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Drying food for long term storage.

February 10, 2013

Hi, folks.

This one is going to be discussing the very good practice of adding dehydrated food to your survival stash.

We have used a dehydrator for over 15 years, an Excalibur model that has been utterly dependable.

After food items have been thoroughly dried using these machines, the food will remain preserved with no further energy costs and with all it’s nutrients and fiber intact for many years, with proper storage. excalibur dehydratorTypically, one puts the thinly sliced items on the trays or liquified food or fruit on the non-stick sheets into the unit, and run it at about 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 24 hours or until the item is crispy like potato chips or rolls up easily in the case of making fruit leathers.

The amount of food we’ve preserved with this machine is incredible. Anything one could cook can be dehydrated. You can save food directly, as in the picture, placing beans, peas, carrots, mushrooms, fruit,tomatoes all in the machine at once. Surprisingly, there isn’t much ‘cross flavoring’ of one item to another, such as your carrots having a hit of onion taste, from processing in the machine together. You can dehydrate leftovers, as we did last weekend when we made blueberry sirup. We had several cups of blueberry ‘scraps’ left after the process. We spread the fruit pulp out on our non-stick drying sheets and made ‘fruit leather‘. After the process, we have tasty snacks for when the grand kids come for a visit. We have also dried various left over veggies after a meal, like mashed potatoes. These also get spread thinly on the non-stick sheets until very crisp. We place them and many other items, in canning jars or recycled salsa jars or others with the lid that ‘pops’ when the seal of the jar is broken. Then we use the FoodSaver vacuuming machine to vacuum out the air in the jars….the contents will keep for years by this method. You have two accessories available for the FoodSaver for this process, one fits the mason jars and we use the canisters available to do the ‘recycled’ jars, placing them inside the canister to vacuum. Just place the lid on barely tight, vacuum the air out, and after the process, make sure the lid doesn’t ‘pop’ then snug the lid down tightly. If we plan to use the dried veggies, like mushrooms or onions, before 6 months or so goes by, we merely put the stuff in good sandwich bags, pressing the air out as we seal the bags.  When items are properly dehydrated, they lose a great deal of mass and weight as the moisture is extracted. But, when used in your daily cooking recipes, the items are found to be as full of flavor and similar texture as their fresh form. We made potato and bacon soup the other night using from our dehydrated stash of both. Yummy, when reconstituted in the pot with freeze dried butter, cheese powder, the potatoes, bacon, salt, pepper and a dash of vinegar to taste. A large selection of  powdered, freeze dried items should be in every preppers pantry. Unopened, these freeze dried items will keep many years, particularly if packed in nitrogen in cans.

Besides all these wonderful veggies and fruits, we also make jerky using the many varieties of ‘recipes’  you can concoct yourself or by from the bigger grocery stores, or on line. We pack jerky using our FoodSaver, hard vacuuming the bags, so it will keep several months. Even commercial jerky will go rancid after a while, because of the fats and oils in the meat.

Our machine is almost always running, with something tasty inside that can be stored for many years  as a finished product.


From → Tested Gear

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Dehydrating Frozen Vegetables | Country Consultant - Living The Good Life
  2. Make room for Mushrooms | Organized Moppit

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