all healthy snacking, healthy meals.

We notice our own decisions regarding healthier consumption when we are out on road trips. Years ago we would make a point of stopping at a grocery store and buying what we needed to make sandwiches when we were hungry – as opposed to stopping at a fast food joint. Now though, with children grown up we find ourselves traveling alone more often, it makes more sense to simply pack our snacks and meals for the road. With an eye on nutrition this is easier to manage when you have a cupboard full of homemade, dried foods.

You’ll save money too. The last time we stopped at a drive through restaurant it cost us $23 and there were only two of us! An hour later we were hungry again and two hours later we felt sick.

So if you’re planning a road trip, get and use a dehydrator to make your own snack foods, jerky, or trail mixes ahead of time. You’ll be glad you did.

About Laura Childs

Country Living enthusiast Laura Childs was a downtown city girl for many years before heading to the hills to live a sustainable lifestyle, raise her daughter, get back to the land, and learn the time tested traditions of a simpler era.

Throughout her farm life adventures of raising animals, working from home, home schooling her daughter, and being more green, Laura Childs has been sharing on the GoodByeCityLife website through articles and personal musings since 1998.

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