Dehydrating

    Dehydrating is a very good way of preserving food, especially fruit and vegetables. Meat and fish can also be dehydrated, but it is mostly made into jerky. Some folks dry the vegetables out of their garden instead of canning, it's easier, lighter to pack (if you need to leave in a hurry, like if a hurricane is headed your way) takes up a quarter of the room and once vacuum sealed, will last for years if kept in a cool dark place.

     There a number of different makes and models to pick from with a vast amount of options, ranging in price from $40 to $500. If you have the weather for it, you can build your own back yard dehydrator. It's like a miniature green house, letting the sun doing the drying. 

     When cutting your fruit and vegetables, (or meats) you'll want them thin, but not too thin. Consistency is the key, if you mix thin and thick slices, one will dry a lot sooner then the others, creating way more work than is necessary. If your going to dehydrate anything that is liquefied, you'll need either parchment paper or non-stick drying sheets on top of your trays. I've done spaghetti sauce using parchment paper and it turned out just fine. Incidentally, a large 680 ml. can of spaghetti sauce dries down to 11 tbsp., and a large 796 ml. can of tomatoes dries down to just 35.5 grams.

     If your planning a camping trip, especially backpacking, dried food will make such a difference in your load.

     Pictured below is a couple of dehydrators, the one on the left side is around $60, the other is over $300.

     Here are a couple pictures of an assortment of beans that I dehydrated and vacuum sealed.

                                          to return to the Wilderness Recipes Page

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