Dehydrated food will never taste like a home-cooked meal, but after a few days in the wild, it might as well. We live in an era when everything is continuously improving, and dehydrated food recipes make no exception.
The days in which we used to dehydrate meat and eat it dry and tasteless, just for the sake of nutrition, are long gone. Nowadays we can dry all sorts of foodstuff, and we can even dry full recipes. After the process of rehydration, you can have an entire meal that not only will provide all the nutrients you need, but will also taste as good as it possibly can.
What is food drying?
You can see dehydrated food on shelves or online, but do you know how they are actually made? It’s a very simple process that has been around for tens of thousands of years. Maybe our ancestors didn’t manage to do it as well as we can today, but they started the whole thing.
Food drying is a preservation process in which all the water is taken out of food through different methods. The drying will make it impossible for yeast, mold, and bacteria to flourish and ruin the food altogether. Without water in it, the food will last a lot longer than usual.
The dehydration can be achieved in many ways. The most common are evaporation through air drying, wind drying, sun drying, or smoking, but today’s technology allows us the use of machines (freezers or dehydrators) to achieve better results in a smaller amount of time.
How long does dehydrated food last?
The amount of time a food product will last depends very much on what it is. The longest a dried up piece of food can last in this state is one year. However, with some foods, this amount may differ. Here is a list of most common foods and how much they last once they are dehydrated. Keep in mind that there are many factors that contribute to how long the dehydrated food will last, like the method of dehydration and storage space.
- ü Fruits and vegetables – if you dehydrate them carefully and make sure that you store the in an adequate place, they will last one year.
- ü Meats – it is a very sensitive product that is very hard to preserve. That is why you should eat the dehydrated meat in 2 to 3 months since it has been dried. However, if you do not consume it in one month, you should also freeze it. You don’t want any surprises, do you? Rotten meat can cause many diseases.
- ü Herbs – they are very easy to preserve. Once they are all dried up, they can last for years. Just make sure to keep them in a cold, dry place.
- ü Noodles – they can also last for years, but after a year they may lose their freshness. Dehydrated food is not gourmet, but you can at least eat it fresh.
In order to cook dehydrated food, all you have to do is boil some water and add the food when the water is bubbling. Putting a cover on the pot may speed the rehydration process. Quick tip: add salt AFTER the rehydration process is complete. Otherwise, the texture of the food will differ.
Benefits of dehydrated food
Dehydrated food may not be your first option, but if you like backpacking or camping, this kind of food is the best for many reasons. There are people who say that this sort of food is not healthy and that will cause you to get sick, but I just believe that they do not have a proper understanding of the concept. Dried food comes with advantages and disadvantages, just like any other thing in this world.
Believe it or not, dehydrated food comes with a lot of benefits that will make you at least curious:
- ü It has a lot of nutrients – just because it is dehydrated, that does not mean the food is unhealthy. Quite the contrary, actually. When you dehydrate a piece of food, what exactly do you do? You take the water out of it. That’s it. That does not mean you take out all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.The nourishing ability remains. Only the water goes away. So how can that be destroying the food? As a matter of fact, it seems that dehydrated food contains twice as much antioxidants than hydrated food. So how can that be bad for you?
- ü No preservation chemicals – people always complain that most of the food contains tons of preservatives and that one day they will kill us. Dehydrated food sounds better now, doesn’t it? When you dehydrate food for further consumption, you actually preserve it in the most natural way possible. The already dehydrated food you buy from the store or online is the same thing. It doesn’t contain anything else than the food which has been dehydrated.
- ü It can save you money – let’s face it, in this economy, anything that saves money is more than welcome. Imagine that you go to the grocery store and find an excellent price on tomatoes. You can buy large quantities, but they will never last for very long. So what do you do? You dehydrate it. Simple as that.
- ü Little storage space required – dehydrating a produce can make it up to 70% smaller so you will be able to store significant amounts of food in a tiny closet.
- ü Easy to take on camping – instead of filling half the car trunk with food, you can just bring dehydrated food. Cooking doesn’t last long, all you need is a pot and fire supplies, and you can make sure that the food will last for days or even weeks. What’s more is that you can take weeks worth of food in a medium size backpack.
- ü No more waste – how many times did you buy a lot of food just to throw out half of it? Food goes bad, it’s natural, and you cannot eat it that way. Dehydrate it, and you can keep it around for longer.
- ü Get ready for emergencies – maybe you live in an area prone to tornadoes or earthquakes. Having a survival backpack filled with water and dehydrated food may save your life one day. It can’t hurt.
The only considerable disadvantage that dehydrated food has is the high calories count. It seems that dried food has more calories than its fresh counterpart. Some foods can have up to four times the calories. So if you are a fan of eating dehydrated fruit by the cup, pay attention to your weight.
Dehydrated food reviews
There are so many assortments on the market that you just cannot know which one is best. Fortunately, by the power vested in me by the mighty internet, here are three most high rated ones, and my personal favorites.
Mountain House Just In Case – Classic Assortment Bucket
What would you rather do? Cook three times a day when you go camping (including fishing and hunting perhaps), or would you use that time to go sightseeing and enjoying nature in all its splendor? The second choice sounds a lot better, doesn’t it?
Why spend time cooking when you can bring Mountain House Classic Assortment Bucket? It contains 29 servings, which is roughly 12 meals. It is true that the advertisement portraits this as accurate, but in real life, the meals they use as a reference are a bit too small. Either way, it’s enough food for an adult for 3 or 4 days. I think it’s pretty good.
Preparing it is not difficult at all. You need 21 cups of water for the entire bucket. If you add hot water, then the food will be ready to eat in a matter of minutes. However, this works with warm or cold water as well. It just takes a little longer to be ready than with the boiling water. The taste has to suffer as well, but if you are in such circumstances that you cannot light a fire, any food at all is more than welcome.
The manufacturer says that the product’s shelf life is 30 years. It is a bit hard to believe. According to the labels, it would seem that 10 – 12 years would be more accurate. After so much time, the food may lose its nourishment. However, 12 years is not little. I feel that it’s incredible how they managed to preserve food for so long.
Another thing you will love about this dehydrated food is the ‘no clean-up’ policy. You can cook the food right there in the pouch. Allergens may include coconut, eggs, wheat, soy, and milk.
This is an awesome product. No preservatives and all natural ingredients make an ideal meal every time. You can take it with you while camping, backpacking, hiking, etc. You will not go hungry. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
Just because it’s dehydrated food, that does not mean it’s not real beef. The manufacturerguarantees the natural properties of the ingredients. The entire package is made with tender beef, delicious mushrooms and onions with noodles, all in a sour cream sauce. It may not be like the one you eat in a restaurant or at home, but you are in the wood eating beef stroganoff. What more could you want?
One thing I love about this product is that the manufacturer thought through each detail. For example, when you are climbing a mountain, you go to higher altitudes, which may affect the packaging. Usually. But not with this product. The food is vacuum sealed with high barrier foil. It will not expand at high altitudes.
The preparation takes a few minutes. Just add some hot water, and you are good to go. This package says it contains 2 servings, but honestly, I would eat that in one sitting. And it is delicious for a meal that sits in a plastic bag. Honestly, I ate restaurant food that tasted a whole lot worse than dehydrated food.
The food is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It will keep you going for days. It’s the best thing you can take along with you when you go camping, backpacking, hunting, fishing, traveling or even when you prepare for emergencies. There is no better choice than Mountain House. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Harmony House Foods Soup Mix
What is the best thing you could eat when you are going hiking, and the weather outside is freezing? Soup, of course. It is nourishing and will provide a source of heat. Two birds, one stone.
I am guessing you are not going to bring vegetables, sit and chop them to make a vegetable soup. It may be cold, you may not have the time, or maybe you just don’t feel like it. That is why dehydrated vegetables seem perfect.
The package does not contain any preservatives, no additives, and no GMOs. It is ideal for any occasion, not only when you go away from home. There are people, myself included, who like to add this to their soups at home. It’s vegetables after all. Even if they are dehydrated, they still have all their nutrients and vitamins intact.
In order to get a delicious soup mix one part product with 6 parts water. Simmer for 15 minutes and season to your liking. Personally, I like my soup thicker, so I only add 4 or 5 parts water. It’s tastier that way.
The vegetables included are as follows (as they can be read on the label): carrots, onions, tomatoes, peas, celery, green bell peppers, green beans, and parsley. Together they make a fantastic vegetable soup that will enrich your taste buds. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.here to buy on Amazon
They are all delicious products, but I would have to go for the Beef Stroganoff from Mountain House. It is one of my favorites. The other two are great too, but there has to be a winner. The beef is exquisite, it’s quick to prepare and very nutritious. It’s all you need when you go in the middle of nature and don’t know how to fish or hunt (just like me). Or maybe you just don’t want to. Best food in an envelope ever. And you don’t even have to bring plates. You can prepare and eat it right there in the pouch. How great is that?
It is good to know that we can have the option of consuming dehydrated food. All the benefits that it comes with are ours to exploit. It makes it possible for us to eat tasty, nourishing food in circumstances we normally couldn’t. But if you know how to make Beef Stroganoff in the middle of the woods with the fire from three sticks, please let me know. Click here to buy on Amazon
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