The Survival Mom » Dehydrated Foods http://thesurvivalmom.com Helping moms worry less & enjoy life! Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:59:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Start dehydrating your own foods with this GIVEAWAY! An Excalibur dehydrator! http://thesurvivalmom.com/start-dehydrating-foods-giveaway-excalibur-dehydrator/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=start-dehydrating-foods-giveaway-excalibur-dehydrator http://thesurvivalmom.com/start-dehydrating-foods-giveaway-excalibur-dehydrator/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=12893 Years ago I began learning how to dehydrate my own food. I loved being able to buy fresh produce in bulk, wash and cut it up, and then dehydrate it for long-term storage. I bought my original dehydrator on Craigslist Read More

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Years ago I began learning how to dehydrate my own food. I loved being able to buy fresh produce in bulk, wash and cut it up, and then dehydrate it for long-term storage.

I bought my original dehydrator on Craigslist for about $35 and it’s chugging along just fine, but today YOU have a chance to win the dream dehydrator of most every Survival Mom: an Excalibur!

A group of  bloggers decided to pool our money to host this giveaway for our awesome followers and readers. With spring right around the corner and so many are planning, or have already planted their gardens, we thought an Excalibur Dehydrator would be just the right item for our giveaway.

Please let us know what food you would really like to learn how to dehydrate. Please enter today, and good luck to all of you! What better way to be prepared for the unexpected than by learning to dehydrate food we grow in our gardens.

Excalibur 3900 Dehydrator 1Here are the bloggers/websites involved in this fantastic Excalibur Giveaway:

1. Whole New Mom
2. Food Storage Moms
3. Home Ready Home
4. Common Sense Homesteading
5. Food Storage And Survival
6. The Survival Mom
7. Simply Canning
8. Prepared Housewives
9. Geek Prepper
10. The Backyard Pioneer
11. Survival For Blondes
We will need to keep this giveaway limited to the US (48 contingent states) because of the shipping expense.
This giveaway is not sponsored by ExcaliburDehydrator.com, Facebook or Pinterest. The Excalibur Dehydrator will be very similar to the picture shown. A FREE Dehydrating Book is included in the giveaway.
Giveaway ends on January 23, 2014, at 8 p.m. MT. The winner will be selected at random and notified within 48 hours. You MUST respond to that winning email or your prize will be forfeited, and we don’t want that to happen!

© 2014, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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19 Tasty Things to do with Freeze-Dried Pineapple http://thesurvivalmom.com/19-tasty-things-to-do-with-freeze-dried-pineapple/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=19-tasty-things-to-do-with-freeze-dried-pineapple http://thesurvivalmom.com/19-tasty-things-to-do-with-freeze-dried-pineapple/#comments Tue, 07 May 2013 18:09:58 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=11675 When I first began my venture into food storage, I was met with a dizzying array of choices, among them freeze-dried and dehydrated produce. I didn’t have a ton of money to spend and had to give some serious consideration Read More

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When I first began my venture into food storage, I was met with a dizzying array of choices, among them freeze-dried and dehydrated produce. I didn’t have a ton of money to spend and had to give some serious consideration as to what I should buy.

pineapple freshI decided that I would buy canned, dehydrated, and freeze-dried versions of fruits and vegetables that I used most often and/or were next to impossible to grow in the Phoenix climate. Pineapple met both those criteria.

My kids love a good, juicy pineapple any day of the week, but the freshest ones aren’t always available. Freeze-dried pineapple has a light, sweet taste and a nice crunch and is ready, in its #10 can, whenever you are!

Here is what I’ve discovered I can do with this tasty, tropical fruit:

  1. Add it to oatmeal cookies! Yummm! You can rehydrate it first or just add a half cup or so directly from the can.
  2. Add it to Oatmeal Pecan Bars! Double yummm!
  3. Rehydrate the pineapple and use it in a sweet-and-sour sauce for chicken or pork.
  4. Add some pineapple to a chicken and veggie stir fry, along with some cashews!
  5. Include it in a snack mix with other dried fruit, nuts, freeze-dried yogurt, and mini chocolate chips. Surprisingly, pineapple and chocolate go very well together, my friend!
  6. Add to your favorite bran muffin mix.
  7. Mix in a half cup or so with zucchini bread batter!
  8. Rehydrate a cup or two. Drain and add to butter and brown sugar for a tart-yet-sweet topping for Pineapple Upside Down Cake (or muffins).

    image by DeaPeaJay

    image by DeaPeaJay

  9. Mix a bit of freeze-dried pineapple in with cream cheese for a bagel topping.
  10. Add a cup or two to a super simple party punch recipe: equal parts lemon-lime soda and citrus juice.
  11. Mix up some pineapple cocktails for a luau!
  12. Toss it into a salad, either rehydrated or not. The crunchy texture is a nice addition to a salad of greens.
  13. Rehydrate half a cup or so and sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream.
  14. Add it to yogurt. It tastes great with vanilla Greek yogurt.
  15. Use it for a tropical tasting smoothie.
  16. Use it in place of fresh or canned pineapple in any recipe with “Hawaiian” in the title!
  17. Add it to any granola recipe.
  18. Sprinkle it over pizza, along with some chopped ham or bacon!
  19. Eat it straight out of the can for a healthy, no-sugar-added treat!

 

 

© 2013, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Book Review: Food to Go, Portable Food the Aussie Way http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-food-to-go-portable-food-the-aussie-way/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=book-review-food-to-go-portable-food-the-aussie-way http://thesurvivalmom.com/book-review-food-to-go-portable-food-the-aussie-way/#comments Fri, 29 Oct 2010 22:52:41 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=5369 I’ve always loved Australians ever since I went to Russia with a large group of them way back when.  It wasn’t unusual to meet them for breakfast and find that one or more had, “had a fight with the sidewalk,” Read More

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image by mikebaird

I’ve always loved Australians ever since I went to Russia with a large group of them way back when.  It wasn’t unusual to meet them for breakfast and find that one or more had, “had a fight with the sidewalk,” the night before. And how can you not like a gregarious guy who goes around with the name Fugly?  Seriously!  So when I had the chance to review Food to Go, written by three Australian hikers, I jumped at the chance.   I hoped it would contain some great survival and preparedness tips and recipes, and I was right.

The authors of Food to Go are absolutely mad about hiking and enjoying delicious food along the way. Some of us are absolutely mad about delicious food and enjoying a hike or two along the way, and that works too!  Although their primary audience is other hikers, SurvivalMoms will find the book a great addition to their survival libraries as well.  We don’t have to settle for eating cold ravioli or SPAM.  As these authors say, “Great food is always a priority!”  But this takes time and planning.

Planning what and how much food to keep in a Vehicle Emergency Kit or a Bug Out Bag is a dilemma for many of us.  As a mom, it’s hard enough to get those bags packed and ready, much less sit down to make plans for the best foods to pack.  I find myself tossing in bags of sunflower seeds or peanut butter/cracker snacks, when the truth is, it would be hard to keep a family happy on those snacks alone.  Likewise, camping trips and ventures into outdoor survival require forethought and planning ahead.

Note:  Americans may need a dictionary to help translate some of the terms in this book into American English!  I’ve never heard of a, “sachet of coffee”, before, but frankly, Frank!, that makes reading the book that much more fun.

In my family I’m not known as the Detail Person.  I tend to be more happy-go-lucky, so the planning charts in Chapter 1, have been very helpful to me.  Their menus assume the availability of water and a heat source, both of which should be part of a 72 Hour Kit.  Included in the chapter are the meal plans created by other hikers, and these include some valuable tips.  One in particular suggests putting servings of granola in Zip-Loc bags along with a couple of tablespoons of dried milk.  What a great idea for a quick meal on the road!

To further help with organization, there’s an entire chapter on organizing your meals.  Emergency bags are heavy enough with the basics of survival, and the authors include dozens of tips for reducing the weight of packed food.  I love the tip for using an empty milk, or soda, bottle for storing things like crackers.  Suggestions for adding flavor, different textures and combinations to keep food interesting can easily be applied to food storage.

Storing food for a hike is not all that different from storing it in a pantry.  The authors include twenty pages of directions for dehydrating individual foods and entire meals.  I had never thought of dehydrating a meal of curry and rice, but this book shows how to do just that in text, colorful photos, and charts.  Creative and portable ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks all get the same, thorough treatment.  I’m excited about trying their recipe for dehydrating Chicken Fried Rice!

The more I read, the more impressed I was with this 161-page book.  I even signed on as an affiliate to promote the book on my blog.  Food to Go is an e-book, so you don’t have to track it down in a bookstore or wait for mail delivery, and readers of my blog can purchase the book at a 20% discount by using the discount code GOTOFOOD.  Enjoy the savings, and I know you’ll enjoy the information and recipes this book offers.

© 2010, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Dehydrated Dinners, part 2: 20 Tips for getting started http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-dinners-part-2-20-tips-for-getting-started/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dehydrated-dinners-part-2-20-tips-for-getting-started http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-dinners-part-2-20-tips-for-getting-started/#comments Tue, 17 Aug 2010 10:33:15 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4845 Welcome to the second in a series of article that will teach you, step by step, how to create your own dehydrated meals suitable for long-term storage.  You can read Part 1 here. Freeze dried and dehydrated main dishes, such Read More

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Welcome to the second in a series of article that will teach you, step by step, how to create your own dehydrated meals suitable for long-term storage.  You can read Part 1 here.

Freeze dried and dehydrated main dishes, such as those made by Mountain House, are on many a prepper’s To Buy list.  However, for some families, the extra expense or unwanted additives place these commercially produced meals off limits.  With a little planning, you can make your own.  Here are a few tips for getting started.

image by Nina Matthews Photography

  1. Although you can definitely include your own dehydrated foods, keep in mind that putting together numerous meals using the same recipe will require a lot of each ingredient.  Therefore, it might be worth spending a bit extra to purchase commercially dehydrated or freeze dried foods for this project.  DIY dehydrated foods have a shorter shelf life than do their commercially dried counterparts.  Keep that in mind.
  2. Three good resources for dehydrated and freeze dried foods are Shelf  Reliance, Honeyville Farms and Harmony House.
  3. The shelf life of your finished dinners will be equivalent to that of the ingredient with the shortest shelf life.  For example, a recipe containing pasta will have a shelf life of about seven or eight years, maximum, because that is the shelf life of pasta.
  4. Some freeze dried vegetables are more delicate than their dehydrated counterparts.  You may want to place those veggies at the top of the mix to prevent them from being crushed over time or use the dehydrated version.
  5. Dehydrated eggs, sour cream, butter and milk will have to be purchased.
  6. IMPORTANT!  If you’re making a mix from one of your own recipes, your first batch will be experimental.  Combine the ingredients, keep a record of the amounts, and then prepare the recipe as a meal.  How much water did you add?  How long was the cooking time?  Be sure to record this information and make adjustments before preparing the remaining meals.  Make sure to have your family do a taste test!
  7. It makes sense to prepare several batches of each recipe rather than just one.  Be sure to have enough of each ingredient on hand.  You may be surprised by how much is required, but keep in mind you’re preparing many future meals.
  8. In addition to ingredients, you’ll need some sort of storage container.  Canning jars and mylar bags are your best bet.  Use oxygen absorbers if you plan on storing the mixes long-term.  If a camping or backpacking trip is in your future, the mixes can be kept in large zip-loc bags.
  9. A Food Saver system works as long as none of the ingredients are likely to puncture the plastic bag.
  10. For storage, keep in mind the five enemies of food: heat, humidity, oxygen, light, and pests.
  11. Here’s a tip for organizing your mixes.  Store mixes of the same ingredient in a labeled food-grade bucket.
  12. To get started with your own recipe, choose a soup or a casserole.  The ideal recipe will contain ingredients that can all be converted to a dehydrated version.  Be prepared to do a bit of tweaking.  Choosing the right recipe is the hardest part of this process.
  13. Recipes that contain a lot of cheese aren’t good candidates for Dehydrated Dinners.
  14. If a recipe contains an ingredient that is normally canned, such as diced tomatoes, it’s perfectly fine to omit that ingredient in your dehydrated mix and then plan on adding that canned item when it’s time to prepare the meal.  Just make a note of it, and then be sure to have enough stored in your pantry.
  15. One dehydrated recipe to master is marinara sauce.  Combine tomato powder with garlic, herbs, and salt.  Taste test small amounts with a bit of water until you have a combination you love.  You can store the mix in jars or mylar bags or use it in recipes that call for prepared marinara sauce.  Emergency Essentialscarries tomato powder or you can make your own by processing dehydrated tomato slices in a blender until completely powdered.

    image by WordRidden

  16. Start searching for recipes!  Here are a few I found at AllRecipes.com that have a lot of potential as Dehydrated Dinners: Chili Bean Soup, Pasta Bean Soup, Flatlander Chili, and Homemade Pizza Supreme.
  17. If you only convert five recipes to Dehydrated Dinners and prepare eight of each recipe, that’s forty dinners!
  18. Dehydrated Dinners will only be one part of your food storage.  They’ll come in handy when you’re too sick to cook or the family needs a really quick meal.  Their main purpose is convenience.
  19. It’s better to give than receive.  Having multiple Dehydrated Dinners will allow you to share them with others in need.
  20. Jump right in!  The more practice you get in spotting suitable recipes, the easier it becomes.  Once you have a recipe your family enjoys, it’s just a matter of converting it to a dehydrated version and assembling all the ingredients.


© 2010 – 2012, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Dehydrated-to-Death Chili http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-to-death-chili/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=dehydrated-to-death-chili http://thesurvivalmom.com/dehydrated-to-death-chili/#comments Tue, 11 May 2010 10:30:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=4054 I tried a new chili recipe recently and decided to play around with it a bit.  I dehydrated the tomato sauce, kidney beans, added a few seasonings and stored it in my pantry for about a month.  When I decided one Read More

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image by trekkyandy

I tried a new chili recipe recently and decided to play around with it a bit.  I dehydrated the tomato sauce, kidney beans, added a few seasonings and stored it in my pantry for about a month.  When I decided one night to make one of my family’s favorite meals, Chili and Rice, I added four cups of water to the dehydrated chili mixture and was amazed!  I think it was one of the best pots of chili I’ve ever made!  Give it a try.

2 cans tomato sauce

2 cans kidney beans, drained

1/4 c. chopped yellow onion*

1 T. chili powder

1 t. cumin

1/2 t. salt

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/8 t. ground black pepper

In a food dehydrator, dehydrate the tomato sauce, kidney beans and chopped onions.  To dehydrate the sauce, spread it evenly on two fruit leather trays and dry until it can be easily peeled up and no moisture remains.  The dehydration time for these three ingredients varies from dehydrator to dehydrator, but plan on at least six hours.

To store, combine the sauce, beans, onion and seasonings in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, a Food Saver bag or even a Zip-Loc bag, depending on how long you wish to store it.  The sauce can be rolled up or even torn or cut into small pieces to better fit into the jar.

Cooking the dehydrated chili is a dream.  Pour the dry ingredients in a large saucepan or pot, along with four cups of water.  Cook over medium heat for at least 15-20 minutes or until the beans are completely rehydrated.  You can add cooked meat or canned tomatoes at this point, if you wish.  As the chili heats, the sauce thickens quite nicely, but you may want to add a bit more water for a thinner consistency.  Of course you can cook this in your Sun Oven!  Just place the ingredients in a covered pot and set outside in your oven for a couple of hours. 

Serve alone, over rice, topped with grated cheddar cheese, saltines, tortilla chips, sour cream, or your own preferred chili toppings.

*As long as you’re dehydrating this amount of onion, you might as well dehydrate a whole lot more.  Chop enough onion to fill the rest of your dehydrating trays, and you’ll be a step ahead the next time you need chopped onion.

© 2010, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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My Top 9 Reasons for Dehydrating Food http://thesurvivalmom.com/my-top-9-reasons-for-dehydrating-food/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-top-9-reasons-for-dehydrating-food http://thesurvivalmom.com/my-top-9-reasons-for-dehydrating-food/#comments Thu, 11 Feb 2010 02:11:35 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=3250 My food dehydrator has been working up a storm this past week as I’ve been transforming pounds and pounds of tomatoes and jars of applesauce into very, very dry versions of their former selves.  I love dehydrating foods, and here are Read More

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Yummy dehydrated pears. Image by norwichnuts.

My food dehydrator has been working up a storm this past week as I’ve been transforming pounds and pounds of tomatoes and jars of applesauce into very, very dry versions of their former selves.  I love dehydrating foods, and here are just a few of the reasons why.

  1. Dehydrated fruits and veggies have intense, INTENSE! flavors!  Each thin slice of dehydrated tomato packs a wallop of flavor that you don’t find in a fresh slice.  Something amazing happens to the flavor once all the water has been removed.
  2. It offers something different in the healthy snack category.  My kids are loving the applesauce fruit leather they made themselves.  They never get bored because one day it’s apple-cinnamon leather, another day it’s apple-peach leather, and a tasty apple-strawberry version is on tap for tomorrow!  A #10 can of applesauce from Sam’s Club or Costco provides sheets and sheets of fruit leather, one of the easiest snacks in the world to pack in a lunch bag or backpack.
  3. Something is always in season!  The best bargains in produce are usually found when a particular fruit or vegetable is in season.  Farmer’s markets, food co-ops, fruit stands, and pick-your-own-produce farms can offer amazing bargains.  All that fresh goodness is easily transformed into dehydrated versions at a cost far less than commercially dehydrated foods.
  4. Food dehydration is simple!  Basic dehydrators can be picked up on Craigslist or eBay.  You don’t need anything fancy.  My dehydrator is very basic, but it does the job just fine.  Unlike canning, you don’t need a lot of additional equipment, and the internet is filled with websites that give directions for dehydrating every type of food imaginable!
  5. Variety!  One day you can dehydrate apples and the next, pasta sauce!  Cook up several pounds of ground beef and turn them into, “hamburger rocks”!  When you find #10 cans of a fruit or veggie on sale, pour out the liquid, and place the food on your dehydrator trays for a few hours.  Bags of frozen vegetables dehydrate just as easily. 
  6. Dehydrated foods don’t lose their nutritional value and maintain water soluble vitamins and minerals. 
  7. Dehydrate your own herbs and you’ll never have to pay top dollar for them again nor watch them rot in the fridge.
  8. If space is an issue, dehydrated foods are your friend!  Twenty pounds of fresh tomatoes filled two large glass jars in my pantry once they were sliced and dehydrated!
  9. You’ll never have to run to the grocery store at the last minute for carrots or onions or potatoes or celery or green beans if you have jars of the dehydrated versions in your pantry.

If you have a garden and expect a decent harvest this year, put food dehydration on the top of your To Learn list!  Once you’re past the initial purchase of the dehydrator, it’s just a matter of looking for bargains at the grocery store and then getting busy!

© 2010, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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INSTANT SURVIVAL TIP: Dehydrate Frozen Foods http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-dehydrate-frozen-foods/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=instant-survival-tip-dehydrate-frozen-foods http://thesurvivalmom.com/instant-survival-tip-dehydrate-frozen-foods/#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2009 22:29:08 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=1411 Did you know that you can dehydrate frozen vegetables?  I just read about this and decided to give it a try.  My grocery store often has bags of frozen veggies on sale for $1 a bag.  It’s a good deal, Read More

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survival-mom-button-foodDid you know that you can dehydrate frozen vegetables?  I just read about this and decided to give it a try.  My grocery store often has bags of frozen veggies on sale for $1 a bag.  It’s a good deal, but even more so when you purchase a dozen bags and end up with jars of dehydrated veggies that will last long-term.

There’s no need to thaw your veggies first.  Just lay them out on your dehydrating trays.  The first time you dehydrate a specific veggie, check on its’ process every two to three hours to determine what the total dehydrating time will be for future batches.  When the veggie pieces are completely dry, without a trace of moisture, pour them into jars with an oxygen absorber or store them in vacuum sealed plastic bags.  Just think.  A couple handfuls of veggies, some chicken broth, and rice will make an excellent soup this coming winter or in the winter of 2020!

© 2009, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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Simple Secrets of Food Dehydration http://thesurvivalmom.com/simple-secrets-of-food-dehydration/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=simple-secrets-of-food-dehydration http://thesurvivalmom.com/simple-secrets-of-food-dehydration/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2009 04:16:34 +0000 http://thesurvivalmom.com/?p=347 Buying canned goods and extra bags of flour and sugar has been the easiest part of food storage for me.  Dehydrating my own food seemed to belong in the same category as spinning my own wool.  Yes, it can be Read More

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Buying canned goods and extra bags of flour and sugar has been the easiest part of food storage for me.  Dehydrating my own food seemed to belong in the same category as spinning my own wool.  Yes, it can be done, but why would I want to go through all the trouble??!

I found out for myself that dehydrating food is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to stock up.  Now, if I say it’s easy, you know.  It’s easy!  The foods are fresh with no additives of any kind, so I know exactly what my family is consuming.  I save money since commercially dried fruits and herbs, in particular, have a premium price at the market.

I purchased a NESCO American Harvest dehydrater on Craigslist for $30 one January morning and went to work.  I’ve had some hits and misses, but here is what I’ve had the best luck with so far.

  • Canned peaches.  Easy, easy, easy and so good!  Buy #10 cans of peaches at Costco for $5 or so.  Pour the fruit into a colander and rinse with water.  Lay out the peach slices on the dehydrator trays and dry at a medium setting until the peaches are chewy.  These are a great travel snack and will last for years if you store them using a Foodsaver system.
  • Herbs.  It’s amazing how quickly these dry and are ready for storage.  Kellene over at Preparedness Pro recently wrote a great article about growing and and preserving herbs.  I love having jars of fresh herbs and have saved a pretty penny because I no longer have to buy fresh and then need them for a recipe only after they’ve turned slimy.
  • Applesauce!  Buy a #10 can of applesauce at Costco for right around $5.  Spread a thin layer of applesauce on a plastic tray and dehydrate.  When it is dry, you have your own fruit leather!  Roll it up, and store.  Add cinnamon, pureed strawberries or peaches, or anything else you can think of for variety.  My kids love this treat.
  • Mushrooms.  This is another veggie that spoils all too quickly.  Slice, dry, store.  Couldn’t be easier!  Dried shrooms can even be ground into a powder and added to sauces and gravies for flavor.
  • Sliced carrots and celery.  These are a staple in my soups and stews, and I hate having to run out to the store when I don’t have them on hand.  Again, slice, dry, store!

One of my camping-crazy friends dehydrates sheets of spaghetti sauce, rehydrates them with water over a campstove and has almost-instant pasta sauce.  She’s also been known to make hamburger rocks in her dehydrator.

It does take time to prepare the fresh food to dry (peel, slice, chop, etc.), but once they’re on the dehydrator trays and a timer is set, I can spend my time chasing kids and doing laundry.

This doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby.  Seek out farmer’s markets, produce co-ops, produce stands, and the like to get the freshest food at the lowest prices.  Check Craiglist, Freecyle and eBay for bargains on dehydrators.  The Excalibur brand is considered to be top of the line, but there are directions online for making your own from scratch.

For more specific how-to details, check out these websites, and have fun dehydrating your own foods!

Budget 101 – Dehydrated Foods

Mother Earth News

© 2009 – 2012, The Survival Mom. All rights reserved.

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