I noticed that many of your dog treat recipes are designed to be made in the dehydrator. How come? Is it better than making things in the oven?
Thanks – Curious in Colorado
So, y’all have noticed, we are HUGE fans of our dehydrator at Casa de Kolchak.
The Mama makes most of our treats in our dehydrator – even the cookies that are traditionally made in the oven, she will usually pop into the dehydrator. This gives our cookies a great crispy crunch – and it means they are actually better for us.
What’s the deal with dehydration?
- Dehydrated foods last longer. Dehydration is a really easy way to preserve foods. The more moisture there is in food, the quicker they can spoil (unless they have been preserved). Think about how much faster a peach spoils than a box of crackers does. Since dehydrating removes all or most of the moisture from food, it allows it to last longer. Dried fruits and vegetables can last up to a year, if stored correctly. Meats will last up to three months (though we recommend storing them in the fridge if not being consumed within 30 days).
- Dehydrated foods can be more nutritious than cooked foods. Since dehydration uses gentle heat to dry the food, less of the nutrients are destroyed during the cooking process. Vitamin C is diminished, but most of the other vitamins remain and the mineral content stays the same. Most of the good phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables survive the dehydration process as well, and some, like lycopene and polyphenols are even more concentrated after dehydrating. Even if they can be baked in the oven, Mama makes most of our treats in the dehydrator to make sure they are as nutritious as possible. 99.9% of our recipes can be converted to be cooked in the dehydrator. If you find one you’d like to try, just drop us a bark and w can tell you how!
- Show me the money. It’s really economical to make dehydrated treats at home. Yes, there is an initial investment, as you’ll need to purchase some special equipment. You can buy low-cost options like drying racks for the oven or you can purchase small appliances to dehydrate at home. You can get started with a small counter top dehydrator for as low as $36.00, but people like me who use their dehydrator all the time will appreciate the added power and drying capacity of a higher end dehydrator. The real savings comes in making your treats. I try to watch the sales at my local stores and I’ll make treats using whatever is cheap. Beef on sale? The dogs get beef jerky. Chicken? Let’s make Chicken Chips! Plus, you can preserve fruit and vegetables while they are in season for use later in the year. We usually make a HUGE batch of our Lean and Green treats during the summer and then munch on them for months!
- Dehydrating is also SO EASY! Seriously! Prep the food, slice it thin and pop it in! (Some fruits and veggies like a lemon bath first to keep them from browning). Anyone can do it! ANYONE! Yes, even you. We recommend that anyone who wants to make low-cost, super easy and really healthy dog treats at home look into getting a dehydrator!