The Best Foods to Dehydrate to Survive Long Term

Whether you’re a prepper or just a practical person, knowing the best foods for dehydration is worth it. Dehydrated foods last longer and having these in your arsenal is a smart move. In our current economic climate in particular, it is best to always be prepared.

RELATED: How To Best Store Food For Long Term

Which foods dehydrate for survival?

1. Vegetables

While it’s an excellent food, vegetables can take much longer to become dehydrated compared to fruits. Vegetables contain less acid. As already mentioned, foods with a higher acid content are easier to preserve with this method.

Before placing the vegetables on the food dehydrator, you should wash them first. Then you cut it to normal size. Some vegetables need to be blanched and soaked in icy liquid to break down enzymes. This serves to preserve texture and taste. Some of the best foods for dehydration in this category are beets, carrots, celery, corn, onions, peas, and potatoes.

2. Fruits

Homemade dehydrated apple chips and ripe red apples |  Food to dry out

Whether for consumption on the go or for long-term storage, fruits are an excellent type of food for dehydration. The process before dehydration is similar to that of vegetables. An ideal preparation technique is to cut the fruit into thin, even shapes. This makes the drying process much faster.
Smaller fruits can be dried without cutting. You can dehydrate them as they are.

Some fruits, such as pears and apples, change color when dehydrated. But don’t let yourself be turned off. The discoloration does not affect the taste or the harmlessness of the fruit. You can also dry the fruits with ascorbic acid to keep their color. Apples, bananas, cherries, grapes, plums, and tomatoes are some of the best foods in this category that can be dehydrated.

3. meat

Dried peppered beef jerky cut into strips |  good foods to dehydrate

One of the most effective ways to preserve meat longer is through dehydration. Dried meat has been an excellent source of protein during famine and war since ancient times. The best type of meat to dehydrate is the lean variety. Lean meat has less fat, which makes it easier to preserve.

Not all meat can be dried immediately. Some need to be treated first to eliminate harmful microorganisms. Wild meat is an example of this.

Similar to fruits and vegetables, it’s best to cut meat into thin portions before drying. That makes the process faster and more efficient. Cut the meat to at least a quarter of an inch. To be easy to consume, you need to slice the meat against the fiber as well. The best meat for drying is beef.

What about the taste?Woman eats dried fruits |  good foods to dehydrate

What about it? Of course, dehydrating food changes its taste and texture. However, this does not automatically mean that the food tastes bad. When done right, dehydrated food can taste amazing. If you like raisins and plums, you know exactly what that means. Dehydration is not unlike other methods of food preparation. Pickling fruit, for example, can get hit or miss depending on how right you get it.

What about the nutrients?Organic healthy mixed dried fruit mix close up.  Dried fruit snacks |  good foods to dehydrate

In theory, dehydrating food can lead to decreased nutrient levels. However, due to the advancement of technology, 90% of the nutrients can be made intact. The simple technique of lowering the temperature during the dehydration process is an excellent way to preserve most of the nutrients in food. Modern dehydrators available today are also designed to better maintain food quality.

Using a dehydratorDehydrator and fruits on a wooden table |  Food to dry out

A dehydrator is what its name says. It is a machine that removes moisture from food so that it can be kept longer for future consumption. Yes, you can air dry or use an oven for this purpose. But not all types of food can be dehydrated using these methods.

Plus, investing in an automatic dehydrator allows you to dry food with ease. You can do it anytime, anywhere. Not all dehydrators are expensive in terms of price. You can find affordable yet high quality models like the Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster. Research is key.

RELATED: Long Term Food Storage – Our Favorite Dehydrator

Quick tips on how to dehydrate food

1. Wash your foodWash your vegetables before you eat them - foods that are dehydrating

This is important. Before you put your food in the dehydrator or use any preservation method you prefer, be sure to clean it first. Wash the food well with water and an antibacterial fruit or vegetable cleaner. Of course, don’t forget to disinfect your hands and wear clean gloves.

2. Slowly dry your foodDried fruits and fruit chips along with the fresh fruits they are made from - foods to be dehydrated

Slow is always better when drying food. Dry your food for as long as necessary. This makes the preservation process more thorough and even. However, increasing the temperature is a no-go. This can easily spoil the food as moisture is trapped in it.

3. Set the correct temperatureDrying trays with apple slices and cinnamon foods for drying

Keep that in mind. The type of food you want to preserve will determine the time and temperature it will take. Be sure to read the drying instructions on the device label. Or, even better, read the operating instructions carefully.

4. Remember the magic number 95Dehydrating sliced ​​Granny Smith apples in Excalibur |  good foods to dehydrate

The best way to make sure your food doesn’t spoil during storage is to dehydrate it well. Any type of food should be 95% dehydrated. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’re still not satisfied, put them in the dehydrator until the moisture is gone.

Check out these best and worst food for dehydrating Adamimmune:

You can dehydrate almost any type of food. However, some foods have certain properties that make them more convenient to dry. Foods with less fat and higher acidity spoil more slowly. But no matter what foods you use, it is best to always use the freshest supplies.

Whether it’s fruits, vegetables, or meat, be sure to dehydrate them while they’re fresh. The sooner the better.

There are several ways to preserve food, but in terms of efficiency and faster results, using a dehydrator is a great option. But of course, the key to the success of this process is knowing about the best foods to dehydrate. Keep researching and always be prepared like a good prepper would.

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Which preservation method do you prefer so that your food has a longer shelf life? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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