Dehydrating food offers many benefits, and it is an easy process that provides a lot of fantastic health benefits. Consuming dehydrated foods can help you cut out preservatives, chemicals, and added sugars that often come in processed foods.
What are some more benefits of dehydrated food? Here are the top 10 reasons that people, especially preppers, should dehydrate food:
- Keeping it all-natural
- Preserves the original vitamins, minerals, and enzymes
- No preservatives or chemicals
- A money-saver
- Low risk of contamination
- Eating smaller portions
- A greater supply of antioxidants and fiber
- Prepares you for emergencies
- Takes up little space in your prepper pantry
- Is one of the easiest methods of preserving food
Food dehydration involves the removal of water from foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish. You can dehydrate food with a dehydrator, sun drying, or an oven. This process helps prevent the growth of yeast, mold, and bacteria while keeping nutrients intact.
Pro Tip: Read my article, Dehydrating Vs. Freeze Drying to learn more about the different ways to dehydrate food.
There are many benefits (for both the average person and preppers) to using this food preserving option. We have compiled the list of the top 8 benefits of dehydrated food.
1. All-Natural Foods
The number one benefit of dehydrating your food is keeping it all-natural. Many fruits and vegetables are seasonal, which means you might miss out on them for part of the year altogether.
Dehydrating foods is a better nutritional alternative than purchasing canned or frozen fruits and vegetables from the store. Canned foods contain a lot of preservatives, while frozen foods lose nutrients during the freezing process.
If you’re building a prepper pantry, it’s important to prepare in a way that your food storage won’t be compromised if the electricity goes out for a period of time.
Dehydrating food allows you to store all-natural food in preparation for living in an off-grid situation if needed.
2. Healthy and Nutritious Foods
The food dehydration process preserves your food’s original vitamins, minerals, and enzymes better than many other forms of cooking or food preservation. Some studies have shown that dried fruits contain more antioxidants than their fresh counterparts.
Now it’s true that there is some nutritional loss when you dehydrate food. I cover that topic and how to reduce nutrient loss in dehydrated food in my article, Does Dehydrating Food Take Away Nutrients?
As a prepper, it’s important to stock up on staples, including nutritious food that will sustain you in the event of an emergency. Dehydrating food provides you with necessary nutritious and convenient food.
3. No Preservatives or Chemicals
The only ingredient in dehydrated food is the food you dehydrate, so you do not have to worry about any chemicals or preservatives.
As a prepper, it’s important to store a variety of foods, and it’s essential to ensure that you store everything the right way.
When you dehydrate food, you don’t have to worry about adding preservatives to the mix. All you have to do is make sure food is dehydrated completely, and then stored in sealed containers.
4. Saves Money
Dehydrating food can save you money. If you buy your foods in bulk and then dehydrate them, you save money on:
- The ingredients
- The gas from making fewer trips to the store
- Gourmet products that you made yourself for a fraction of the cost of packaged products.
Dehydrating food saves you even more money if you dehydrate food that you grow yourself.
Building a prepper pantry can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you buy “professional” prepper food. In most cases, dehydrating food yourself instead of buying it already dehydrated saves a ton of money.
5. Low Risk of Contamination
Dehydrated foods are at the lower end of the risk spectrum for having problems with bacteria, fungal growth, and contamination. Both fungi and bacteria thrive in moist, wet environments, and dehydration eliminates the moisture factor.
Dehydrating food ensures the most extended shelf life of your stored snacks and essential food items.
It’s important to store dehydrated food sealed in airtight containers that are also moisture proof. I personally like storing my dehydrated food in mason jars that I vacuum seal. I buy my mason jars here from Lehman’s. And I purchased my vacuum sealer and mason jar attachments from Amazon.
The remaining moisture you did not get rid of is the only threat leading to contamination. As a general rule, it’s better to over dry when dehydrating, just in case.
When building a prepper pantry, it’s important to store foods that won’t go bad. It’s important to store food with a long shelf life. Since dehydrated food has a long shelf life, it’s a good choice for adding to your prepper pantry. As long as you store your dehydrated food correctly, it will last a long time.
Pro tip: Check out my article, How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last? for more information on the shelf life of dehydrated food and how to properly store it. For a list of food that lasts a long time, check out my article, What is the Longest Lasting Food?
6. Eating Smaller Portions
When you dehydrate foods, you get a high level of nutrients that you need to preserve your energy during active tasks. This means dehydrated snacks are energy-packed and can be consumed in small quantities throughout the day.
Energy-packed + small quantities = Perfect snacks for hikers, campers, and backpackers, or people living off food storage.
However, be careful not to overeat when eating dried fruit. These foods contain sugar, and consuming large quantities is not very healthy.
When building a prepper pantry, you’ll want to add dehydrated foods to your arsenal for the energy packing punch they offer. In addition to the regular staples you store, in case of emergency, you’ll be happy to have foods on hand that provide high-energy yield.
7. Greater Supply of Antioxidants and Fiber
Dehydrated foods, especially fruits, have a greater concentration of antioxidants and fiber than their fresh counterparts. Additionally, many nutrients are kept intact throughout the dehydration process.
As a prepper, you’ll benefit from the antioxidants and fiber in dehydrated food because many of your stored foods won’t have this kind of nutritional value.
Adding dehydrated food to your prepper pantry adds both variety in terms of taste, as well as many health benefits.
8. Prepares You for Emergencies
When it comes to the benefits of dehydrated food, one of the most important benefits is that dehydrated food prepares you for emergencies.
You never know when an emergency will come up – anything from losing your job to the end of the world. Dehydrated foods are an excellent resource for any SHTF situation because you will always have access to a less-perishable, healthy, and well-preserved food supply.
In addition to drying individual foods, you also have the option to dehydrate entire meals. In the event of an emergency, all you would have to do is add water when it’s time to eat.
You can prepare simple, nutrient-rich snacks for snacking emergencies like when you are stuck at work or in traffic. They’re a great alternative to junk food for your kids as well.
If you make adding dehydrated food a regular part of building a prepper pantry, you’ll enjoy all of the benefits of dehydrated food that I’ve shared in this article.
9. Takes up Little Space in Your Prepper Pantry
One of my personal favorite benefits of dehydrated food is that dehydrated food takes up very little space. Since dehydrated food shrinks down in size so much, you can store a lot of dehydrated food, even if you have a very small pantry.
Storing dehydrated food in your prepper pantry is a great option for everyone, but it’s especially great if you live in an apartment or condo or small home with limited storage space. It’s also a great option for those with large prepper pantries who want to store a higher volume of food.
10. Is One of the Easiest Methods of Preserving Food
If you’re new to preserving food, or if the idea of preserving food intimidates you, then dehydrating food is the way to go.
There is much less that can go wrong with dehydrating food compared to something like canning or fermenting. There really isn’t a whole lot that you can do to mess up dehydrating food. For instance, if you have any doubts about whether or not something is completely dehydrated, just keep the dehydrating running longer.
When it comes to knowing the right temperature to use when dehydrating, some dehydrators, such as the Nesco dehydrator that I use make it easy by listing the proper temperature for each food right on the dehydrator.
So, there you have it! I hope that you give dehydrating a try. My guess is that if you do, you’ll love it as much as I do!
- Disadvantages of Dehydrating Food
- Dehydrating Vs. Freeze Drying
- How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last?
- Does Dehydrating Food Take Away Nutrients?
- Nesco Dehydrator Review
- What is the Longest Lasting Food?
Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above.