Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mike Asimos : Preparing Dehydrated Foods for Camping

When you're focused on planning a backpacking trip, a few things usually take priority - namely your tent and sleeping bag requirements, trail maps, first aid and food. Unlike car camping, food weight, ease of cooking and taste all play a factor, as does cost. Some meals can be so expensive and others are cheap and taste awful. I have used a dehydrator in the past with good results and wanted to pass on some tips to you.

The benefits of dehydrating your own food are control over ingredients and freshness factor. Overall, if you buy your items in bulk or use items you already have in bulk in your pantry it can also be more cost effective. It requires no refrigeration once it has been dehydrated and the weight is minimal.

The best fruits to dehydrate are bananas, apples, strawberries, peaches, cherries, pineapple, mangoes and blueberries.

The best vegetables to dehydrate are corn, peas, green beans, onions, mushrooms, carrots and broccoli.

There are plenty of other resources for meats, as I have very little experience with it mostly cause I'm afraid of getting sick, but I know that beef and turkey are supposedly easy.

Every item has its own levels of water and therefore need different amounts of time in the dehydrator but I have never seen a dehydrator that didn't have instructions for different foods.

Things to remember:
Cut the food items into small bite sized pieces.
Lay the items next to one another in a layer, but not touching while dehydrating
Place dried items into bags/containers that will allow you to remove all air from them.

I personally use Ziploc bags and press the air out. I also dehydrate shortly before my trip is happening. Then I bring one Tupperware to mix/rehydrate everything in and am able to reuse the Ziploc bags next time.

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