Freeze dried foods

Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
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hanhan
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Freeze dried foods

Post by hanhan » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:39 pm

Hi all,

I take a layered approach with most of my resilience building activities so when it comes to food I go with the following:
1) Fresh (stuff in the fridge)
2) Frozen
3) Tins and packets
4) Dried (rice, beans, lentils etc)
5) Freeze dried (long term)

Of course all of these have their advantages and disadvantages but my thinking is that if you cover all bases it should iron out the weaknesses and provide decent protection.

The main freeze dried stuff in the UK seems to be Fuel your Prep AKA (Summit to eat) but I have recently seen a new one on the market called 'Convar' which I believe is of European origin. Has anyone tried it? It seems to be a bit cheaper and easier to get but was wondering if anyone else knows anything about it or has an opinion on it?

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hobo
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Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by hobo » Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:50 pm

Looked at Convar but think I’ll stick to dried in Mylar. Their ready meals don’t look all that healthy…
Don’t forget No. 6 on your list - grow your own!

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jennyjj01
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Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by jennyjj01 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:38 pm

hanhan wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:39 pm
Hi all,

I take a layered approach with most of my resilience building activities so when it comes to food I go with the following:
1) Fresh (stuff in the fridge)
2) Frozen
3) Tins and packets
4) Dried (rice, beans, lentils etc)
5) Freeze dried (long term)

Of course all of these have their advantages and disadvantages but my thinking is that if you cover all bases it should iron out the weaknesses and provide decent protection.
Can't help you on the Freeze dried, but I'd like to suggest (#6) that you embrace some home preservation such as growing & dehydrating or vac packing. I've only recently taken to growing, but it's a handy skill to develop, just to be self sufficient in onions and garlic is nice and then having enough to (#7) trade with a neighbour for a few damsons or courgettes.
Having the wherewithal to make wine, beer and bread is another treasure, giving something else to trade in hard times
Also, (#8) think about constantly dipping in and using and rotating those stocks. It's good practice to occasionally cook those beans and dried stuff and tins. Adapt your diet now while it's still fun. Keep the family on board too, as I discovered quite late.
(#9) Next stop, learn to catch and kill something. I'm not there yet, but some here have that sorted.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

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jansman
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Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by jansman » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:46 am

There’s #10 too. Livestock. I keep poultry ,and rabbits on and off. In fact today ,when Mrs J is ready,we are off out for the day. On the way back I am calling into a chap I know who keeps a very nice strain of dwarf netherland rabbits, and he has a nice trio for sale…

Not only is the obvious product eggs and meat ( and eggs are SUPERB trade items), but manure for my garden too.
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hanhan
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Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:16 pm

Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by hanhan » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:17 pm

jennyjj01 wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:38 pm
hanhan wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:39 pm
Hi all,

I take a layered approach with most of my resilience building activities so when it comes to food I go with the following:
1) Fresh (stuff in the fridge)
2) Frozen
3) Tins and packets
4) Dried (rice, beans, lentils etc)
5) Freeze dried (long term)

Of course all of these have their advantages and disadvantages but my thinking is that if you cover all bases it should iron out the weaknesses and provide decent protection.
Can't help you on the Freeze dried, but I'd like to suggest (#6) that you embrace some home preservation such as growing & dehydrating or vac packing. I've only recently taken to growing, but it's a handy skill to develop, just to be self sufficient in onions and garlic is nice and then having enough to (#7) trade with a neighbour for a few damsons or courgettes.
Having the wherewithal to make wine, beer and bread is another treasure, giving something else to trade in hard times
Also, (#8) think about constantly dipping in and using and rotating those stocks. It's good practice to occasionally cook those beans and dried stuff and tins. Adapt your diet now while it's still fun. Keep the family on board too, as I discovered quite late.
(#9) Next stop, learn to catch and kill something. I'm not there yet, but some here have that sorted.
Thanks, some really great ideas there. Have you got a dehydrator and if so do you think that they are worth the investment? I brought one several years ago and tried to dehydrate some bananas but they ended up rock solid and inedible! I haven't tried it again since but it is up in the attic somewhere so maybe I should dig it out again. I have grown some potatoes in bags for the past few years and they turned out really well. Much more tasty than the ones from the shop.

hanhan
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:16 pm

Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by hanhan » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:20 pm

hobo wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:50 pm
Looked at Convar but think I’ll stick to dried in Mylar. Their ready meals don’t look all that healthy…
Don’t forget No. 6 on your list - grow your own!

Yes, I had looked at the ingredients and they don't seem massively healthy. I think it is the same for most of the freeze dried stuff though. Was thinking about perhaps getting some of the freeze dried veg as they are just veg so don't have other junk in there.

hanhan
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:16 pm

Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by hanhan » Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:24 pm

jansman wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:46 am
There’s #10 too. Livestock. I keep poultry ,and rabbits on and off. In fact today ,when Mrs J is ready,we are off out for the day. On the way back I am calling into a chap I know who keeps a very nice strain of dwarf netherland rabbits, and he has a nice trio for sale…

Not only is the obvious product eggs and meat ( and eggs are SUPERB trade items), but manure for my garden too.
Chickens are great, we used to have some on an allotment when I was growing up. Loved looking after them. You have to make sure they are kept secure to prevent the foxes getting into them.

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jennyjj01
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Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by jennyjj01 » Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:07 pm

hanhan wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:17 pm
Thanks, some really great ideas there. Have you got a dehydrator and if so do you think that they are worth the investment? I brought one several years ago and tried to dehydrate some bananas but they ended up rock solid and inedible! I haven't tried it again since but it is up in the attic somewhere so maybe I should dig it out again.
I absolutely adore my dehydrator and wouldn't be without it. It pairs up with my mason jars and very cheap mason jar vacuum tools.

Yes. Bananas dry to little chunks with texture of used chewing gum from under the table :) Not the best starter, though you could go the extra mile and make banana powder.

Perfect for my beloved mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic and beetroot. Also pretty good for making snacking treats like sliced oranges or veggie crisps, or even chorizo and salami crisps to use up that expensive pack of 'continental meat slices'.

BUT, and it's a big BUT. Don't expect your dehydrates to ever gain 'structural integrity' or texture. You are preserving and concentrating flavour and vastly reducing storage space requirements. I constantly use my dried carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic as adjuncts to cook-in sauces, bologneses etc. E.g. a jar of Uncle Ben sweet and sour gets a handful of slightly rehydrated tomatoes, carrot sticks, pineapple and peppers and is much improved. Onions, garlic and mushrooms rehydrate most faithfully.... but that's not much.
If, like most of us, you waste half the fruit and veg that you buy, then this stops that dead. Yellow label veg gets snapped up and preserved. Also, if you grow anything, you can dehydrate and jar up your harvest when you have a glut.
You have to embrace the new ingredients to get the most of them. We used to keep a jar of sweets on the coffee table. Now it's a healthy jar of dried apple, orange and pear crisps. They soon get snarfed.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

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hanhan
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:16 pm

Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by hanhan » Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:00 pm

jennyjj01 wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:07 pm
hanhan wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 7:17 pm
Thanks, some really great ideas there. Have you got a dehydrator and if so do you think that they are worth the investment? I brought one several years ago and tried to dehydrate some bananas but they ended up rock solid and inedible! I haven't tried it again since but it is up in the attic somewhere so maybe I should dig it out again.
I absolutely adore my dehydrator and wouldn't be without it. It pairs up with my mason jars and very cheap mason jar vacuum tools.

Yes. Bananas dry to little chunks with texture of used chewing gum from under the table :) Not the best starter, though you could go the extra mile and make banana powder.

Perfect for my beloved mushrooms, onions, carrots, garlic and beetroot. Also pretty good for making snacking treats like sliced oranges or veggie crisps, or even chorizo and salami crisps to use up that expensive pack of 'continental meat slices'.

BUT, and it's a big BUT. Don't expect your dehydrates to ever gain 'structural integrity' or texture. You are preserving and concentrating flavour and vastly reducing storage space requirements. I constantly use my dried carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic as adjuncts to cook-in sauces, bologneses etc. E.g. a jar of Uncle Ben sweet and sour gets a handful of slightly rehydrated tomatoes, carrot sticks, pineapple and peppers and is much improved. Onions, garlic and mushrooms rehydrate most faithfully.... but that's not much.
If, like most of us, you waste half the fruit and veg that you buy, then this stops that dead. Yellow label veg gets snapped up and preserved. Also, if you grow anything, you can dehydrate and jar up your harvest when you have a glut.
You have to embrace the new ingredients to get the most of them. We used to keep a jar of sweets on the coffee table. Now it's a healthy jar of dried apple, orange and pear crisps. They soon get snarfed.
Sounds like you have got this all worked out :) Yes bananas were exactly like chewing gum! How long do you put the onions, garlic and mushrooms in for to get them to the right texture? How long do they tend to last for once they have been dehydrated before going off?

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jennyjj01
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Re: Freeze dried foods

Post by jennyjj01 » Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:17 pm

hanhan wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:00 pm
jennyjj01 wrote:
Wed Sep 22, 2021 3:07 pm
I absolutely adore my dehydrator and wouldn't be without it. It pairs up with my mason jars and very cheap mason jar vacuum tools.
Sounds like you have got this all worked out :) Yes bananas were exactly like chewing gum! How long do you put the onions, garlic and mushrooms in for to get them to the right texture? How long do they tend to last for once they have been dehydrated before going off?
It depends on how they are chopped. For mushrooms and onions I usually make 3-4mm slices. Carrots I Dice, slice or matchstick. Garlic I chop to 1mm. Onions, just chop how you would normally as size doesn't seem critical. In all cases, I give about 6 hours then inspect. If leathery, they won't keep as long. So they go back. It usually ends up between 6 and 12 hours at 55C. Once whatever it is will snap or crush, it's ready for bagging or jarring. Garlic can overcook and go brown, then get discarded. I suppose onion could over-do. $:o(
Lately I've been experimenting making veg crisps. Cucumber and beetroot sliced with a mandolin, vinegared then dried till they snap. Pop in a ziplock and salt to taste at the last minute. Hmmmmm. moreish.
Only dehydrate good stuff. If it's already deteriorated, use or compost now. That said, yellow sticker stuff can be just fine.
Honestly, my onions, carrots, garlic, chillies, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes seem to last forever. I'm still using onions from 4 years ago. I did have some leeks that spoiled and went like tobacco colour. I think they might have needed a quick blanch. I hadn;t vac sealed the jar. Bell peppers can discolour too after about 6 months. Sliced fruits get eaten far too quickly to go off.
Youtube is full of tips, including when to blanche, when to dip in lemon juice and when to just pop it in.
As I said, for items to be kept LONG term, dehydrate and then vac pack to stop spoilage. I suppose we could Freeze the vac bagged stuff for super longevity.
Graceful Degradation! Prepping's objective summed up in two words. Turning Disaster into Mild Inconvenience by the power of fore-thought

Free hug vouchers. Please take one and copy and redistribute as often as you like.
Redeemable on demand.

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