One of my good friends, Lauryn, is leaving in less than two weeks for an EPIC adventure.
I do not use that word lightly.
A Grand Adventure
She's going to hike her way up the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which is a 2,663-mile trail that runs along the western edge of the United States from the Mexican border up through California, Oregon, and Washington until it reaches Canada.
Back in spring 2012, she hiked the Appalachian Trail (2,200 miles), which I mentioned briefly in my roasted purple cauliflower post (please forgive the pictures, it was one of the first I ever posted here on the blog).
And Lauryn didn't just plop down in the middle and head north through the easy parts. She's what the other hikers call a "thru hiker". This means you start at the beginning of the trail and do the whole thing.
Like a total badass.
The Necessity of Dehydrated Foods
For the duration of Lauryn's hike, my little sister will be one of her "bases" and send her packages to designated points with dehydrated food. These will be essential as she can only carry so much with her at any given point in her pack.
I remember on the last go around she got so tired of eating lentils, oatmeal, and ramen that she couldn't imagine ever noshing on them again. This time, she wants more diversity, along with nourishment.
So to help Lauryn and my sister come up with recipe ideas before and during the hike, I'm creating this round-up of dehydrated food recipes.
Benefits of a dehydrator:
- excellent for preserving foods at a low enough temperature that it doesn't kill off all the beneficial enzymes and nutrients
- lets you know exactly what's in your food (because you're making it yourself)
- great way to prevent produce waste, especially if you grow your own food or aren't eating what's in your fridge and pantry fast enough
- lets you take advantages of sales and in-season produce, where buying in bulk is ideal (like fresh fruits, herbs, and veggies)
- it's usually half the price (and much fresher) to dry foods yourself, especially in the case of herbs and spices, so you will save lots of money in the long run
Don't own a dehydrator?
Oftentimes you can use your oven on it's lowest setting (mine only goes to 170 degrees), but if you want to preserve live enzymes, a dehydrator is a must. Even if it's a little, inexpensive one (like this).
So far I've used my oven to make homemade beef jerky (for holiday gifts), almond pulp and coconut flour, but I want a dehydrator so I can make soaked or sprouted granola bars.
Here are a few dehydrators on Amazon that have received positive ratings:
Homemade Spicy Black Pepper Beef Jerky (Oven-Dried) by The Rising Spoon
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