Drying Food

Drying is an excellent way to preserve foods and it is one of the oldest methods of food preservation for later use. It is simple, easy to learn, safe, and requires only basic equipment. It is not difficult, but it does take time and a lot of attention.

With the renewed interest in gardening and natural foods, drying foods at home is becoming popular again. Many kinds of fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, meat, and fish can be dried.

Drying method of food preservation removes the moisture from the food so that bacteria, yeasts and molds cannot grow and spoil the food. Because the moisture is removed, the food becomes smaller and lighter in weight, take up little space (they take much less storage space than canned or frozen foods) and do not require refrigeration. Because of that dried products provide delicious and  healthy, nutritious snacks and are ideal for easy storage, travel, camping and backpacking.

Dried foods can very easy add variety to our meals, but it is important to know that the quality of the flavor of dried fruits and vegetables will be different from their fresh, canned or frozen counterparts. Dried product can be no better than that of the raw material from which it is made.


Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Fruit preserved by jellying is known as jelly, marmalade, or fruit preserves. In this case, the jellying agent is usually pectin, either added during cooking or arising naturally from the fruit. Most preserved fruit is also sugared in jars. Heating, packaging and acid and sugar provide the preservation.
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Salting or curing draws moisture from the meat through a process of osmosis. Meat is cured with salt or sugar, or a combination of the two. Nitrates and nitrites are also often used to cure meat and contribute the characteristic pink color, as well as inhibition of Clostridium botulinum.
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According to the most dietary guidelines, nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. In certain cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements may be useful sources of one or more nutrients that otherwise might be consumed in less than recommended amounts. However, dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet.