Dehydrating your own food is a great way to save money, preserve produce and enjoy food in a new way. By removing moisture from your food you can greatly expand its lifetime, remove opportunity for bacteria to attack and stave off natural decay. Plus, dehydrated food is perfect for camping and backpacking. Your food will be more lightweight and better for snacking. While there are many methods to dry food, the variety of foods remains much the same, providing a number of excellent food options for dehydration.
A wide variety of fruits are enjoyable when dried. Drying fruit can concentrate the sugars, leading to new and unexpected flavors. Particularly tasty dehydrated fruits are apples, bananas, strawberries, apricots and pineapple.
Lean meats are perfect for drying. Popular with hikers for their portable protein and inability to spoil, dried meats, often called jerky, can make a more salty and chewy experience. Excellent meats for drying include fish, beef, chicken and venison.
Chili peppers are popular for drying, especially for fans of spicy foods. Drying peppers concentrates the capsaicin, the chemical that produces spiciness, making your peppers even spicier. Peppers have the additional advantage of being easily dried. All it takes is patience, since peppers can be dried by hanging them in bunches for a few years.
Dried herbs are a wonderful way to add flavor to any dish, and drying herbs can be a great way to save money since they are often expensive when purchased in stores. Perfect for camping, dried herbs are easily carried and well-suited for normally bland camp food. Herbs suitable for drying include dill, rosemary, oregano and thyme.