When disaster strikes, it’s best to be prepared. One of the most important things on the list of survival preparedness is food. You and your family won’t survive for long if there’s no food to be found.
Sure, there are canned foods, but those often don’t taste right, plus cans take up a lot of space. Yes, army-style food rations and freeze-dried foods, are always options, but those aren’t always the tastiest.
One of the best ways to ensure that food stays good for months or even years is to dehydrate it. Moisture is always a threat to your food’s longevity. By removing that moisture, you allow it to stay edible, potentially for years.
With a good dehydrator, you can suck the moisture out of a plethora of foods, which can then be properly packaged for long-term emergency storage. You might be wondering what kinds of food you can dehydrate for your emergency food stockpile, so let’s get to it and take a look at 50 foods to dehydrate for your stockpile.
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50+ Foods to Dehydrate for Your Stockpile
You will want to have a nutritionally balanced diet, plus some variety never hurts — you don’t want to be eating the same dehydrated foods day in and day out. Therefore, we have divided the list into various food groups to provide you with a good selection of foods for your emergency stockpile.
Meat has a lot of protein, fat, and calories that can keep your engine running for a long time. What are some of the best meats to dehydrate for long term storage?
Venison is very tasty, it dehydrates well, and it stays good for ages when dried properly. It’s more of a delicacy, but boy does it taste great!
Beef is always a staple. It can be dried into jerky for a snack or dried into chunks for making stews and other such foods.
Chicken is a little testier in terms of staying preserved for a long time, but dehydrating it will keep it good. Chicken might not be the tastiest of dehydrated meats, but if you spice it right, it can taste rather pleasant. Make sure you cook the chicken thoroughly till it reaches 165°F before you begin to dehydrate it, and then 140° when you dehydrate it in a dehydrator.
Turkey is much the same as chicken, and people often love making turkey jerky. It makes for a tasty snack and a good source of protein.
Fish is always a go-to option. Of course, not everybody likes fish, but it does dehydrate well and when done right, it will stay edible for a long time to come. Salt it, smoke it, or just dehydrate it normally.
As with venison, rabbit is a bit of a delicacy, but if you can afford it, or even better, if you can hunt your own, it makes for a good addition to any food stockpile.
Fruit is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, sugars, and more — all things you and the family will need to stay alive and in good health. What are some of the best fruits to dehydrate for your stockpile?
Eat them as is, put them in cereal, in your oatmeal, or any other such food. Strawberries are one of the best berries for dehydration.
Apples are another go-to choice for dehydration. Apples are healthy, they can be used in a variety of dishes, and they can be eaten as is.
- Paw Paw
Paw Paw is a very tasty fruit that tastes amazing when fresh and dehydrated alike. They may look like tropical fruits, but are in fact native to eastern Canada and the US.
Just like strawberries, blackberries are very easy to dehydrate, they don’t take up much space, and they can be put in oatmeal, cereal, or eaten as is.
Bananas are one of the best fruits to dehydrate. They get very sweet and tasty, and make for the perfect sugary snack with lots of potassium. Eat them as is or put them in your breakfast oatmeal.
People usually dehydrate figs anyway. In many parts of the world, figs and dried figs are major staples. They have lots of sugar, calories, and plenty of vitamins. They’re sweet and as tasty as can be.
Pears are another great fruit to dehydrate. They dry very well, they stay good for a long time, and they’re loaded with tons of vitamins.
Dried pineapple can be an acquired taste, but it is very sweet, it’s tangy, and you can use it for a variety of dishes. Try making some trail mix with dried pineapple, other fruits, and nuts too.
Dried plums always taste nice; they’re sweet, and they can also be used to make a variety of dishes. Think about mixing them with meat and rice for a full meal.
Yes, dehydrated grapes are nothing more than raisins. While not overly nutritious, they do have a lot of sugar and calories to get you through in a pinch.
Papayas are super sweet tropical fruits that make for a great snack. Not everyone likes them, but those that do like them a lot.
Just like blackberries and strawberries, blueberries are also very easy to dehydrate. They don’t take up much space, they’re loaded with antioxidants, and they make for great breakfast and snack foods.
Who doesn’t like peaches? They’re full of nutrition, they have plenty of sugar and calories, and they taste great alone or in oatmeal too.
Dried apricots are sweet, they’re tasty, and also loaded with essential nutrients that you’ll need for survival.
Dried cherries are also full of sugars and calories; they can be eaten as is, they can be put in cereal, oatmeal, trail mixes, and more. Take the pits out before dehydrating.
Dried cranberries feature a great mix of tanginess, tartness, and sweetness. They make for a refreshing snack, a good source of energy, and a good addition to any breakfast.
- Fruit Leather
You can always turn any number of fruits into a puree or smoothie and then dry them out in a thin layer to make what is known as fruit leather. You might not be able to recognize individual fruits when making a mixed fruit leather, but it’s sweet, tasty, and brimming with energy.
Vegetables are also very important to eat, not only during emergency survival situations, but in general. Vegetables contain lots of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, proteins, and sometimes a decent amount of calories. What are some of the best veggies to dehydrate for that stockpile?
Use dried celery to cook up any number of rice and pasta dishes, as well as stews. Dried celery may not taste great on its own, but it’s a staple of many dishes.
Dried onions or onion powder, while not being very nutritionally sound, do taste great. Use onion powder or dried onions to add to soups, stews, and to flavor all sorts of other dishes.
- Green Beans
Getting some greens in the mix is always a good idea. If you’re looking for some healthy food loaded with nutritional benefits, green beans are always a good way to go, plus they can be used for a variety of dishes.
Dried broccoli is not overly versatile per say, but it is healthy, and it makes a good addition to some stews and stir fries, or just as a side to meat.
Dried carrots are loaded with nutrients, they’re super healthy, they dry quite well, they stay good for a long time, and there are tons of uses for carrots.
If you are looking to make some a stew or pasta sauce, some dehydrated tomatoes can be used as your base.
Asparagus doesn’t dry that well, but well enough to stay good for quite some time. Yes, asparagus may be an acquired taste, but they are also super healthy.
Peas are extremely easy to dehydrate, to rehydrate, and you can add them to practically any dish you see fit. They’re great for soups, stews, stir fries, casseroles, and more.
Dried mushrooms aren’t going to have a whole lot of nutrients, but they can taste good and add a flavor to any dish.
Okra is as tasty as it is healthy and it can be used for a variety of dishes, although it’s probably best not to eat it as is.
Dehydrated peppers are going to stay good for a long time. The beauty here is that there are dozens of peppers you can go with; you can simply dry them for future use, or turn them into a spice powder.
Chickpeas are loaded with proteins and minerals, they’re easy to dry, they make for great hummus, and they can be added to soups as well. People even snack on spiced chickpeas.
Eggplant is another one of those acquired tastes, but if you do have the taste for it, it’s a pretty decent veggie to dry out and store.
Cucumbers have a lot of moisture, so when you dehydrate them, they really do shrink a lot, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t tasty and healthy.
Herbs can sometimes have a bit of nutrition in them, and they also make for great additions to turn boring meals into something a little tastier and more exciting. What are the best herbs to dehydrate for storage?
There’s not too much to say about these herbs. None of them are going to contain a lot of calories, sugars, proteins, vitamins, or minerals.
However, if you need to eat from your stockpile for months to come, having some herbs in there to add some variety and flavor to the mix is a good idea. Eating the same beef or chicken every day can be very boring, but if you have a variety of herbs to flavor it, you can create a near endless menu.
Dehydrating dairy is a bit tricky, but it can be done. A bit of dairy in the mix can liven things up, plus it often contains lots of calcium, other minerals, calories, proteins, and more. What kind of dairy can you dehydrate?
You’ll want to have some dehydrated or powdered milk on hand. It’s healthy and it can be used for a variety of purposes.
Try going for cheeses that are already relatively dry and non-greasy. They can make for great additions to various meals or just eaten as is.
It sounds odd, but yes, eggs can be dehydrated and then used for a variety of purposes.
Grains, Seeds, and More
To round off the list, let’s take a look at some of the other foods you can consider dehydrating for your stockpile.
- All Sorts of Seeds
You can dry pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, and all sorts of other seeds too. They all make for tasty snacks.
To make a variety of dishes and to get those carbs in you, some dehydrated pasta is always a good idea, especially to bring meals together.
Rice is a big-time staple food that can keep you going for a long time to come, so having a good amount of rice on hand is always a good idea. Of course, pre-cooked rice doesn’t have to be dehydrated.
- Barley, Oats, and More
You can dry a variety of grains as well, things like barley, oats, wheat, and more. If you plan on making bread, oatmeal, trail mix, or any other such thing, dried grains will come in handy.
There you have it — 50+ foods to dehydrate for your emergency stockpile. The one tip we have is to try and go for a good variety of foods, or else your meals are going to get real boring real quick!