Save money by drying fruits and vegetables at home

Categories: How To
Published on: June 6, 2018

Mother Earth News / Lorna Peterson / July/August 1977

Dehydration as a method of food preservation has been around a long time. Primitive man dried victuals by the heat of the sun or with the aid of fire, then ground the dehydrated stores into a long-lasting powder or ate them “as is”. Now, thousands of years later, dehydration is still one of the most widely used methods of food preservation in the world . . . for some mighty good reasons.

  1. Drying preserves the vitamin, mineral, protein, and fiber content of foods . . . more so than preservation techniques that expose the viands to great changes in temperature.
  2. Dehydrated foodstuffs are actually more flavorful — in most cases — than the original, undried food. (Frozen and canned edibles, on the other hand, are — if anything — less tasty than their fresh or dried equivalents.)
  3. It costs little or nothing to dry foods, whereas freezing and canning both require a potentially large initial investment in equipment.
  4. Dried goods can be stored in a smaller space than either frozen, canned, or fresh foods. (Twenty pounds of tomatoes, for instance, will — when canned — fill eleven one-quart jars. The same quantity of tomatoes dried weighs a little more than a pound and occupies a single No. 10 can.)
  5. Dried foods — when kept dry — remain edible virtually forever.

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