- Fresh Produce
- Plastic Wrap
- Construction Paper (optional)
- Mylar Bags (optional)
- Oxygen Absorbers (optional)
I think we can all agree that the person who gets the most loves, kisses and attention in the family, is the most neglected when it comes to emergency preparation. This being baby.
A few weeks ago my sister was preparing her family’s bug out bags and as she was putting her 9 month old’s materials together she discovered how ridiculously heavy it was to carry over 12 of the baby food jars, formula, and cereal.
So instead of hauling around the extra weight, we decided to throw together some dehydrated baby food. This is such an easy process and is beneficial in so many ways. A couple of benefits:
- 3-5 Times the Shelf Life of Store Bought Baby Food
- Affordable – This benefit is particularly helpful to those preppers that are on food stamps. Just because you have food stamps doesn’t mean you can’t have long-term food storage solutions. You can buy the produce with the food stamps and just make your own dehydrated foods.
You’ll need a large amount of whatever produce you plan on making into baby food. In addition to the food, you’re also going to need a blender, dehydrator, plastic wrap and possibly some construction paper depending on the size of the spaces in your rack. For storing the baby food after it’s dehydrated I recommend you having small mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.
Step One: Prepare the Raw Food
In this tutorial I used carrots. So in preparation for dehydration I rinsed, peeled and halved them.
Step Two: Cook If Necessary
With most vegetables you’re going to want to either boil or steam them until they’re nice and tender. Many fruits won’t require this step.
Step Three: Blend
Blend your food to a puree. You can add a little water to the blender to give it a smooth consistency and make it stretch a little farther.
Step Four: Prepare Your Dehydrator
Prepare your dehydrating rack by place one drip of plastic wrap directly down the center. If your rack has larger spaces (like mine), you’ll want to line it with a couple pieces of construction paper to keep the puree from weighing down the plastic and sinking through the tray.
TIP: Remember, you want as much air circulation around your food as possible. So if you have quite a bit of puree, instead of completely covering a single tray, do a single strip of puree on multiple racks.
Step Five: Smooth Out Puree & Dehydrate
Smooth the food evenly on the rack. Make sure to leave some allowance around your edges so the food doesn’t fall off the rack. Then place your racks in the dehydrator. Every dehydrator is different and will require slight variations in cook time and temperature. I set mine to 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 13 hours.
Step Six: Break and Blend
When your food is fully dehydrated it will easily break apart into chips. Break up your dehydrated puree and place them in a dry blender. Grind them into a fine powder.
Step Seven: Store It
My recommendation for storing your dehydrated baby food is to get some mylar bags and seal it in them with an oxygen absorber. If stored appropriately these will keep for roughly 7-10 years.
Don’t be alarmed at how little one batch will make. My huge bag of carrots barely fills a quarter sandwich bag. However, keep in mind that this will expand when reconstituted and will be much easier to carry around than a small ton of Gerber jars.