Guest Article by NRP & Blue, June 22, 2021.
Not to worry, going to get back to “Food” soon.
But I wanted to touch on something that, IMHO, everyone should have and be doing….
Yes Mildred, a Dehydrator, there are many reasons why, so let’s explore some of those… ok?
Seeeee, we did not get to far off the subject of Food now did we?
Those ‘Homemade’ pre-packaged meals are really handy, remember the Article on Food Buckets, I mentioned the idea of making your own??? Well you can surely ‘buy’ all the “stuff” you want in those, OR you can Dehydrate a LOT of the items yourself, even better if you Grow a bunch of that stuff in your Garden.
Honestly, I see, of course, Pastas in there, but how about the Meat, and Vegetables? Let’s not forget the Spices and Herbs you can grow, Dehydrate and put in those packets. Mushrooms, Onions, Tomatoes, and So-On, the list is only limited by your own imagination.
ALSO, think about long term Food Storage, those Garden Vegetables are only going to last a few days in the Fridge, and maybe a year or two in the Freezer, Yes you can can (Cute “Can Can” hehehe) them but that takes a LOT of room and processing, PLUS try finding Jars and Jar Lids now-a-days.
Sure I do Can some, but more in the form of Cooked stuff, Spaghetti Sauces, Salsa, Pickles, Sauerkraut and So-On. BUT for good long term storage, space saving, and light weight, nada beats Dehydrating (well except Freeze Drying, I will mention that in a bit) at a reasonable cost and Sealing in the Flavor/Nutrition of the foods.
So let’s talk Dehydrators
Now don’t you go laughing to loud.
I have one of these Nesco Units, have had it for close to 30 years I’m guessing, still working as good as the day I bought it, I did get a few extra Trays, for a total of 10.
I would bet I have dehydrated a few tons of Vegetables and Herbs in this thing,
Honestly this unit can do just as good of job as my other Dehydrator, and I still us this for Herbs, Peppers and the likes.
I would seriously suggest this for the beginner and for the Cost. Cost you asked?
About 73 bucks over there at Home Depot, without the extra trays.
Yeppers, there’s my baby.
I got this a couple of years ago, and has worked FANTASTIC.
I can and have literally stacked the shelves like you see there 2 spaces between and stuffed full full full the trays, about 7 hours into the process I pull the trays and sort of breakup/pull-apart the wet spots and let the dude finish, 10 hours I can take (yes I weighed it) 8 pounds of Spinach and dehydrate it to a little over 7 ounces, and a LOT less space.
If your wanting to get serious about Food Storage (See I did not use that “P” word lol) than I would start with this size/type. These can be found over at Target for around $249ish.
The Excalibur is a very VERY fine piece of equipment; it come’s Highly Rated.
I know a few people that have this, and they swear by it, unfortunately it’s a little pricy for me at $349ish at Home Depot.
I guess when my Ship comes in; I may get one of these, but probably not.
Ok for those that have a few (lot) of extra cash sitting around, and literally an Army to “be ready for” this may be the one for you, I did not even look up the price, no need to get depressed.
BUT, again, depending on your needs…. Just something to think on.
Remember me mentioning a Freeze Dryer, there ya go, a “Medium” sized home Freeze Dryer, these are exceptional for preserving Food, we’re talking 20-25 years.
For those that’s are truly serious, this may be the way to go, BUT be warned your talking $4-6 thousand for a Medium Home Unit. In comparison, my first house I built cost right at $12K….
So, if you’re interested in doing things like Jerky, Dried Fruit YUMMMMM, preserving stuff from the Garden, and dozens of other things with foods, you really should consider getting a Dehydrator, again start with one of those inexpensive Nesco ones, they work very well.
So if you want to take this, 8 pounds of Fresh Cut Spinach:
And turn into this for long term Storage, 7 Ounces of Dehydrated Spinach:
Than you may seriously look into Dehydrating:
BTW, that Spinach will store for at least 10 years, and taste FANTASTIC in soups Smoothies, and about anything else you can make with Fresh Spinach.