Drying food is an old method of preserving food. Although not known by many people. Drying food is an excellent method of food preservation because of its simplicity. Furthermore, this preservation method retains food flavor and nutrition for a long time. Today, instead of keeping food in the sun to dry, people are using dehydrators. As more and more people become conscious about the food they consume, they have also realized the benefits of dried food. Using a dehydrator is not rocket science. It is easy to learn, but there are certain things that people tend to forget when using a dehydrator. This article will discuss common mistakes you should avoid when dehydrating your food.
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Piling Up Food
It is essential to arrange your food correctly when drying it in a dehydrator. Unfortunately, people put pieces of food on each other, resulting in incomplete drying. For fruits and vegetables to dry well, the heat from the bottom must reach the top without obstruction. If there is a hindrance in the process, it takes longer to dry the food, which is unnecessary because of power wastage. Therefore, when using food dehydrators, it is advisable to place the pieces uniformly and not on each other. It provides maximum dehydration and prevents power wastage.
Adding Sugar to Sweeten
Using sugar when dehydrating food is not advisable. It does not sweeten the interior and makes it difficult to clean. The best way to enhance the food is by using honey or corn syrup.
Using a Dehydrator in a Poorly Ventilated Space
Dehydrating food releases much moisture, which finds its way outside the dehydrator. Most times, the moisture contains oil that can irritate. Therefore, it is imperative to use a food dehydrator in a well-ventilated space. Proper ventilation is crucial, especially when dehydrating intensely flavored foods like onions, pepper, etc.
Sprinkling Lemon Juice
Many do not realize that sprinkling lemon juice on foodstuff before they are dehydrated is not the best idea. It is even the worst idea for leafy vegetables. That is because lemon juice has citric acid that reacts with the green vegetables, causing discoloration. Sprinkling lemon juice makes the vegetables look less desirable.
Holding Dehydrator Trays with Bare Hands
It is wrong to use bare hands to hold the hot trays. Instead, use mitts to handle the hot plates. In most cases, the trays are hotter than you expect, and you are likely to hurt yourself if you are not careful. So, get the best experience with your dehydrator by avoiding holding the trays with bare hands.
Not Blanching Food Before Preservation
Blanching involves dipping vegetables and fruits in boiling water and then immersing them in cold water to avoid broiling. Although blanching is optional, it is advisable to do so to store food for an extended period than usual. Blanching denatures the enzymes, allowing storing the food for a long time, even after the dehydration process.
These are six mistakes you should avoid when using a food dehydrator. Ensure your food is in good condition and uniformly sliced for proper dehydration. Once you avoid these mistakes, you will have the best experience with the dehydrator and preserve your fruits and vegetables for the longest time.