Along with the fun packed experiences of backpacking, nutrition is equally important to keep your body healthy, strong and replaced used up nutrients. Sure, you are carrying a load of gear and your backpack and most definitely do not have space or proper environment to stuff in a 2lb beef tomahawk. This, however, does not mean that you can enjoy palate-pleasing and mouth-watering flavors.
Freeze dried foods are an excellent alternative to fresh foods in the outdoors – whether you are out backpacking, hiking or camping. The varieties of dried foods available are packed with enough calories and nutrients that you need without compromising quality. And the best part is that they survive the whole expedition.
Listed below are the 10 best freeze dried foods for backpacking in 2020. Each option outlines its unique flavors, nutrition and why they made the cut – the choice is all yours.
How To Choose Freeze Dried Food For Backpacking – Buying Guide
When choosing the best backpacking freeze dried food, shelf life is a very important feature to examine. Naturally, freeze dried foods have a longer shelf life than fresh foods. The shelf life of freeze dried foods is what makes them ideal for the outdoors and activities such as camping, hiking, backpacking, and others.
This is because they do not pose a risk of going bad no matter the environment or temperatures, unlike fresh foods. Some of the best freeze dried foods come with a shelf life of up to 25 years whilst some come with as low as 2 – 3 years. You need to understand however, storage conditions highly affect shelf lie thus, it is also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to store the foods.
Once opened, however, freeze dried foods are exposed to oxygen thus, they will only last up to a week before the accumulated moisture and bacteria damage the integrity of the food. Discard freeze dried foods 7 days after opening!
The best backpacking freeze dried foods come in different types. The type may serve as types of meals such as breakfast or lunch/ dinner. Some even bear versatility allowing them to be both snacks and as well as fulfilling meals. Additionally, they come in different meal types in terms of flavor.
You can get a balanced package based on your needs – typically, for example, a pack of strawberry granola for breakfast, chicken and rice or beef stew for lunch or dinner and dried fruits as a snack.
Typically, the best backpacking freeze dried foods come in two preparation process. The preparation is normally very easy and fast. The first one is simple, just pop open the pack and enjoy. This is typical for snacks such as dried fruit chips.
However, for most freeze dried foods, you must hydrate them. The process takes between 0 and 20 minutes for most and normally involves adding warm or hot water to the contents of the package, covering and leaving the contents to rehydrate for the set 10 to 20 minutes.
Unlike many other dried foods, freeze dried foods manage to maintain the majority of its nutrients. The best backpacking freeze dried foods are made with fresh and real ingredients. The freeze drying process is simply to dehydrate the food by removing water but retain its nutrients and flavor.
Thus, if you go for the best freeze dried food, beef stew for example, and rest assured you are eating protein-packed food. You can easily determine the nutritional value of your food and go for your preference by reading its nutritional information attached or printed on the back of the packaging.
Just like its nutritional value, freeze dried foods also retain their flavor. Some of the best freeze dried foods have enhanced flavors thanks to the process. Thus, when you re-hydrate a package of Fettuccine Alfredo, for example, you can expect to get the same authentic flavor and taste. The drawback with freeze dried food compare to fresh food is that you may not get the same authentic textures or crunchiness you get from a fresh apple or carrot on a salad for example.
Q: Is Freeze Dried Food Healthy?
Yes. Freeze dried food is very healthy. This s because the process dries food by simply removing water thus, dehydrating the food. However, taste and nutritional value such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals are always retained by the food. The process simply preserves and prolongs the food’s shelf life.
Q: How Is Freeze Dried Food Made?
The process of freeze drying food undergoes three key stages. To begin with, food is frozen. Food is then placed in a vacuum chamber under low heat. This process brings about another process called sublimation. Sublimation simply means that the vacuum chamber under the low heat makes the frozen water crystals evaporate directly from ice to water vapor.
The food is then dried again in what is known as secondary drying. The remaining water molecules in the food are removed under slightly higher temperatures. To keep it dry and not exposed to oxygen, the food is nitrogen sealed for storage.
Q: Do I Need Water To Prepare The Freeze Dried Food?
The majority of freeze dried foods require water to rehydrate them and make them ready to consume. However, they are some freeze dried foods, typically eaten as snacks such as freeze dried fruit chips that do not require water to rehydrate them. You can eat them as they are.
Q: Freeze Dried vs Dehydrated Food - What Is The Difference?
Dehydrated foods take a shorter period to process and normally involve dehydrating foods at higher temperatures whilst freeze dried foods are the opposite. Dehydrated foods are normally made as a single ingredient thus; you have to go through the process of combining with other ingredients. Furthermore, freeze-dried food is more costly than dehydrated foods and this is due to their long and expensive processing.
Freeze dried food comes packed with advantages. Compare to other dehydrated food, freeze dried foods is healthier because it manages to retain the majority of the food’s nutrients as well as taste. Freeze drying food increases the food’s shelf life relatively longer than dehydrated foods. Additionally, packaging for freeze dried food tends to be a lot more compact and lightweight, thus, making them ideal for outdoor travel and activities such as backpacking, hiking, and camping.
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The backpacking freeze dried food reviews above provide an exciting array of choices of dishes and snacks to indulge in during your next outdoor trips and activities. And just because come packed as dried foods, it doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy their bursting flavors whilst getting a refuel of nutrients and a relaxing kick of nature’s beauty.
The buying guide above also guides you on the right path to choosing the best backpacking freeze dried foods for your next indulgences. The list of the 10 best freeze dried foods above, however, is an excellent avenue to start from.