How To Reap The Benefits Of Dried Foods

Drying foods is a technique that has been used over the millennia to preserve food especially for the winter months. Removing original water from food greatly delays development of bacterial growth and mold enabling dried foods to last much longer than fresh foods would.

Initially, food was dried in the open air where they could be taken out into the sun every morning until they were dry enough. Although some foods are sometimes still spread in the sun to dry, technology has changed things a bit with high-tech dehydrators taking over from the once adored open-air techniques. With the renewed interest in natural foods, mainly because of their high nutritional value, commercially dried foods have become quite expensive so it’s not out of normal to find a farmer drying his or her own berries at home.

Dried fruits are a great source of energy because they have a high concentration of fruit sugars. These fruits also contain a large amount of minerals and vitamins. Drying however destroys a few vitamins especially vitamins A and C. This can be reversed by treating the fruits with sulfur before drying. However Sulfur also destroys thiamine, a constituent of vitamin B. Since fruits are not considered a big source of vitamin B, this setback can usually be ignored. Vegetables which are a good source of thiamine, niacin and riboflavin can also be dried.

The water obtained from drying should always be stored for soaking or cooking the dried foods or can be used in making nutrient-rich soups, gravy and sauces.
So, which foods can be dried?

You can dry just about any food, as long as it contains some natural occurring moisture, which most foods actually do. Fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and herbs can all be dried.

Fruits are the easiest to dry because the moisture evaporates more easily and actually not much moisture has to be lost for the fruit to be counted as dry. Typical fruits that are often dried include cherries, peaches, berries, pears and ripe apples.

Vegetables often dried include corn, pepper, peas, okra, zucchini, green beans and onions. Carrots can be dried as well but why dry them when they can be stored for a long time without going bad?

Fresh herbs of any type can be successfully dried irrespective of which part of the plant it was obtained. However, leaves, blossoms and seeds give best results.

Most types of meat can also be comfortably dried. Beef, venison and lamb are usually dried for jerky. Fish is also popularly dried.

Some foods are however not suitable for drying because they contain very high amounts of moisture. These foods include melons, cucumber and lettuce.
Using dried foods

Dried vegetables can be soaked before cooking, though this is not mandatory. You can reconstitute by soaking 1 cup of dried vegetables in 2 cups of water and leaving for 2 hours.

To release the full flavor in herbs, cut or chop the dried pieces into bits before adding to food. Leaves can be rubbed between the palms or ground in a mortar using a pestle. If possible, add herb powder into a liquid in your recipe.

Jerky can be used as a snack or a backpacking staple. Dried fruits can also be used as snacks or eaten at breakfast with cookies, granola and cereals.

Legacy Food Storage – Why Is Unbeatable Among Its Long Term Food Storage Competitors

There is no better way of protecting your loved ones and family against emergencies like investing in shelf life food that will last 25 years. However, shelf life becomes a prime concern when making decision on where to buy your long-term food storage. There is countless food storage companies in the market professing their food can last more than 25 years. This leaves many with doubt whether their food is really safe and if it will be still be edible as the years pass by. With Legacy Food Storage, you are guaranteed of not only safe food, but also delicious one too.

The Legacy Food Storage Company

There are some determinants that can help you know whether your food will last for a long time. The expiry period of your food depends on the quality of the ingredients used, techniques of packaging and materials used and residual oxygen level applied in the packaging. Legacy is tested and proven to use only quality ingredients in their food. Perhaps, if gluten determines the type of diet you will have all ingredients Legacy uses are proven and certified to be GMO free. The company goes an extra mile to ensure that its foods last longer, and supply better nutrients than the other food storage companies in the market. It is important you confirm the ingredients in the shelf life food before making a purchase. This is because some ingredients like canola oil lessen the life expectancy of emergency food.

Affordability

Besides supplying you with sumptuous food made from the finest ingredients, Legacy Food Storage offers the most affordable solution to shelf life food. Many companies out there will rip you off your money, but Legacy is on the lower cost as far as food storage is concerned. The foods are packed in sealed Mylar pouches, which contain oxygen absorber and are flushed with nitrogen. This helps to preserve flavor and nutritional value up to 25 years. Food packaging is done with great concern. The pouches are easy to carry and weigh 40 pounds less making it convenient to grab one during a crisis situation.

Uncomplicated meal preparation

Emergencies require immediate action. This also applies when making meals. The preparation steps should be understandable and quick and this is one of the features of Legacy meals. Every food pouch comes with its own instructions to guide you on making a delicious meal. The amount of water and time need to prepare the food varies with each meal. Preparation is very easy. All you are required to do is empty the ingredients of the pouch into the cooking pot after the water has boiled. Then stir for the suggested time and allow the food to cool, then feel free to enjoy your meal.

Though a large percentage of people buy storage food for emergency purposes, others choose it for its outstanding taste and simplicity. Legacy Food Storage can be ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking as well as everyday use. Whichever way you prefer to use it, you can have confidence that your family is protected against food emergencies.

Posted By Ronald K. Darnell

Easy To Prepare Dried Food Recipe

Some people are switching to eating dried fruits and vegetables due to the fact that when the water is removed the fruits and vegetables are able to retain more nutrients.

The antioxidants that were originally in fruits like cranberries, grapes and plums are better preserved when compared to fresh fruits that are eaten directly.

Because of this the dried fruit and vegetable diet has emerged, and people are exploring new ways to enjoy this newly found eating habit.

Here is some dried food recipe to explore:

1. Beef stew

The ingredients for this dish will include:

 cup of dehydrated sliced tomatoes
 dehydrated carrots
 cup of dehydrated onion
2 slices of dried garlic that is crumbled
3 tablespoons of dehydrated celery
1 lb. of fresh stewing beef

Add:

3 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoons of plain flour and then mix it with cold water (1/4).

Seasonings:

Dried Italian herbs for additional taste (at least 1.2 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce
Additional tomato paste could also be added as well as tomato ketchup
Add pepper and salt for added taste

Instructions:

Make use of a Slow Cooker:

1. Place all the dehydrated ingredients and seasonings in the crock-pot.
2. Make 3 cups of beef stock in a large container; add the Worcestershire Sauce, the tomato paste, the ketchup and then stir to dissolve.
3. Using another jug, put ¼ cup of cold water, then add the flour. Stir the ingredients well and the place the beef stock with the ketchup mix. Combine all of the ingredients by stirring them.
4. Add the stock mix in the slow cooker, but make sure to wait for a few seconds before doing so to avoid shocking the crock pot.
5. Include the stewing beef, then then mix them all, after that cover the crock pot lid.
6. After than turn the slow cooker and heat the ingredient for 4-6 hours.

Make sure to prepare enough stock, so that the crock pot will not dry out during the cooking process.

2. Carrot Soup:

Ingredients:

2 cups of dehydrated carrots
2 tablespoons of olive oil
¼ cup of dehydrated onion
2 slices of garlic
1 teaspoon or dried oregano
Add 2 cups of vegetable stock
Salt and pepper for added taste
 cup of fresh orange juice

Instructions:

1. The first step is to rehydrate the dehydrated carrots, onions, as well as the garlic using cold or freshly boiled water.
2. Using a heavy pan add olive oil and put medium heat.
3. After that add the onions, make sure to cook it until it gets soft for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the oregano and cook for a few minutes more.
4. Place the vegetable stock and then bring it to a boil.
5. Allow to simmer for at least 10 minutes until onions and carrots are fully cooked.
6. Put the orange juice and continue to stir.
7. With the help of a blender, mixed the ingredients in small batches. Make sure to allow air to escape during the process using a little hole in the lid to avoid any explosion problems.

These dried food recipes are guaranteed to be a hit with anyone even those who are not fond of eating dried food diet. For more information on dried food recipes, you can visit this page.

Posted By Ronald K. Darnell

Exploring The Methods Of Drying Fish And The Advantages Of Drying

Fish being an extremely perishable food is often preserved if it to be used in the future. These are several ways of preserving fish, but all these methods aim at extending the shelf life of this popular food. One of the most popular preservation methods is drying.

Generally, fish drying refers to the removal of water from fish. Although the term “fish drying” is often used to mean drying by evaporation, there are several other ways of removing water from fish. For example, if you salt fish or apply pressure on fish, the water in these fish will drain out. Removal of water acts to stop or slow down microbial or autolytic activity making it possible to store fish for a long time.
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Several factors will determine the speed at which the fish dries. These include;

• Relative humidity – fish will dry faster in air that has little moisture content
• Air velocity – the faster the rate of air movement over the fish, the faster the fish will dry
• Air temperature – on a hotter day or in a warmer environment, the rate of evaporation is high resulting in a faster drying rate
• Surface area – the smaller the surface area, the faster fish dries.

Drying methods

As already mentioned, fish can be dried in several ways;

• Natural drying

This is when the energy of the wind and the sun are used in the entire process of drying. Several factors will determine the quality of the dried fish and how fast it takes to completely dry. Since air movement close to the ground is not very good, the fish should be raised to some level above the ground for faster drying. Most driers use raised slatted or mesh racks.

• Mechanical driers

Several types of mechanical driers exist which can be used in fish drying. The fish are dried in fan driven air streams. Usually this air is heated and may in some cases be re-circulated to improve relative humidity.

• Freeze drying

Here fish is placed in a vacuum and moisture loss is achieved due to the transfer of heat energy. Fish will start to dry as its moisture content approaches 15 percent. Even if the fish were allowed to freeze during drying, they would not shrink. Actually they would dry with a porous structure.

• Solar drying

One of the oldest methods of drying fish, solar drying involves the use of the sun’s energy to evaporate the water in fish. There are two ways of concentrating the suns energy on the fish;

a. Using parabolic reflectors
b. Using absorption units

Advantages of drying fish

There are several advantages of drying fish. These include;

• Dried fish are able to remain stable at the most ambient temperatures.
• Drying is a low cost way of preserving fish.
• Dried fish is highly concentrated in fish nutrients compared to fish preserved using other methods.
• Reduced water content means that there is less microbial action reducing fish spoilage.

Dried fish is highly nutritious and is available in major food stores. When buying, be careful about expiry dates and additives. Dried fish is eaten just like most other fish; either made into stew or eaten in their dry form…just make sure it gets to the stomach.