Today eating healthy has become almost a religion. We love our food and we want it to be tasty as well as super healthy. Nutrition used to be something that only food nuts paid attention to, today we all count calories and pay attention to fat and salt content. Nowhere is this more important then in our snack food, and that may be why that old hikers standby beef jerky is making such a comeback. But it can’t be just any kind of jerky, if you want to keep that healthy standard.
To be certain that the beef jerky you are tucking into as a power snack isn’t loaded with tons of salt or unhealthy preservatives and chemicals, you need to pay attention to its origins. Just like in the superhero comics, the origin story of your new favorite snack has a moral, and it usually has to do with why it is healthy. Let’s look at two ways you can find healthy beef jerky that will also be tasty enough to share around.
Finding Beef Jerky Online
Since this is the digital age, the first place most of us will begin to look for good healthy beef jerky has to be online. While it is true that today you can find just about anything on the net, not all beef jerky vendors are created equal. When you start that search for beef jerky online, make sure that you include the words “low salt” or “healthy” when you begin to check out the options laid out for you.
Small batch jerky that is sold through local health food retailers are probably your best bet. Many of these will have limited online presence, but they might be represented by the gyms and health food stores in their area. Be sure to check the ingredients before buying to ensure that the beef jerky you buy doesn’t have extra ingredients that you won’t need. But if you have the time and inclination, the best way to get great tasting beef jerky that is also low in fat, salt and chemicals is to make it yourself. Believe it or not, it isn’t that complicated.
Homemade Beef Jerky
Making your own beef jerky right in your own kitchen may sound a little too Swiss Family Robinson for you, but you shouldn’t be intimidated by the idea. This doesn’t take any special tools and you don’t have to have extensive knowledge about cooking or dehydrating to do it. In fact, you don’t even need one of those funny looking food dehydrators. All you need is a decent cut of meat such as a brisket, a knife that is sharp enough to cut meat and a decent oven. If you let the meat freeze for about an hour before you cut it, the job will be easier. Just slice up your strips, cutting against the grain, and marinade overnight in your favorite simple marinade.
Then arrange the strips on the racks of your oven, maybe putting some foil underneath to cut on the cleaning after. Set you oven to the lowest setting it can be, put a wooden spoon in the door to keep the oven door open and create good air circulation, and let the meat slowly dry in the oven for three or four hours. The end result is your own tasty and homemade beef jerky that you can brag about at the next camping trip.