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Can you use pre made mixes for long term storage if I put it in individual jars with oxy absorbers? The spice mix that comes with pre packaged mixes like the boxed dinners or potatoes, should it be opened and poured in jar or left in its original package?
Any foods that are already packaged and have printed 'use-by' dates on them don't need vacuum sealing with an oxypack, and their expiration dates are what I'd follow. Certain pre-packaged food mixes may already have chemicals in them to act as preservatives, so I personally would not open up packets to save in jars.
Having said that, I have opened up bags of sugar, salt, and flour and have vacuum packed those with an oxy-pack thrown in ... these items I chose to vacuum pack to keep any rain water away, as I live in Florida and have been through a few (wet!) hurricanes!
Our site is really trying to focus on fresh produce and how to dehydrate it and store it ... and my aim personally is to start growing my own fruit and vegetables in the very near future.
There is nothing wrong with storing some boxed foods, just remember to keep rotating your stock!
Although I've been looking around I have not had any luck finding any reference to dehydrating cooked pasta. By that I mean in certain emergency situations wouldn't food prep be faster and use less water if pasta (noodles, spaghetti, etc.) were also cooked, then dehydrated and packaged for long term storage? "Instant" rice comes to mind as an example of a product already on store shelves (albeit they're in short term packaging). Any prohibitions to adding pasta products? Any special considerations in preparing/packaging/storing?
Today I cooked my 'previously-cooked-and-dehydrated al-dente pasta' and it took just about the same amount of cooking time in boiling water ... so unfortunately, I can't see any benefit to dehydrating cooked pasta to save energy resources, sadly! Update: read about Lori's way to save water usage when preparing pasta.
I'd like to see recipes where every ingredient is in a dehydrated state. So I could take things camping and measure out say, a Tbsp of this and a 1/4 c of that.
I'm also interested in dehydrating leftovers. I've tried casseroles and soups and some ham but I got freaked out about invisible bad things on meat and threw the ham away ... don't ask! LOL!
I hear ya! It would be great if all the ingredients were dehydrated ... it'd be like opening a packet of soup mix, I guess – just add water! If it were only that easy though! :-)
Our site is trying to focus more on dehydrating fresh produce – hence veggies and fruit being listed as the only dehydrated items.
We're also focused on having a 'stockpile' of goods should something 'bad' happen, so that's why the 'wall of dehydrated food' was created, along with canned meats, vegetables, powdered milk – we even have powdered eggs, from Honeyville Farms.
Regarding dehydrating leftovers: If it's been completely cooked through the first time around (that's a must, no rare meat!!!), try dehydrating a portion yourself, then vacuum bag it, and store it for a week. Open it up, rehydrate it, and then please write back and let us know your findings.
Actually, I did something very similar with my dog's homemade food; I made it as I normally would, then I dehydrated it so they felt/looked like dry cookies, then vacuum packed it, and put it away for a couple of weeks. I then retrieved the package, added water to rehydrate it, and I was very pleasantly surprised at how it resembled the original meal before dehydrating it! Click here, then scroll to bottom of page!
When drying plums, what does "pop the back" mean?
Popping the back of the plums is simply this: When the plum is cut in half (and the pit removed), simply use your thumbs to turn the half "inside out" so the flesh is on the outside.
Do you know how to dehydrate grated Cheddar Cheese? If so can you put the directions online? Thank you so much.
Have a laugh at this: I had some grated cheese and decided to
vacuum pack it (no dehydrating, just vacuumed it!) and the suction from
the vacuum sealer squashed all the cheese together in one clump! Ugh!
Yes you can dehydrate grated/shredded cheese, use the fruit-roll sheets to prevent it dropping through the tray. You can buy dehydrated cheese (as in a powdered cheese sauce) at Honeyville Farms.
Do you have any pointers on dehydrating green peas? My first batch of frozen peas don’t want to re-hydrate; they have a small hard solid pit in the center. I dehydrated them at 130°F for about 10 hrs in an Excalibur with temp control and timer. They seemed a little rubbery at 8 hours so I added two more hours. Thanks for any input – Steve
Steve and I came to the conclusion that he may need to cook the peas longer after re-hydrating – and Steve says he adds his peas to soups – and his favorite: yellow rice! He adds the peas about ten minutes before the rice is done.
And when Steve doesn't have much time for lunch at work, he makes
a mix of dehydrated spinach, peas, celery, mushrooms and corn – puts it
into a Ball® canning jar with an oxygen absorber in it – and adds it to
ramen soups for lunch when he doesn't have time for anything else. "At
least I will get some nutritional value from the dehydrated veggies"
"I add the veggies at the start and let it sit for 5 minutes after
cooking." Great idea Steve! And thanks for writing in.