Source document: Colorado State University – Drying Vegetables
Looking at the chart below you can see drying vegetables not only preserves your harvest but it also reduces it’s bulk by a factor of about 10-12 to 1. This really means that 10-12 pounds of fresh vegetables, when dry will weigh only 1 pound. Dry foods looses little of it’s nutritional value. It can be stored for years if properly handled and stored. Your food will not go bad in the event of a long term power outage or if your home is flooded.
Colorado State University said
Nutritional Value of Dried Foods
Drying, like all methods of preservation, can result in loss of some nutrients. Nutritional changes that occur during drying include:
• Calorie content: does not change, but is concentrated into a smaller mass as moisture is removed.
• Fiber: no change.
• Vitamin A: fairly well retained under controlled heat methods.
• Vitamin C: mostly destroyed during blanching and drying of vegetables.
• Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin: some loss during blanching but fairly good retention if the water used to rehydrate also is consumed.
• Minerals: some may be lost during re-hydration if soaking water is not used when cooking your vegetables. Iron is not destroyed by drying.
For best retention of nutrients in dried foods, store in a cool, dark, dry place and use within a year.
Don’t let you or your family go without food in a days long power outage when frozen foods quickly spoil.
Dry foods are great way to eat during hiking or camping out adventures.
There are many counter top dehydrators, ranging in price from about $50.00 dollars to those that only the rich and famous can afford.
An internet search for DIY solar dehydrators will find many dryers that are easy to build and use for a fraction of the cost of a electric powered counter top dehydrator.
Here is a site that is helpful in designing and building your first DIY solar dehydrator Solar Food Dehydrator (Dryer)
**Hint: Build your solar dehydrator the size that best fits the materials you have on hand. I had a window and a screen salvaged from an old storm door, So I constructed my dehydrator to fit the window and screen I had salvaged.
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