Every good prepper should have a dehydrator for food storage.9-tray large-excalibur dehydrator

I just love mine.  I mean I really love it!  You can take a 5 lb bag of anything frozen, or non-frozen for that matter, put it on those glorious little dream weavers called trays and in 10 hours or less, you have these mini morsels of delightful er …well, food.

I found myself wondering what else I could dehydrate - and then I’d start looking in the fridge and digging in the pantry like a hunter stalking his prey for something else to dry.   When I found something, I dehydrated it and anxiously wait to see what it would look like (I’ve noticed when I’m on these hunts that the cat doesn’t come around as often. Scared-y cat … like I want to spend all day defluffing him anyhow, right?)  “Okay, okay … just kidding.”

I am proud to say, I have dehydrated every last can of canned meat I have in the pantry, chicken, tuna and turkey, all my frozen veggies; green beans, peas (now those are weird looking), broccoli and carrots.

I’ve even made raisins??? Raisins??  Of course, it was purely by accident.  I read somewhere that you could take a large industrial size can of fruit cocktail – you know, the kind that serves like a million people - dehydrate it and make yummy dried fruit, so I tried it.  The result?  All the fruit dehydrated into these great little colorful pieces.  Well most of them.  Mingled like a nerd at a debutant party, were these soggy green globs.  I was about to throw them out … when I thought, ‘hmmm, maybe I’ll put them back in for a while and see what happens.’  And you know what?  After a while, I peeked in and there in front of my wondering eyes was a small little colony of “golden raisins”.  I always wondered where gold raisins come from … because, to tell you the truth, I’ve never really seen a golden grape?

So, what have I learned about dehydrating?  Well, there is a little “give and take” in preparing things.  You can’t just throw ‘anything’ in the dehydrator, zap it and hope to have it come out to “honey I shrunk the pea” size and call it a day.  Much like my raisin lesson, some things require prep work before hand.   Like “blanching” (sounds like something someone does when they smell something odorous?), or de-browning (soaking the food in lemon juice and water).

And, you ultimately have to eat the food you dehydrate.  Proceed with caution, however.   
I mean, just because a 5 lb bag of peas fits in a sandwich zip-lock baggie doesn’t mean you can eat half the bag.   You know the warning “things are larger than they appear”? Buddy they aren’t kidding.  When reconstituting dehydrated food (a fancy word for re-plumping them) you have to really be careful not to make too much or eat too much.

Take apple fruit roll-ups for instance.  I make small roll-ups.  The size, say, of a small coffee saucer.   One roll-up is equal to one serving of those little take-in-your-lunch apple sauce cups.  You can easily eat two and three of these little dehydrated fruit patties without blinking an eye, not realizing you are eating two and three servings of applesauce!  Well that is, until your fanny and hips start expanding like reconstituted food!  Bottom-line (no pun intended), learn how much food equals a serving size.

So, as I sit here, my food pantry reduced to a couple of tubs of Tupperware packed full of labeled dehydrated foods, I have nothing left to dehydrate.

Hmmm.  I wonder if I can dehydrate my night cream?   ….    

- Survivor Jane






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