Dried foods are those that have been stored either in air or a freezer for long periods of time. Most often drying is done to prepare foods for freezing to keep them fresh and flavorful for longer periods of time. Dried foods have different properties than fresh foods do which is why some dry foods are better than others. Dried foods are also more convenient because you can use them on your food processor, in soups, stews, or casseroles, on the barbecue, and so on. Dried fruits and vegetables are good for cooking in the oven, as well as meat.
Dried vegetables are popular because they are very low in fat, low in sugar, and have a high water content. Dried fruits are popular because they are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and beta carotene. Dried fruits are also low in calories and have almost no fat content. They come in various shapes and shades to suit every consumer’s personal preference. Dried foods are also good for diabetics because they have low-fat content.
One of the easiest ways to preserve dried foods is to use a food dehydrator. A food dehydrator can easily dry fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, mushrooms soft dried passionfruit, dairy products, and other dried food. Food dehydrators have different wattages, so it is important to purchase one that will suit your needs. The smallest wattage of a food dehydrator is enough to dry just about any type of dry food. Buying a multi-watt model may be expensive, but it is the best way to get a quality product at a reasonable price.
An important consideration when using dried foods is moisture content. Any food should be checked at least once a week for moisture because moisture is the main cause for foods drying out. The moisture level should be less than 15 percent to ensure a long shelf life. Some people prefer to use lower moisture levels to retain their food’s flavor, but you must keep in mind that meat jerky, for example, will have less moisture if it is dried with high moisture content.
To gauge the moisture content, place a piece of string over the item and cut it. After this, take the string and slide it through the hole of the food. The length of the string will indicate the moisture content of the product. Foods like parsnips, carrots, and Italian sausage are very sensitive to moisture and will lose their shape and appearance if they are kept too long. If you are not keeping them to their limit, they will go moldy or spoil.
When it comes to dehydrating vegetables, it is better to use a cool (room temperature) environment. Cool temperatures will cause a significant reduction in moisture loss. Canned vegetables and dried beans are two examples of sensitive vegetables that must be dried in a low moisture environment. For beans, use low moisture canes or ear of corn. Fruits and vegetables such as peaches, pears, apples and plums do not require any special drying methods.