Camping and hiking go hand in hand with dehydrated foods. This is simply because the dehydrated food is so light and low in weight and occupies very little space, so it is worth taking that food than anything else. It still maintains its value and nutritional properties and is as healthy as the original version.
You can dry almost any type of food, from meat to fruits and vegetables.
And whenever you have a food dehydrator or a well ventilated and hot room, you can try the following recipes.
Drying any type of meat does not require anything more special than drying fruits or vegetables. Once the meat is finally dry, you can store it preferably in a plastic bag with a closed zipper and away from moisture. This can last up to 2 years. Other people claim that it can last even longer than that. This is how it is prepared.
First, prepare the meat (on average, 5 pounds will end up being a liter of dried meat), wash it and then fry it in a pan. Fry until well browned. Carefully remove the grease and then wait for it to drain more. You can also use a high-temperature colander to rinse more fat underwater. Therefore, even more fat will be removed. Clean or clean the pan so that it is ready to be used again.
Start frying the meat again. Do not use grease for this process. The ideal is to cut the meat into pieces so that when you fry it you can roll it over and over again, preventing it from sticking to the pan or burning it.
They should be brown all over, but not black, so be careful with this second fry. This step is done so that we can make sure that the water content in the meat evaporates. You will know when this is done, thanks to the steam that comes out of the meat. If steam does not come out, then you’re ready. However, be careful, since steam leaves the food when it burns and turns black.
Finally, spread all the pieces of meat in a baking dish and place them inside the oven. Turn the heat to about 200 degrees F (above 70 degrees C). Ideally, leave the oven door slightly open so moisture can escape easily. When making this oven and # 8216; cooking ‘will remove all remaining moisture from the meat. This last step can also be achieved if you have a household dehydrator, but it will take a little more time. Using the oven method, you need approximately 2 hours of drying.
This whole method can be applied to many sources of meat, such as poultry, lamb, veal, turkey, etc.
When you have finished with the previous process, store the meat in plastic bags, preferably with an oxygen absorber to vacuum the bag. Store in a dry place or in a closet.
This can be done quite easily. Prepare the fish of your choice and cut it into strips. Adobalo to have a certain flavor when dehydrated. The ideal is to keep it marinated at least 4 hours, ultimately, 8 hours. Then, place each piece in the form of a cookie so that each piece has the greatest possible exposed surface.
Make sure there are no fish parts in contact. Place them in the oven and adjust them to approximately 150-170 degrees F. It is best to keep the door open for moisture to escape. If your oven has some ventilation, you can use it, but remember that moisture must escape somehow.
This whole process should take about 12 hours. Regularly check in the meantime how the process is going and if the fish is drying sufficiently well. Also check the moisture and if it adheres to the surface of the meat or the walls of the oven. However, if you keep the door open, there is little chance that moisture will accumulate anywhere in the oven, but you can not be too careful.
If you have a dehydrator, you can skip the part of the oven and place the fish directly in the dehydrator. It will take a little less time, but the process is identical.
Dehydration of vegetables
Dehydration is a process that is not different for different plant products. It is basically the same, with small exceptions.
Basically, the vegetable is cut into small pieces. Rinse well before drying. When placing them in the trays (either in a dehydrator or another method you use), make sure they are well distributed and do not touch each other. Leave enough space for the water to evaporate. Some people like to steamed vegetables for a few minutes just to highlight that strong and pleasant color, so that when they dry they will keep this aspect fresh.
Some other vegetables such as corn, broccoli, beans, etc. They are better steamed beforehand, as they rehydrate quickly and retain their natural flavor. Otherwise, the corn and beans when they are dry will remain hard and raw, even if it soaks them for a while. They need a little cooking.
Wash the tomatoes and soak them for 30 minutes in a container of water so that the nitrites and pesticides can be washed safely. Cut the tomatoes and remove the green part where the stem was attached to the tomato. Cut the rest into small and uniform pieces: rolls or cubes, everything works well. Leave the seeds, as they are nutritionally valuable. Basically, do not remove anything else, even natural juices can remain, since their vitamins and minerals will stick to the hard parts of the pieces.
Place them evenly on trays and use the dehydrator in your home, or use an oven, and keep the temperature stable at about 135 degrees F. It will take up to 8 hours for your tomatoes to dry completely. Tomatoes, when dry, are not crispy and hard like most dry foods, but have a more leathery and rubbery texture.
Also, during the process, it is recommended that you shake them from time to time to speed up the process. Also, since tomatoes leave a lot of juice and water when cut, they can stick to the trays. To avoid this, use non-stick trays. Of course, they may still be stuck here and there, so when you see a piece like that, discard it and stir it carefully.
Cherry tomatoes can be dried almost in the same way, but since they do not leave as much juice when cut, you may not necessarily have to use a non-stick pan. The normal will also work. Ideally, place the pieces with the skin towards the tray, so that the cut parts are facing upwards.
You can dehydrate the peppers in almost the same way. Cut the peppers and remove all the meat and seeds that hang inside. The pieces must be of uniform size. Spread on a tray with the skin facing down. They also require approximately 135-145 degrees F of heat and take up to 8 hours for the process to complete.
First, wash the celery and preferably let them soak in water for 30 minutes, this eliminates nitrites and pesticides. Then rinse the celery and cut it into very small rolls. You can also use a food processor to make it look almost like a thinly sliced salad at the end. You should have a good celery mesh if you use the chopping blade of your food processor. This is much better than having to cut the heads of celery with your hand, as it will take a long time until you cut it into cubes small enough.
Spread the pieces evenly on the trays and place them in the dehydrator. In general, an average tray size will be used for a complete celery head. So, measure that before you’re going to cut the celery. Adjust the temperature between 125 and 135 degrees F (52-57 degrees C). It will take a little longer than the other vegetables to dry completely (since the celery is almost completely water) – about 12 hours.
Finally you can also make powder with what you dried. Use the coffee grinder (or simply your blender) and in a few seconds you will have a good green vegetable powder, which you can add to soups and other foods. Basically, a tablespoon of fresh celery weighs half a teaspoon of dried celery.
Let’s start with the apples, since they are easy. Take as many apples as you plan to dehydrate. Wash them well, or leave them in a container full of water to soak them a little, to eliminate any chemical (they are soluble in water). Wait about 30 minutes and take them out. Use an apple peeler if you have it, or do it by hand, but you should peel the apples.
When finished peeling, cut the apples into small rolls and remove the core of the apples, including the seeds. Cut each roll in half so that you end up having half moon shapes. Take the pieces and put them in a container with water with fresh fruit solution. Follow the product instructions to get the best results. The apples will soak and stay fresh as you leave them in the solution. Better not leave them in more than 40 minutes.
Remove the apple pieces and you will be ready to place them in the dehydrator. The ideal temperature would be around 135 degrees F. At this temperature, dehydrated apples will be ready in 8 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, the oven will be equally useful in this case. Again, leave the door a little open for moisture to escape.
The recipe is almost the same with bananas. Cut the bananas into rolls and be ready to dry. It is not necessary to soak or wash beforehand, since it eliminates the peal anyway. Bananas may require 6 to 10 hours of dehydration, again at 135 degrees F.
If you do not want to dehydrate your fruits at such high temperatures, in order to preserve some of the more fragile vitamins, you can set a lower temperature, such as 115 degrees, but then you will have to wait a little longer, up to 12 hours. This applies both to the apples as for the bananas. It may also be true for other milder fruits.
This can be a bit complicated, since it involves preparing the pineapples before they dry. Cutting and peeling the pineapple takes longer.
Prepare about 20 pineapples (best if they are for sale for a low price). This will give you an average of 9 trays (depending on how large or small your dehydrator or oven is). Remove the green heads from the pineapples. Then start slicing the sides, but be sure not to cut too deep and remove too much meat. There are pineapple cutters, but they often cut deeply and remove much of the meat. Better use kitchen gloves, since pineapples are slippery when you cut them.
When finished with the outer layer, cut the pineapples through the middle to the length so that it ends up having 4 quarts of each pineapple. Then you need to remove the thickest inner core of the fruit. It is edible and nutritionally beneficial, but unless you are making juice, you may want to eliminate it. So cut it and finally you’ll have the sweetest and juiciest pineapple meat. Begin cutting slices every quarter, similar to how you cut apples and bananas; It should have thin slices, about 1/8 inch.
When finished, you are ready to put them in the trays. There is a lot of water content in this fruit and it will take up to 14 hours to have them ready. The temperature is again around 135 degrees F.
This recipe is also easy and it does not take long to prepare. There are two ways to dehydrate blueberries. First, you can only wash them and place them on the trays to dry, or (and the best option) you can set them to go blank for a moment.
Here is how. Start boiling some water and, when it begins to boil over low heat, place the cranberries. Let them stay there very little, no more than half a minute. You just need to surprise them. This is called bleaching. This will make them softer and less crispy, and even give them a raisin texture. Otherwise, they will remain hard and chewy.
Then, after 30 seconds, move them quickly in ice water. Next, place them in a colander and let them drain as much as possible. Basically that’s it. Then place them evenly on the trays of the dehydrator. Since they are small fruits, the time required can be approximately 6 to 8 hours, at 135 degrees F.
The mangoes are very sweet and even dry, they keep their sugar content. The commercial dry mango unfortunately has unpleasant additives such as sulfur dioxide and added sugar. Avoid that, you can easily make your own dry mango.
When cutting the fruit it is better to use kitchen gloves to prevent it from slipping. The meat is very juicy and slippery and this can make you cut your fingers.
Start by peeling the mango. Then cut it lengthwise into strips. Apart from the mango, prepare a simple natural solution using honey and lemon. This will replace the sulfur and the added sugar that most manufacturers use.
Then, squeeze a whole lemon in a small bowl and add honey. Stir until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Dip each mango strip in this solution while preparing them for the dehydrator.
Once this is done, place them on non-stick paper and place them in the dehydrator trays. Optionally use the oven.
Set the temperature around 135 degrees. It may take approximately 12 hours maximum for the mangoes to be properly dehydrated. We recommend that you check them every hour after the 8th hour mark. They can be ready in less than 10 hours. Everything depends on the water content in the fruit.
Another easy and tasty recipe. It has some options to cut the ginger into pieces, either grate it or cut it into rolls / slices. Either way it will work.
First of all, peel the ginger roots you have prepared and choose your choice: slice them or cut them into slices. The only problem with cutting disk forms is that you have to cut them very thin and this can be a bit complicated, since ginger tends to be slippery. This can be a bit dangerous for your fingers, unless you use special kitchen gloves to protect your hands and keep them from slipping.
As you cut / grate the ginger, the pieces are ready to spread on a non-stick paper and place them on the trays. Ginger dries very quickly, so you should be close to observe the changes in its structure. It is a good idea to turn them around every 30 minutes. You may be surprised to learn that within 2 hours they can be ready, either on disks or on cut-off grids, so that when you turn them on, do not leave for a long time and check the changes.
To be ready within two hours, you should set your dehydrator to 95 degrees F. Slightly higher temperatures will leave it much faster with dehydrated ginger.
As an added benefit, if you want to have ginger powder, use your coffee grinder or blender, or even better spice grinder. Because ginger has very hard fibers, it may take some time to grind them into powder, but it’s worth it. It can be used for soups, meals and even teas.
Garlic and onion dehydrated
Here is another spicy recipe. For garlic you need 1-2 heads of garlic. Peel all the teeth from each head and start cutting / cutting the garlic. You can also simply puree with the back of a spoon or you could use some other similar method, but you should end up having very small pieces of garlic.
When you’re finished with that, place them on a tray and put them in the oven. Set the temperature to 150-200 degrees F. It may take approximately 2 hours for them to be perfectly dry and ready to use. You can grind them in a food processor or coffee grinder to finish having garlic powder. This is a much better option than the use of commercial garlic powder, as it contains other suspect preservatives and additives.
This recipe is 1 to 2 heads, but if you want to store much larger amounts of garlic powder, simply repeat the recipe for all the garlic heads you have.
About the onions – to start, take an onion head. Cut it into small splinters, they should measure less than a quarter of an inch. Again, you can use a little peeler to make sure you have fine garlic discs like paper. The oven / dehydrator should be preheated to (again) 150-200 degrees F. Spread the rolls / disks on baking paper (and if desired, you can use a non-stick paper) and wait an hour or two for the process to complete.
To get dust, again use an electric or spice grinder. If you need a larger quantity, repeat the recipe with the quantity of onions you have on hand.
Stevia dried leaves
This is an easy recipe and you may end up having a sweetener for your tea or other cooking recipes. Use the stevia leaves for the dehydration process. Place them in the sun, ideally use a solar dehydrator since the temperatures do not increase as much when dehydrated in the home, and it is much more natural. If you leave the leaves in the solar dehydrator, your stevia will not take more than 12 hours to be ready. Then you can grind it with the back of a spoon or even between your fingers to get a good powder. Sprinkle on salads, teas, muesli in the morning, etc.
The above recipes may vary according to food sources, water content, etc. and, however, they can be applied to many other vegetables, fruits and spices. You can experiment more with the food you have at home and document the results, so you can repeat the recipe or improve the steps. Enjoying your own homemade dry food while camping is priceless.