April 26th, 2013
Raw Food Without a Dehydrator
Written by Ka Sundance
A dehydrator is a tool that uses low temperatures and a fan to dry food. It essentially removes the water from food, but it keeps the enzymes of your raw food intact. While a dehydrator certainly add options and variety to your diet it is entirely possible to have raw food without a dehydrator.
In my opinion dehydrated foods are not the easiest thing for your body to digest: it’s not the closest thing to nature. Essentially you don’t have the water content and that means it’s not the ideal food. That being said, I think dehydrated foods are a great way to transition to raw food, and even as a great gluten-free treat.
Most of the dehydrated foods can replace the textures and tastes of the most addictive foods like bread, cookies, and chips. Who wouldn’t want that? Most dehydrators come with a temperature setting, and as long as you are dehydrating at temperatures below 112-118F you’ll be keeping your ingredients “raw”.
With a dehydrator you can make a wide range of raw foods like cookies, crackers, cinnamon rolls, wraps, breads, fruit roll ups, and more. You can make after school snacks for your kids. One can eat raw food without dehydrator as well.
For people who are really sick of looking for a healthy diet or someone who is looking to cleanse the body – A dehydrator would not quite work. Everyone else can use a dehydrator, there are many junk foods that most of us eat on a regular basis that by using a dehydrator would prove to be successful if one is following a healthy approach.
Dehydrated food in itself isn’t healthy or unhealthy. Dehydrated food is only as healthy as the food it was made out of. If you dry out a very unhealthy food it will still remain unhealthy, while dried fruits and vegetables are very healthy in dried forms. Dehydrated food is made by heating fresh food up over low heat for a long period of time, until the moisture level of the food has been reduced to between 3 and 5 percent.
As a food preservation method, dehydration is one of the healthiest methods. When compared to canned foods dehydrated food has much more to offer. The easiest method of drying food is through air drying. With air drying food is simply hung up to dry in a dark, well ventilated environment. Over the course of a few weeks all of the moisture leaves the food. This method is usually used with herbs and spices and they can last months or even years once dried.
Food can be dried in a standard oven by propping the oven door open and setting the oven on the lowest setting. This drying process only takes between two and four hours but it is one of the most expensive methods of drying food.
A food dehydrator is one of the most cost effective ways to dry out your food. In a dryer the food is placed on several different racks and air is heated and blown over the trays of food for between six and 12 hours. Over this period of time the food will become very dry without wasting a large amount of energy like other methods. If you are looking to maintain a healthy diet, a dehydrator would be a good option along with a raw food recipe book like 70 Best Raw Food Recipes.