There’s nothing like a day on the water: sailing, fishing or simply taking in the sea or lake on a leisurely cruise. Boating, however, has many challenges, and one of them is how to get enough nutritious food, without bringing along too many heavy cans or boxes. You want the best options in terms of weight and portability, without sacrificing flavour or nutrients, so freeze-dried food is a great solution. Here’s our guide to the best freeze-dried foods for a day on the boat, complete with tips on how to prepare and enjoy them:

Why Choose Freeze-Dried Foods for Boating?

Long Shelf-Life: Once freeze-dried, food can keep for months to years, and remains as simple to use as (almost) fresh. Your boat would always have a staple for any amount of time you wanted to keep stepped back in time.

Weight and space-savvy: Not only do these foods work well for weight saving which is important on small boats, but these foods can conserve space as well.

Nutrient-packed: the nutrients that it can carry are maintained thanks to the freeze-drying process. It keeps all the good stuff that your body needs for the boat ride.

Easy to Prepare: Most food you buy freeze-dried is ready to eat with addition of water (well, you have to carry water anyway), and some items – such as instant coffee – is not exactly cheap to make. Above all, except for cooking you can do four or five separate dinners on a Coleman stove before you run out of gas. It is especially useful when one does not have access to cooking facilities.

Best Freeze-Dried Food Ideas for a Boat Day

1. Breakfast Options

Freeze-dried fruits: Have some freeze-dried strawberries, bananas and apples with your breakfast. You can eat them straight from the packet or add them to a bowl of cereal or yoghurt.

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon: Several freeze-dried egg and bacon brands can reconstitute into a hot meal using just hot water.

2. Lunch and Dinner

Freeze-dried chili: You can rehydrate packs for a scrumptious, proper meal to carry you over between actions.

Chicken Alfredo Pasta: For gourmet dinners, try freeze-dried pasta like chicken alfredo - filling, delicious.

3. Snacks and Sides

Vegetable Chips: Freeze-dried vegetable chips made out of beets, sweet potatoes and zucchini are easy to munch on without any mess.

Frozen Treats: Not a bad workaround, but don’t freeze them! Freeze-dried cheese bites make an excellent savoury protein snack (freeze-dried food is incredibly durable, so it won’t spoil over time).

4. Desserts

Ice Cream Sandwiches: It’s true, you can eat Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches on your boat, in their freeze-dried form. And you won’t need to hose down the deck afterward.

Fruit Crisps: For something sweet, freeze-dried fruit crisps such as apple or peach crisps make for a light, healthy dessert.

Guide to Preparing and Enjoying Freeze-Dried Foods on a Boat

Water Source Having access to clean water, to reconstitute your meals is advised. You should perhaps take some extra bottled water with you, in case your boat doesn’t have a safe water source.

Insulated Containers: Buy insulated containers to keep rehydrated foods hot or cold for several hours.

Portable Cooking Gear: Most freeze-dried foods don’t need anything but water, but a portable stove extends your warm food options and makes mealtime a little more pleasant.

Storage: Store freeze-dried foods in a dry, cool place onboard to maintain their viability and to prevent spoilage.

Waste Management: Maintain garbage bags at all times and leave no trace.

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