A brief encounter with dried up beef jerky and mango in a hiking companion’s trail mix leaves an indelible impression when that hiker says he or she created this unique food. Interestingly the idea dehydrating food and trying to conjure the exact textures to ones liking can indeed be workable. Fortunately without any cooking skills except the knife and cutting board this kind of odd preparation is quite simple to do.
Dehydrating food like fruits is both cheap and easy. One to a half centimeter thickness is appropriate and can be soaked in pineapple or lemon juice. This stops the oxidation process for apples and pears. Vegetables are sliced thinly and spread on the tray. Olive oil may be added to avoid a sticky mess on your tray. Fruit leathers are actually mashed up fruit and pureed in a blender. Making a chunky sauce and spreading it to about 5mm thick on your store bought dehydrator machine turns this into instant snacking. Experimentation with different fruits can come up with your very own creations.
The freshest and leanest meats and fish can be dehydrated. However the beef that works best is mince. Preservatives such as potassium metabisulphite may be used in order to keep longer. Freezing ensures a longer period of storage. Dehydrating food like pasta sauces can be done as well. Pasta must be mixed in already with the sauce. Spices should be over the top as most of the flavor will be lost in the rehydration process.
Dehydrating food has been around since the ancient times through the use of the elements. Air drying, sun drying or wind drying has been observed and entails evaporation or the removal of water. Freeze-drying also removes water though sublimation. This prevents spoilage and can be attested as the earliest form of food curing. Survival through preserving makes it an inevitable food source in harsh times and winters. From instant soup and noodles created in Japan in the war times truly dried food has taken on a different level that caters to everyone.