Food preservation is such an important part of homesteading that I decided to make a series on the blog about just that. So for 1 month, each Friday we will be covering a different kind of food preservation method.
This week, our topic is dehydrating.
Dehydrating food is about taking all of the water out of food so it can be preserved for a longer time than its fresh counterpart. Just like beef jerky was used by the pioneers as a way to preserve meat, we can preserve many foods the same way.
Dehydrated food doesn’t take up as much room on the shelf or freezer than its hydrated counterpart.
This type of food preservation can last up to a year on the shelf if done properly.
Dehydrating fruits and fruit leather can be a healthy alternative to candy for family snacks.
What tools do you need?
You can dehydrate food using an oven or setting it outside in the sun, but it takes a lot longer than using a dehydrator.
We have this dehydrator, and it has worked wonderfully for us so far.
If you want to spend more money and get a larger dehydrator, this one seems popular in the homesteading community.
What can you dehydrate?
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit Roll Ups
How do you store dehydrated food?
Many dehydrated foods you can store in a mason jar and just put on the shelf.
If you make fruit roll ups, you can roll them up in wax or parchment paper and then put them in a mason jar or plastic bag.
Recipes to get started:
The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook by Tammy Gangloff
The Dehydrator Bible by Jennifer MacKenzie
The Jerky Bible by Kate Fiduccia
Dehydrating is an easy way to get into food preservation. It can be addictive to see all of the different ways and things you can make in your dehydrator.
Look out for the second part of this series next Friday. We will be talking about canning and how it can help you preserve your harvest for winter.
What do you like to dehydrate? Let us know in the comments below. And if you found this post helpful, please share. Thanks!