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In this video you’ll learn how to easily preserve food through dehydration!


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Food Preservation via Dehydration

Today we’re going to talk about preserving food with one of the simplest methods ever devised by man. Drying.

Drying is what you do when you basically have nothing, or if you want to preserve the value, the nutrition in that crop to a higher than if you can. If you can, a lot of things are destroyed in the canning process because of the heat and boiling. But with drying you actually preserve more of the vitamin and mineral content. It doesn’t get lost in the water you’re canning in or the sauce that you’re cooking or whatever else. So drying is actually a really good option.

Now in order to dry, if you want to go for the easy way to dry, that would be buying a dehydrator. I’ve owned a few different dehydrators over the years. I’ve had some of the inexpensive, I think they’re called Nesco dehydrators and they worked great. They’re the circular type with the little plastic sheets, one fits over the other. You cut you’re produce up into little manageable chunks, maybe three eighths of an inch thick or so and you lay them out on the little trays and you start it up and you set your heat level from quite warm, like 140 degrees or down to 95 degrees and you just let the breeze blow through there and warm them and overnight they pretty much are dry and you just scrape them off at that point and you put your dry pieces into jars and seal them or you put them in bags and seal them.

You can also take stainless steel pans and set them in the sun.

The rain is really your big enemy when it comes to drying. I remember trying to dry a whole bunch of blueberries in this little solar dehydrator thing I had tried to build, and I kept having to bring it inside because it didn’t have enough of a cover on it and if it got rained on, it was made out of cardboard, it would have been ruined and my blueberries would have spoiled.

So there’s a lot of problems if you don’t have it dry fast enough. The big thing with drying is getting things dry fast enough. The reason drying is such an excellent form of food preservation is that when something is dried, bacterial and fungal action pretty much comes to a halt because it needs water to survive.

Here are some tobacco leaves that I am drying on the dashboard of my car right now. And they’ve only been up there for one day and they are totally, totally crispy dry. Your car heats up and the rain doesn’t come into it, hopefully. And you crack the windows and it heats up and the moisture is coming out of those windows. And it’s just like a big dehydrator. So your car is an awesome dehydrator. If you have a car, use it as a dehydrator, spread stuff out inside of it and just let the sun do the rest of it.

Drying is one of those methods that is so simple that anybody can do it so long as you have a very dry sunny spot. A windy sunny spot, if you have a dry season, use your dry season for drying. When it’s the rainy season where I live, you can’t dry a thing to save your life. I would have to stick it on racks in the stove or use a dehydrator to dry it, and then bag it up or jar it up so it doesn’t spoil.

But in the dry season, as fall comes on hopefully and you’re bringing your harvest in and it’s starting to get dryer, if you’ve got that kind of a climate, take full advantage of it. And if you don’t you’re probably just going to have to get yourself a dehydrator.

Drying is one of the best ways to preserve your food and it takes very little work. Just string some stuff up where they can dry and let them go. Make sure they don’t stay wet too long.

Anyway, thanks for joining me. I hope you have a great harvest and you preserve a whole ton of it.

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