The most vexing impediment to keeping food for years is food expiration. Dehydration, on the other hand, allows any food category to be dehydrated and utilized for years without altering its nutritional value or taste.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common dehydrated food shelf life to see if these goods should be on your shopping list.
Dehydrated Food Shelf Life
Potato – 20 Years
We recommend putting potatoes on the top counter of your survivalist pantry to extend their shelf life.
The positioning will keep them dry, and the continual fluctuation in temperature as you replenish and reload will not harm or spoil them.
Dehydrate them as much as possible; even a small amount of water in them might produce mold, defeating the point of keeping them.
Blanch them first before dehydrating; if you ignore this step, they will turn brown/black even after dehydrating. They don’t appear to be at all appetizing.
A robust potato side dish is a must-have for any meal. Fortunately, dehydrating them isn’t as difficult as digesting the potatoes’ carbohydrates!
These potatoes have a 20-year shelf life, making them ideal for long-term preservation. These potatoes can be dehydrated as a powder, chips, or grated Julian. With a little water and butter, the potato powder would immediately rehydrate.
Even if you’re surviving, you can make mashed potatoes with these three components; you can keep your breakfast hashbrowns ritual going by simply soaking them in water and frying them as usual.
Don’t worry; your everyday au gratin or scalloped potato casseroles will taste exactly the same.
Apples – 20 Years
You should keep the moisture content around 20% to extend the shelf life. There’s a good likelihood that moisture will pool in one area of the apple slice; this can be avoided by treating the fruit.
Once the fruit has cooled, place the slices in a Ziploc bag, making sure not to overcrowd them; if you have a huge lot to deal with, use several bags. Allow a week for this Ziploc bag to sit on your counter.
The driest piece would benefit from this approach because it would soak up the excess moisture and equalize the water ratio. If there is still a lot of dampness after a week, put them in the dehydrator again and let them crisp. This method will unquestionably extend the shelf life of your apples.
To conserve the colour of apple slices, spritz with a little lemon juice; if you want to make a powder, keep the pieces as thin as possible.
Thin slices can speed up the dehydration process; you can then ground the powder and use it to flavour ice cream or yoghurt as a quick snack.
If you want to save these potatoes for a delicious cobbler pie, chop them slightly thicker than you normally would.
Jerky Meats – 1 Year
If you keep beef jerky in a Ziploc bag, it will stay edible and good for 10-12 days.
If you wish to keep it for another 5-6 months, invest in vacuum-sealed bags to extend the shelf life.
Making homemade jerky is far easier and less expensive than buying a pack of store-bought jerky. Your jerky will be incredibly nutritious and free of preservatives after dehydrating it.
The perfect beef jerky should bend slightly before breaking into pieces; if it just breaks into chips, the jerky has been over-dehydrated. Always select a lean cut of meat; the less fat in your jerky, the better it will dehydrate and keep for a long time.
Top and bottom round roasts, flank steak, sirloin tip, and eye of round roast are some of the best meats to dehydrate.
Milk – 15-20 Years
If you want to store your milk powder for longer than ten years, avoid using ordinary milk and instead use skimmed milk. Because of its lower fat content, skimmed milk has a longer shelf life.
To ensure that your milk powder stays fresh for as long as possible, store it in an airtight container. When utilising the powder, avoid using a wet scoop or spoon. The wet spoon can quickly saturate the milk, causing mould to form within days.
We apologise in advance for the difficulty of dehydrating milk; nonetheless, the end product is well worth the effort.
Milk is the easiest and most straightforward dehydrated meal to rehydrate. To turn the mixture into milk, you add water and whisk it.
Strawberries – 10-15 Years
After your initial dehydration cycle, condition your strawberries as soon as possible.
Conditioning will remove any moisture, allowing them to last for years. To begin and aid the conditioning process, keep shaking the Ziploc bag.
The strawberries should be chopped and sliced to the same thickness, or they will not dry uniformly. 18 to 14 inch pieces would be perfect since they would dehydrate uniformly.
Because drying strawberries is rather simple, you can try dehydrating them in the microwave or oven as well. If you’re on the fence about buying a dehydrator, start with microwaving.
These strawberries would be quite sweet, and you could skip dessert altogether for a healthier option.
Eggs – 5-10 Years
Many people dehydrate their eggs at 140° F, however this temperature does not destroy salmonella, and the repercussions of the temperature must be considered.
Because of the microorganisms, dehydrating your eggs at a lower temperature will cause them to spoil much faster. According to USDA research, they must be kept at a temperature of at least 160° F to be safe. To be extra safe, we recommend going to 165° F for 10 hours.
Although dried eggs may not seem delicious, extreme survivors and preppers keep them in their larder for their nutritional value.
You can use it to make a steaming bowl of scrambled eggs or a French omelette, or you can bake or cook with it. The eggs should look like thin crunchy crackles after combining and dehydrating them; combine and store the powder in sealed containers.
Brown Sugar – Forever
If you don’t store your dried sugar properly, it will go bad quickly. Keep the brown sugar in a sealed five-gallon bucket deep where there is no light for it to remain eternally or for a few years.
You can separate smaller quantities and store them in sealed containers for immediate use.
Brown sugar can be used in practically any dessert. It’s healthier than conventional white cane sugar and gives your foods a rich flavour.
Brown sugar gels well with desserts, so you can use it to make bread, croissants, and a variety of desserts. Just test it first and break out any clumps before using it.
Banana – 20 Years
To keep the colour and composition of your banana slices while they dehydrate, soak them in ascorbic acid.
To extend the shelf life of these chips, store them carefully in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers.
To get the most shelf life out of your chips, make sure they’re completely dry. Some consumers prefer chewy chips, therefore the final shelf life would be reduced to 5 years.
These chips are high in nutrients and go great with a bowl of cereal or simply as a snack. The final chip will be sweeter to taste if you use fully ripe bananas.
Pinto Beans – 25 Years
One of the best things about pinto beans is how well they keep their freshness without requiring any work. They can be stored in Mylar bags and are good for more than a quarter-century of use.
If you want to use these beans as a taco topper, give them some time to rehydrate. If you’re making chilli, you can put them in a pot with some water and spices and cook them alongside the rest of the ingredients.
Beans will undoubtedly provide you with a hassle-free option while also ensuring that your dinner is healthful.
Carrots – 20 Years
To remove bacteria and clean your carrots, we recommend using the Fit Organic Produce Wash or a 50/50 mixture of clean and vinegar.
Ziplock bags are an excellent way to keep carrots. You may fill a five-gallon sealable tub with numerous Ziploc bags of different vegetables. Your dehydrated carrots will last more than 20 years if you use this approach.
Before dehydrating the carrots, blanch or steam them. Blanching is a method of cooking vegetables that are not eaten raw. This technique also makes it simpler to rehydrate after being dehydrated.
Cut tiny dices and soak them in boiling water for 5-6 minutes to rehydrate. These carrots can be used in soups, salads, or as a quick healthy snack.
Salsa – 1 Year
Because plastic containers absorb the flavour and aromas over time, you should store this tomato salsa leather in a glass jar. Putting these pieces in a well-sealed glass jar would extend the shelf life significantly.
When you’re trekking or heading outside, you can put these in easy-to-carry plastic bags.
To enhance the flavour of this sauce, a splash of olive oil can be added. You can’t dehydrate all kinds of sauces, such as three-cheese or vodka sauces, because they include a lot of lipids that won’t dehydrate correctly and can only be used for a short time.
Your dry paste should resemble leather, and you should be able to prepare tomato sauce for your spaghetti and pasta by adding water to it.
Yogurt – 2 Years
By storing the powder in a sealed glass container with no light and oxygen, you can extend the shelf life of your yoghurt. We don’t recommend frequently opening the yoghurt powder container because the moisture in the air can quickly absorb into the powder.
If you want to make no-cook breakfasts, this yoghurt is a great starting point. To make a healthy supper, combine this with freeze-dried fruits and cereals.
This yoghurt powder will have a sour taste and a little gritty consistency, but this will only be noticeable when eating the yoghurt alone. When combined with granola and fruits, its flaws are almost unnoticeable.
Bottom Line Dehydrating Popular Foods
These are some of the most common dehydrated foods that you can attempt and increase the shelf life of by following our instructions.
Before we go any further, we strongly advise against dehydrating butter, avocado, or olives. They have a lot of oil that doesn’t dehydrate well, and butter causes Botulism, a deadly poisoning that can cause paralysis.
Non-lean meats should be avoided; instead, focus on lean beef for a product with a longer shelf life.