Dehydrating foods is one of the oldest forms of food preservation. In the olden days people would dehydrate foods by drying them in the sun. Such foods included tomatoes, and sun dried tomatoes were a delicacy in those days. People would also dry meat or smoke it in order to preserve it. This preservation quality as well as the reduced size and weight, make dehydrated foods a perfect match for hiking.
You always have the option of purchasing dehydrated foods (dried) for your hikes. However, we now have appliances that make dehydrating foods convenient to do at home. These food dehydators come in various capacities, wattage and features. Be sure to follow the instructions for the specific model of dehydrator that you use for best results.
Dehydrated foods are created by heating the item to remove the moisture contained in food by evaporation. This is the most popular form of processing dehydrated foods. You can do this for many foods like onions as well as chili peppers. Equipment for dehydrating food costs less as compared to those for freeze drying foods, which also takes a longer time.
There is really no such thing as the best dehydrated food for hiking. It all depends on personal taste because each one of us has our own favorite foods.
Vegetables which you can consider dehydrating to take on your hiking trip include peas, carrots, potatoes, cauliflowers, zucchinis, mushrooms as well as broccoli. These vegetables can be used in recipes to make things like stews, soups or a broth.
The process of dehydrating these vegetables will depend on each one of them. For example you can blanch corn off the cob, and it will require about six to twelve hours to dehydrate until it becomes brittle. Carrots also need about six to twelve hours to dry.
If you want to dehydrate potatoes you will need to slice them first, and the slices should be about 1/8 inches thick, and they will need about five to ten hours to dry until they become brittle. Onions can be sliced a quarter inch thick and they will require about six to twelve hours to dehydrate until they become crisp.
Meat is also one of the best dehydrated foods that you can carry for your hiking trip. You need to choose lean cuts of meat, trim off the fat and slice them in thin strips before you can dehydrate them. Dehydrating meat at home is a great idea because they will not have been injected with solutions meaning you will avoid meat that has a high sodium level.
Dehydrating meat will take about six hours and the temperature of your dehydrator needs to be about a hundred and twenty five degrees. If droplets of fat form on the meat after dehydrating, you can blot them using a paper towel. Once the meat has been dehydrated you can break it into small pieces so that you can be able to pack it in your backpack.
Fruits that you can consider include bananas, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and other types of berries. You can also consider dehydrating pineapples. Dehydrated fruits can be used in recipes or eaten as a naturally sweet snack to keep your energy at its best.
What is your favorite dehydrated foods that you use on your hiking adventures? Do you purchase the food already dried or make your own at home? Let us know how you do it in a comment below.
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