Dehydration 101

by Susan on June 4, 2009

3-macaroons3

Dehydration Basics

You may have noticed that I have been posting some interesting dehydration instructions with the recipes. “Dehydrate at 145 for one hour and then reduce the temperature to 114…” Those instructions inspired one reader to write to me and inform me that the food was no longer considered “raw” because enzymes are destroyed at 118. My mission is to bring you RAW food recipes. I do understand the basics of raw. But I can see where the confusion could occur. We know that enzymes are destroyed when FOOD is heated above 115 degrees. But starting your dehydrator at a higher temp and then dropping the temperature doesn’t heat the food to the higher temperature and will also provide a couple of benefits that you miss if you just dehydrate at 115.

Starting with a higher temperature provides the following benefits. First, it causes the food to “sweat” out a lot of the moisture. You reduce your dehydration time (better for the environment and your time schedule) and second, it reduces the chance of fermentation that can be caused when a seal is formed around the food and the moisture is locked into the environment for hours.

Keeping the food temperature below 115 degrees is essential when making raw foods. Temperatures above that kill enzymes and deplete vitamins and and minerals. After dehydrating, you want to keep your food in air-tight containers, but not in the fridge.

Peace!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin greenberg October 17, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I can’t have cashews or peanuts. What can I use instead that will bring the best results for the recipes with cashews? Thank you!!!

Susan October 17, 2009 at 11:50 pm

You could try soaked Pine Nuts or Brazil nuts if you can have them.

Cath Stevens January 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Can you freeze dehydrated food and still retain the “raw” label. eg: your falafals?

Susan January 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm

Freezing isn’t a problem. Heat is. :-)

Cynthia October 14, 2013 at 1:11 am

OK When I can afford a dehydrator, one with 9 trays for example, what if I only need to use 3 or 4 trays? Should I just take the other trays out? Or maybe I should make something else to put on the other ones? Is there some slight difference in temperature on the top and on the bottom?
I am a very new newbie!

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