We recently began food dehydration while looking for ways to preserve foods. The benefits of dehydration for us are mainly:
- Backpacking or Long Road Trips (i.e. Life on the Road!)
- Food Preservation on the Homestead
Backpacking & Road Trips
Backpackers would easily understand the need to preserve food for long durations. Dehydrated food is not only great for preserving food longer, it also serves in keeping food lighter to carry (think water weight!). Well, the same rules apply for life on the road. Living on the road – on the cheap – requires similar rules of backpacking. We need our food to last and stay light! So, we’ve been coming up with all sorts of interesting recipes for our nights of camping. For instance, we dehydrated peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, carrots, and other vegetables and spices for soups. In addition, the spices make a great way to add some zest to other campfire meals. We also dehydrated bananas, strawberries, & other fruits for great snacks on the road. This reduces our desire to buy gas station grub on those long day trips or late night travels. It can be tempting when you’re hungry, tired, and filling up. Also, the fruits make great additions to oatmeal – an easy carry along for long hikes or backpacking adventures.
Food Preservation on the Homestead
As we prepare for an off-grid homestead lifestyle, any food preservation techniques are helpful. We’ll be doing it all, from canning to dehydrating new foods we haven’t tried before – anything to stock up for the winter.
Also, as we move towards a more sustainable way of life, we want to eat our local fresh foods. This means being a bit mre reasonable than the average American consumer tends to be. We expect fresh strawberries and cucumbers on our shelves in the store in February. News flash – these things don’t naturally grow that time of year. Sure its possible now, but its not entirely natural to have an abundance of this stuff in winter. So, by implementing various food preservation techniques (canning, freezing, dehydrating), we will be able to have these summer-grown fruits and vegetable in winter! Yum.
We also plan to try our hand at a solar dehydrator, eventually. Stay tuned.