General Rules For Dehydrating Vegetables
By Excalibur Preserve It Naturally
Vegetables - you can dry a different vegetable each day for a month and still not go through the entire list. Some are more suitable for dehydrating than others but once you get started, you'll want to try them all.
What do we get from vegetables? Vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Some of the important nutrients they contain include: vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, phosphorus, calcium, and iron - all of which are preserved, although not in their entirety, when properly dehydrated. Peas and members of the bean family contribute protein. In addition vegetables are vital suppliers of bulk, indigestible fiber that aids in the digestive process. One thing you probably won't gain from vegetables is weight. One-half cup of most vegetables contains less than 50 calories; starchy vegetables, like potatoes and beans, may have 50 to 100 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
To preserve most of this goodness in your dehydrated food, start with vegetables that are ripe and in prime condition. Buy or pick the crispest, freshest, most flavorful ones that can be obtained. Dehydrating retains most of the nutrition and good taste, but it can't improve on the original quality of the food. The fresher the vegetables are when processed, the better they will taste when dehydrated and cooked.
Take extra care when drying vegetables because they spoil and deteriorate much more quickly than fruits. This doesn't imply that the novice dryer should shy away from them - not at all. Just pay close attention to dehydrating procedures given here and in Chapter 3, and you'll have great results.
Preparation and Pretreatment
Once you get the vegetables home, remember not to store them at room temperature if at all possible. If you can't dry the vegetables immediately, refrigerate them to avoid deterioration. Prepare only as many vegetables as you can dehydrate in one load.
Wash vegetables quickly and thoroughly right before processing. Use cold, not hot, water to help preserve freshness and avoid careless handling that could damage the produce. Vegetables covered with dirt should be rinsed under cool running water and scrubbed if necessary. Don't allow the vegetables to soak in the water. Soaking causes many water-soluble vitamins and minerals to dissolve and speeds deterioration.
Your end product should taste as smooth as it looks!
Stress response is actually part of a larger response known as the general adaptation syndrome. To fully understand how to combat stress, it is important that we take a closer look at the general adaptation syndrome. The general adaptation syndrome is broken down into three phases: alarm, resistance, and exhaustion.
These phases are largely controlled and regulated by the adrenal glands. The initial response to stress is the alarm reaction, which is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response is triggered by reactions in the brain that ultimately cause the pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which causes the adrenals to secrete adrenaline and other stress-related hormones. The fight-or-flight response is designed to counteract danger by mobilizing the body's resources for immediate physical activity. As a result, the heart rate and force of contraction of the heart increase to provide blood to areas necessary for response to the stressful situation.
Blood is shunted away from the skin and internal organs, except the heart and lungs, while the amount of blood supplying needed oxygen and glucose to the muscles and brain is increased. The rate of breathing increases to supply necessary oxygen to the heart, brain, and exercising muscle. Sweat production increases to eliminate toxic compounds produced by the body and to lower body temperature. Production of digestive secretions is severely reduced since digestive activity is not critical for counteracting stress. And blood sugar levels are increased dramatically as the liver dumps stored glucose into the bloodstream. While the alarm phase is usually short lived, the next phase-- the resistance reaction--allows the body to continue fighting a stressor long after the effects of the fight-or-flight response have worn off. Other hormones, such as cortisol and other corticosteroids secreted by the adrenal cortex, are largely responsible for the resistance reaction.
For example, these hormones stimulate the conversion of protein to energy so that the body has a large supply of energy long after glucose stores are depleted; they also promote the retention of sodium to keep blood pressure elevated.
In addition to providing the necessary energy and circulatory changes required to deal effectively with stress, the resistance reaction provides those changes required for meeting emotional crisis, performing strenuous tasks, and fighting infection. However, while the effects of adrenal cortex hormones are necessary when the body is faced with danger, continued stress or prolongation of the resistance reaction increases the risk of significant disease (including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer) and results in the final stage of the general adaptation syndrome: exhaustion.
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