From ancient days, dehydrating food is a perfect method of preservation. Dehydrating is also a good way to handle an excess of any number of fresh ingredients while retaining their nutritional value. Also, it also brings out the fresh strongest flavors in herbs while keeping them around out of season. Presently, technology has presented us with a dehydrator, keeping at bay the old approaches of dehydrating. Foods processed with the dehydrator can be stored for a long period without losing their nutritional importance. Nevertheless, the devices are costly, and many people find it prudent not to buy the appliance since it rarely gets used. There is a variety of alternatives to dehydrate food and how NOT to use a dehydrator. Below are simple and straightforward ways to apply in place of a dehydrator.
Sun Dry Your Foods
This is the most favorite option because the sun is naturally available and costs nothing. However, some people say that this method works better on certain foods than others. This hoax should not dissuade anyone from using sun drying as a method of dehydrating foods. It is a suitable method of dehydrating herbs, fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes. It makes them develop an extra level of sweetness. Cut the item you want to dry into small pieces and place them on a clean and flat surface. Put some mesh material over the food to keep the flies from getting all over it. Leave them in a very sunny spot where they can take a few days.
Use the Microwave
This may sound adventurous to some people. How exactly do you use a microwave for dehydrating food? Most notably, this method is most viable when dehydrating foods that dry faster. For example, herds, fruits such as apples, and some vegetables like spinach. It may take a little bit of trial and error as microwaves vary greatly in heat strength. Ultimately, you will notice great success dehydrating using a microwave.
Use Your Oven
Just like using your microwave, using an oven may be fascinating. It is surprisingly easy to dehydrate fruits and veggies in the oven. Just set it to the lowest settings and put small pieces of fruits or vegetables on a lined sheet pan. Normally, it would take about six to eight hours to dry your items. If you do not want to wait for this long, set the oven at around 225F.
Use a Toaster Oven
Another great option for dehydrating without a dehydrator is using a toaster oven. Simply put the toaster on its lowest setting and leave the door slightly open. This will avoid condensation. It is imperative to not that toaster ovens vary in temperature specifications. Thus, timing will change in each. Therefore, keep your time on the food you are dehydrating. Eventually, you will end up with perfectly dried foods that can be stored for up to a month.
The approaches above make it easy to dehydrate foods without the dehydrator. These are remarkable methods, which involves the use of readily available appliances.