#1 Maintains More Nutrients Than Other Food Preservation Methods
There are only small amounts of nutrient loss in comparison with other food preservation methods like canning and freezing. I found a chart HERE that compares nutrient values. It says that dehydration has a 3-5% nutrient loss after preservation. Freezing has a 40 - 60% nutrient loss and canning has 60-80% nutrient loss.
#2 Minimal Work Involved
Dehydrated foods often require very minimal preparation prior to dehydration. Most of the time, you cut the food to the desired size, blanch (if needed) and place on the trays and then dehydrate. Dehydration is so great for when you don’t have all night to spend canning a garden harvest.
#3 Food Stays Fresh without Power
If you electricity ever goes out, dehydrated food is safe. Just this year, we had our refrigerator and freezer combo die on us while we were on vacation. After a week at room temperature, just about everything in the refrigerator and freezer was rotten (interesting side note, most of my fermented foods were OK!) My estimate was $500 worth of food lost.
Having dehydrated food eliminates the risk of loss. You also don’t need to pay to keep it frozen. For an electric dehydrator you use the initial power and that’s it. If you have a solar dehydrator you use no electricity and it costs you nothing!
#4 Long Shelf Life
In general, dried fruits and vegetables are expected to last about 5 years under optimal conditions. That’s 3 Years longer than canned goods and 4 years longer than frozen food.
#5 More Food in a Small Area
I actually do a lot of dehydrating. Yet it doesn’t look like I do because a massive amount of food shrinks down so small! Different fruits and vegetables shrink different amounts based on how much water content they have.
#6 Saves Money
A dehydrator can save you tons of money in multiple ways. One way is that you save the garden bounty to use later. Not sure what to do with all those extra peppers or jalepenos? Dehydrate them. Can’t figure out how to use the millions of zucchini coming off your plants? Dehydrate them!
When winter comes and you need jalepenos for your chili or zucchini for a vegetable or minestrone soup just throw them in and let them simmer and rehydrate. It’s so easy!
The beautiful benefit of this is you don’t end up going to the store to buy those things “fresh” (really in the middle of winter they are coming from 1000+ miles away in Mexico if you live in the US. To me that’s anything but fresh). You save that money and you have garden bounty right in the middle of winter.
#7 It’s Foolproof
Its really hard to over dry a food because of the low temperatures used to dehydrate. If you ever leave a dehydrated food out for a bit and it partially rehydrates, all you have to do is throw it back in the dehydrator and it’s good to go!
Dehydrated food is so lightweight it’s easy to tote anywhere without the added weight! It can be carried around without the need of refrigeration or ice packs to keep it cool.
#9 Intense Flavor
Removing all the water from the food leaves you with some wonderful intense flavors. My favorites foods that get more intense flavors with dehydrating are kale and strawberries.