Besides the Paleolithic-inclined and backpackers, raw-food devotees have long used dehydrating in their eating. "Dehydrating allows you to keep enzymes intact," says Jonathan Seningen, executive chef at Elizabeth's Gone Raw in Washington, who makes "pasta" from zucchini slices. "All the nutrients are available for your body to digest and take advantage of."
DeLong sees many reasons - health, budgetary, environmental - for dehydrating. But one simple reason may trump them all, she says: "It makes great food."