Saving Food by Freeze Drying
2-1/2 years ago, our family took the plunge and purchased a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. I wasn’t certain if the price = what we would save. Well, I can honestly save that after 2-1/2 years I LOVE my machine and I think that I have had enough time to test it. I did blow out the vacuum pump at the 2-year mark… But considering it runs 6-7 days a week, things happen. I don’t throw away any food anymore… I freeze dry all of my leftovers and sometimes make extra just to freeze-dry for future lunches for the kids or Larry. And if all of the kids are gone for the evening, rarely happens in the family, but when it does, I don’t cook meat for Larry and me, I would prefer to just rehydrate something that I have already cooked and stored.
I mainly freeze-dry ingredients, not a full meal. That is just a personal preference. I do have a case of jars that I make Larry “soup in a jar” to take to work in the wintertime. He just needs to add hot water and he has a hot and fresh-tasting meal. Chili, homemade ramen, soups like potato or chicken tortilla, etc. We also will cook 20-30 pounds of chicken breasts if I can get it on sale and run that through the machine as well and baked black beans, tomatoes, chili peppers, etc and put together a full meal for the kids in the cabinet. The medium machine can run about 10 pounds at a time and it can take up to about 48 hours total.
It is so easy for Berlyn to heat up water with my Keurig and add meat to the water to make himself a taco for lunch (or breakfast). It takes 5 minutes to rehydrate and voila! (https://krisandlarry.com/2018/11/20/using-freeze-dried-chicken/ )
Here is my link to Harvest Right – https://affiliates.harvestright.com/377.html If you do decide to purchase one, please use my link above. Our family does get a little commission on these. 🙂
Is this like an MRE?
Yes and No. Let me explain! Some of the items you can eat straight, however, I personally would rehydrate items like cooked chicken. Many prepackaged MREs have preservatives and are highly processed. That’s not to say that they aren’t edible because they are, especially if it is a necessity or an emergency.
So, what are some of the favorites in our house?
- Grayson – Blueberries, Bananas and Ice Cream
- Trystan – Ice Cream, watermelon, and Cherries
- Rowan – Pineapples, Grapes, Gummy Bears, “Astronaut” Ice Cream
- Berlyn – Chicken (He rehydrates and eats with hot sauce), Alfredo and Bananas
- Elwyn – Gummy Bears, Strawberries, Pineapples
And if you ask any of the dogs in my house they love the liver and heart treats that I make for them.Click this banner to visit Harvest Right!
OK – Mom’s favorite?
- Frozen mixed veggies (They are no longer taking up space in my freezer),
- Egg-nog so that I can have a glass any time of the year, – Egg nog powder is AWESOME in your coffee or hot chocolate.
- Goats milk so that I have powdered goats milk for recipes for later including my soap recipes (or to feed a baby animal who needs a bit extra),
- Raw and blended eggs to add to cake recipes, or to scramble for later.
- Yogurt bites
- Moon cheese chips (I love that I can create keto-friendly foods for me too!)
- Sliced avocados, (I rehydrate in lemon juice to prevent browning)
- Cooked chicken or fajita meat (https://krisandlarry.com/2018/11/20/using-freeze-dried-chicken/ )
What can not be freeze-dried?
Chocolate, Peanut butter, butter, honey – anything with a very high oil or fat content.
How do you store your foods?
I use either mason jars for items that I know we are going use sooner rather than later or mylar bags with O2 absorbers in them for long term storage.