Dehydrating or drying your own food is a rewarding experience. Whether you do it for leisure, for emergency purposes, or for camping trips, it’s definitely worth learning!
Food dehydration is the process of removing moisture from food, all while keeping its flavor and nutritional value. This is commonly done by campers or backpackers, as it saves space and is light.
However, it’s important to note that most dehydrations now require a machine such as Dehydrator Spot. You can also use pressure cookers to speed up the process, along with some handy knife skills for the best results.
What types of food can be dehydrated?
You can dehydrate almost all types of food at home! Save for dairy products and high-fat items, it’s time to scour your refrigerator for what you can try.
We recommend pooling together a variety of ingredients that you can assemble into meals. A lot of backpackers dehydrate whole meals, such as soups and other filling meals. It lessens their prep time and saves space.
Our expert tip is that you should dehydrate food in batches. As long as they have the same drying temperature, this will be the most time-efficient thing to do.
What to Remember
As you go through your food dehydration journey, here are some tips that you should never forget! Keep these in mind to make sure that your dried food will be perfect.
Food shrinks after dehydration.
Moisture and water content contribute to how large food is. So, remember that your food will shrink as it loses its moisture through dehydration!
Think of it this way: if you want to dehydrate a pound of pears, it will only give you around a cup of dehydrated pear slices. So, it’s important to set your expectations because food will surely get smaller after the process.
Don’t cut the pieces too small.
Sure, it’s important to cut into small, even pieces. This promotes even drying and dehydration, producing an equal and consistent outcome. However, you shouldn’t cut too small as it can get lost in a meal when rehydrated.
Proper storage is vital.
So, you’ve dehydrated your food. Now, the critical thing to do is to find proper storage. The secret to extending its life is to find packaging that will prevent oxidation!
If you want to take it a notch further, invest in a vacuum sealer with an oxygen absorber. If you store your dried fruits properly, they can last you over five years. On the other hand, dried vegetables can last over ten years!
Store your dried goods in a cool, dark place. Before consuming any dried food, use your five senses along with your common sense. If it smells unnaturally pungent, don’t eat it.
Know which food you need to cook before dehydrating.
The general rule for vegetables is that if you can usually eat them raw, there is no need to cook prior to dehydration.
Nonetheless, this ultimately depends on how you plan to rehydrate your goods. For some vegetables, you may want to cook all vegetables first.
Here’s an insider tip: avoid dehydrating onions at all costs. The smell will linger and stick to your house for a while. Opt to visit a grocery store if you need dried onions.
Food dehydration will help you preserve your goods for a longer time. It can even be great for making your own healthy snacks! Through this, you will be able to control the quality and portions of the food you serve your loved ones.
What’s your favorite food to dry? Let us know your recipes and tips below!