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How to Dehydrate Food to Preserve Enzymes + Probiotics | Healthy Home Economist


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Find out how to dehydrate meals both in a dehydrator or a heat oven with out shedding treasured enzymes and probiotics to make sure that as a lot vitamin as potential is retained.

Numerous individuals from around the globe who’re in a quarantine scenario as a result of novel coronavirus have emailed me just lately to inquire about dehydrating meals.

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Does the method of dehydration trigger enzyme loss or destroy probiotics?

Did conventional societies dry out meals for later consumption?

Do you want a dehydrator to do the job or is a heat oven enough?

Dehydrating Meals is a Conventional Follow

The good information is that the apply of drying out meals for later consumption could be very a lot in accordance with the clever ancestral preparation strategies.

For instance, the Aztecs relied closely on seeds as a staple meals.

Preparation concerned a cautious soak of the seeds in brine water adopted by drying them out within the solar. The seeds had been then consumed complete or floor into meal for baking after the drying course of was full. (1)

This recipe for dehydrated pumpkin seeds mimics this apply.

Moist versus Dry Warmth

One level of confusion is the temperature at which food enzymes and probiotics are destroyed in uncooked meals.

It’s necessary to know that there’s a huge distinction between moist and dry warmth.

For instance, the best air temperature ever recorded was 134.1 F (56.7 C) in Furnace Creek Ranch, California. (2)

Whereas very uncomfortable, such excessive temperatures is not going to kill us so long as we’ve loads of water and shade.

Nevertheless, a liquid temperature of solely 118 °F/48 °C is lethal to each crops and animals.

Curiously, for those who stick your finger right into a cup of water that’s solely 117 °F/47 °C, you’ll NOT burn your self.

It’s that single diploma of distinction that determines whether or not you might be burned or not.

Briefly, life withstands dry warmth a lot better than moist warmth. This goes for meals enzymes and probiotics as nicely.

In response to meals scientist Dr. Mary Enig:

All enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 levels Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 levels [66 °C].

It’s a kind of joyful designs of nature that meals and liquids at 117 levels [47 °C] could be touched with out ache, however liquids over 118 levels [48 °C] will burn. Thus we’ve a built-in mechanism for figuring out whether or not or not the meals we’re consuming nonetheless accommodates its enzyme content material. (3)

Nonetheless Unconvinced?

So, in case you are dehydrating meals, so long as the temperature is beneath 150 °F/66 °C, the enzymes and probiotics shall be preserved.

In case you are nonetheless unconvinced, dry out a batch of soaked nuts in a 150 °F/66 °C oven after which eat a handful straight out of the oven!

You can be delighted to see that the nuts will not be sizzling and that you don’t burn your hand or mouth, a sign that the meals enzymes are certainly preserved.

Heat Oven versus a Dehydrator

The query is, must you use an oven to dehydrate your meals or is it price it to put money into a dehydrator?

For my part, the selection in the end comes all the way down to what forms of meals you intend to dry out.

Heat ovens work nice for dehydrating soaked nuts and seeds. It additionally is an efficient alternative for making jerky.

For extra delicate meals akin to vegetables and fruit, nevertheless, I might recommend investing in a dehydrator that may be set to a decrease temperature.

With regard to the various fashions on the market, I recommend shopping for a stainless steel dehydrator.  These fashions will not be solely hardier, however they’re additionally safer to make use of than cheaper fashions with plastic trays.

In case you’ve already invested in a dehydrator with plastic trays, you should definitely cowl every tray in unbleached, uncoated parchment paper in order that the meals doesn’t contact the plastic throughout the drying course of.

This ensures that no microplastic or leached chemical compounds find yourself in your dehydrated meals!


(1) Nourishing Traditions Cookbook
(2) Highest temperature ever recorded
(3) Enzymes by Dr. Mary Enig


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