Freeze Dried vs. Dehydrated Backpacking Meals and Ingredients

Freeze-dried Berries from Harmony House make a great addition to one-pot backpacking mealsFreeze-dried Berries from Harmony House make a great addition to one-pot backpacking meals freeze-dry or dehydrated ? That is the interrogate. When making your own backpack meals, is it nobler to buy freeze-dried ingredients or dehydrate them yourself in a food dehydrator ? I think it very comes down to how you want to spend your time and how complicated your meals are. I spent one winter dehydrating fruit and big pots of food in club to make home-cooked backpack meals. It never tasted the same when rehydrated in deep-freeze bags and required an enormous time investment which I found burdensome. ( My wife besides hated the fact that I took over “ her ” kitchen. ) I soon switched back to buying commercial one-pot backpack meals and promptly cook grains and pastas, adding freeze-dried ingredients to them in order to enhance their taste and nutritional value. I ’ ve since found that freeze-dry food ( particularly Harmony House Freeze Dried Berries ) is a draw more convenient to store and use for backpacking than dehydrate ingredients, since they have a much longer shelf-life and reconstitute more easily when added to water. But both types of food are good for different purposes and it ’ s utilitarian to understand the pros and cons of each .

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What’s the difference between Freeze-Dried Food and Dehydrated Food?

freeze-dry removes 98 % of the water in foods while dehydration removes about 80 % giving freeze-dry products a much longer shelf-life. lyophilized food is flash frozen and then exposed to a vacuum, which causes all the water in it to vaporize. This requires expensive equipment and international relations and security network ’ t something you can do at home, but it makes it potential to store freeze-dry foods for 20 to 30 years, compared to dehydrated ones, which typically last one to five years.

But the biggest difference between lyophilized and dehydrated foods is nutritional. freeze-dry foods retain all of taste, smell, texture, and nutritional rate they has in their original form before the freeze-drying serve. Dehydrated foods lose about 50 % of their nutritional value because they ’ re subject to heat during the dry procedure and can become reasonably chewier, since the heating system process “ cooks ” them over a long period of clock time as they dry. freeze-dry foods besides rehydrate more cursorily, normally in 5 minutes or less ( dry berries, about immediately ), in hot or cold water. Dehydrated foods normally take 10-20 minutes to rehydrate, provided you use boiling urine, requiring a longer wait and more stove fuel, which are both anathemas for backpackers !

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Sweet potato bark being dehydrated

Mix and Match

I don ’ metric ton dehydrate my own meals anymore, but I still eat commercial dehydrated packing meals ( chiefly dinners ) made by Outdoor Herbivore because they taste estimable and are easy to prepare, even though I ’ m not a vegetarian. If you have the ability to make meals that taste angstrom good as theirs, more baron to you. But dehydrating and making my own dinners at family before each trip is not how I want to spend my free meter. Being dehydrated, they do go off after about two years though, so I make a target to eat them all up in the calendar class that I buy them.

I still pack up my own ingredients on trips, but chiefly as additives to the one toilet breakfasts and some dinners I make myself, based around quick cook grains and pasta like wheat cereal, oatmeal, ramen noodles, and angel hair spaghetti. But I ’ ve switched to freeze-dry ingredients out of appliance because they last long without requiring refrigeration or going badly in our pantry if they ’ ra not used promptly. I actually hate throwing out food that ’ s expired and hasn ’ t been eat, so the longer it can be stored and remain fresh, the better. disclosure : The generator has received samples from Outdoor Herbivore and Harmony House Foods previously, but is besides a very happy repeat customer of both brands.
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