Dehydrating 101

HI all,

dried-fruits

Dehydrating 101
If you’ve just been introduced to raw foods, you would have come across the method of Dehydrating food quite a bit. For this post, I’m going to share a very simple FAQ from  questions about Dehydrating foods:

1. What is Dehydrator?
A dehydrator is a device that removes the water content from your food and aids as a form of food preservation. It is a common equipment in the raw food movement as moisture is removed from food at a very low heat (47 degrees and below), keeping the active enzymes and nutrients intact. I like to call it an “oven that blows cool air”! Dehydrated food normally tastes more intense because when moisture is removed, it alleviates the taste of the ingredients’ natural flavour and taste.

2. Is it necessary to buy a dehydrator on a Raw Foods Diet

Raw buckwheat bread
It isn’t necessary but it definitely makes going raw more fun and interesting! Think raw pizzas, cookies, breads etc!  Espeially if you’re on a strictly raw lifestyle – after meals of salads and fruits, its common to crave warm, salty, chewy comfort food. The picture above is a sandwich I made from raw dehydrated bread and mushrooms!

3. What dehydrator do you use?
I own 2 dehydrators – An Ezi Dri snack maker and a Sedona Dehydrator.

my dehydrators

I bought the Ezi Dri snack maker around a year back. Back then I didn’t want to invest so much in a dehydrator and I thought the price for the Ezi Dri was very reasonable ( can’t really rem, I think it was around $200 plus). I think the Ezi Dri is great if you just wanna dehydrate snacks (like fruits, nuts, veggies, juice pulp etc) so its suitable for anyone really (whether raw or not). What I didn’t really like was that I couldn’t adjust the temperature because it was already preset at Low, Medium, High. Also, the hole in the middle deterred me from making items like pizzas and others that required more height (like bread loafs).

So, 2 months back for my birthday i decided to invest in something more professional. The most widely recognised dehydrator is the Excalibur but i choose to buy the up and  coming Sedona Dehydrator. I’ve used both dehydrators before while working in the kitchen and all I can say is both work well with dehydrating food. But I chose to buy the Sedona it has other functions that give it an edge over the Excalibur:

sedona-dehydrator

1) It looks aesthetically better  – sleek and black like a posh little oven
2) It has energy saving functions You can choose to dehydrate all trays or simply the top/bottom half. Probably my fav function because it allows you to dehydrate in small batches!
3) It is less noisy – Really much less noisy than the Excalibur and you can even set the night mode so that it because even quieter.
4) BPA free trays and mesh screens – important because you are using raw foods!
5) Clear glass door –  to see results without opening!
6) The digital display – which allows you to set timers and set accurate temperature settings.

*I’m not sponsored by Sedona…I’m just a big fan and I highly recommend it!

4. Where can I buy a dehydrator in Singapore?
You can purchase a dehydrator at a few places in Singapore – TOTT store, The Living Cafe, Tangs Orchard or Lemon Zest. Or you can purchase it online at Amazon, Ebay or NaturaWorks (Free SG delivery for more than $80).

5. Is it necessary to get an expensive dehydrator?

Like i mentioned in point 4, it really depends on the lifestyle you are leading. If you are fully raw, then I highly suggest getting a good dehydrator. However, if you are still experimenting with raw foods or simply want to make healthy snacks…then I think a normal dehydrator will suffice. Oh some modern ovens also allow you to adjust the temperature at vey low heat too! The last thing you would want is to buy something expensive and not use it.

6. Is consuming dehydrated food healthy?

There has been quite the debate about this question and you can probably google it online. But my two cents worth – compared to the rest of the food preservation methods out there like canning, baking, frozen food…dehydrated food is probably the least harmful and most healthy way to preserve raw fresh foods because the foods aren’t subjected to extreme temperatures and artificial preservatives. Plus dehydrating them at a low temperature minimizes nutrient loss.  Please please please drink lots of water when you are consuming dehydrated food because there is low or no moisture!

7. How long do I need to dehydrate foods for?\
It depends on the item you are dehydrating, its size, water content and the temperature. But typically, around 12 hours.

Hope the above questions were useful! Do leave a comment if you anything else you want to know and I’ll try my best to answer them! Here are some videos I found about dehydrating foods that might be useful to you too:

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10 thoughts on “Dehydrating 101

  1. Great post! Very timely too! I just gave in to temptation and recently bought a dehydrator!

    Thought I would chip in to point no.5 – Gmarket SG carries a Korean brand dehydrator, L’equip from S$150 onwards, with free shipping too.

    Can’t wait to play with it! 😀

    • Nice ! have fun with ur new dehydrator n im looking fwd to all ur delicious recipes! Ps I heard many ppl use a dehydrator to make dog treats….so maybe you can try too !

    • Hi Xian Hui, the dehydrator works like a slow oven for raw foods…so you shape your raw “dough” into a pizza shape and put it in the dehydrator for around 24 – 30 hours! Haha thanks, I still have lots of kitchen equipment I want….all on my xmas list!!

  2. Hi, have you tried dehydrate Jackfruit. I have orchard planted with Jackfruit for commercial. Any idea of big scale jackfruit dehydrator. I will start and test with a smaller one like what you suggested.

  3. Hey Sheryl,

    Great post and blog! Can i ask where did you get your Sedona dehydrator from? Was looking for where to get the Excalibur for a project this week and I think the Sedona suits my style better !

  4. Hi Sheryl. After reading your posts, i bought a Sedona from Tott. I have tried various recipes on it and the results are disappointing. My flax seed biscuits are not crispy enough after 24 hours (much more than recipe suggested), apple and other vege crisps are chewy rather than crunchy. The drying is also not even throughout the machine. The only thing that kinda work was the kale but the oven version tasted a lot better (sorry to offend raw eating but i am sure the dehydrator can do the same job but i am a fool).

    Is it because my kitchen is too humid? Something wrong with the machine? i have tried 118F and 138F and they have similar results but faster in general with higher heat. I am not very kitchen savvy. Please help if you can. Thank you.

    • From one of the video that she’s posted, it mentioned to freeze the biscuit after dehydrating. and there will be a crisp effect. Did you try?

      • hi Josephine,
        dehydrating will not give you the crisp effect we have all come to exprct from chips. to make it that way, you must airways freeze or refrigerate your dehydrated items !

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