Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dehydrating Foods for Survival in a Zombie Apocalypse

Ronco  5-Tray Electric Food Dehydrator

Dehydrating Rhubarb
Dehydrating fruits and vegetables is a great way to store nutritious foods for a Zombie Apocalypse. It's cheap and it's easy. You can buy a dehydrator for anywhere from $30.00 to $300.00. Yes the more expensive ones are faster and more efficient. But the cheaper ones work fine. We have both.

You can also use your oven as long as you can set it to 125'. Some ovens won't set that low. Ours has a special dehydrator setting. We bought mesh to cover the oven racks so the fruit and vegetable pieces don't fall through.

We use ours to dehydrate rhubarb, lemons, celery, potatoes, yams, mushrooms, cabbage, bananas, apples, zucchini and more. We pick fresh from the garden. We buy bruised fruit on sale. We dehydrate leftovers that were sure to be tossed or fed to our pigs.

Cut the Rhubarb
To dehydrate you need a sharp knife. There's other things you can use such as a shredder for cabbage, or a saline solution to stop apples turing brown but you don't have to have them! Just thinly slice your fruit or vegetable, put it on the trays, turn the dehydrator on to the correct temperature (usually 125-135' for fruit or vegetables) and let it go for 8 to 12 hours.

Check on the food after about 8 hours to be sure it's not over-drying. When it's hard or leathery, let it sit for a few minutes to cool then store in a clean glass jar. You don't have to buy fancy mason jars, just save and wash your jam jars, salsa jars, spaghetti sauce jars - whatever you have on hand.

Dehydrating foods to store for emergency situations is a space saver. Recently my wife took 10 cups of fresh rhubarb and dehydrated it. She ended up with 2 cups of dried rhubarb.

Label your jar with the name of what's inside, the date (we use month and year) and if you remember, the amount of fresh you started with. When you're ready to use the dried food, you will need to find out whether you leave overnight in water to rehydrate or toss it in as is and cook as dried or eat right from the jar.

Dried rhubarb for example rehydrates well if put in pan of water (you don't need much, just barely cover the dried fruit) and leave overnight.  When we do apples we sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on some so we can eat them as a treat. Experiment. Remember to try things out now so that when the Zombie Apocalypse hits you aren't left wondering what the heck you do with the stuff you prepped and stored beforehand.

Excalibur 3900 Deluxe Series 9 Tray Food Dehydrator - Black Here's the big 9-tray food dehydrator we use. It works great. It gives efficient all-round drying as there is a fan inside that circulates the hot air.

You don't get even drying in the cheaper dehydrators but we have one of those too. All my wife does is rotate the trays every few hours.

Caveat: I use the words Zombie Apocalypse tongue-in-cheek. It's a way of making us all sit up and take notice of what's going on in the world. Hopefully it will encourage you to get started on your Emergency Food Preparation and Survival Plan

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