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  • Keep Your Nutrition Stored for the Long Term

    It’s a brand new year, and time for the customary list of New Year’s resolutions. Raise your hand if you have “lose weight” as a New Year’s resolution … again? (I won’t mention how many years it’s been on my list.)

    Last week, U.S. News and World Report ranked 38 popular diet plans. All of the best plans had one thing in common: an emphasis on fruit and vegetables.

    veggies nutrition

    “People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body,” says choosemyplate.gov, a U.S. Department of Agriculture site to promote healthy, nutrition-rich eating.

    Let’s call it how it is: fresh food is almost always better for you. However, what if you’re in a survival situation where fresh food is hard to come by? Or, what if you want the convenience of pre-packaged foods without all the additives? Freeze-dried foods and canned foods can help fill those needs.

    For example, let’s take this recipe, from the Mayo Clinic, for the DASH diet and the Mayo Clinic diet. The DASH diet was ranked the best by U.S. News and World Report experts. The Mayo Clinic diet was ranked fourth. By the way, I’m not promoting any diet plan. How can I promote something I can’t stay on?

    Here’s the original recipe:

     

    shepherdspie3col nutritionShepherd's Pie

    By Mayo Clinic Staff

    Serves 6

    Ingredients

    2 medium russet potatoes, cut into nickel-sized cubes

    1 teaspoon olive oil

    1/2 cup chopped onions

    1/2 cup chopped carrots

    1 pound lean ground beef

    1/2 pound ground turkey breast

    1 tablespoon tomato paste

    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

    1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    2 cups chicken stock

    1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

    1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed

    1 cup skim milk

    1 tablespoon butter

    1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

    Directions

    Heat the oven to 400 F. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with water and bring to a boil.

    While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions and carrots until tender. Add the beef and turkey. Break apart the meat and stir frequently. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the stock and cook for 10 minutes; stir in the peas and corn. Cook the mixture down until most of the stock is absorbed; place the mixture in a casserole dish.

    When potatoes are soft, drain off the water. Then return potatoes to the pot over medium heat. Add the milk, butter and salt. Using an electric mixer or potato masher, mash the potatoes to a smooth consistency. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top of the meat mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Serve hot.

     

    Now, let’s say you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to chop up onions, potatoes and carrots. You’re just mashing the potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes might be the fastest substitute, because they contain milk, salt, pepper, and butter flavor. If you don’t like the additives, consider using freeze-dried potatoes, which contain salt. Other food storage-based options include rinsed canned potatoes.

    To save more time, use freeze-dried onions, and carrots, which are already cut.

    Nearly all the ingredients in this recipe can be kept on shelves in food storage. So even if you’re, say, in a tough period and need to use food storage, you still have healthy food.

    Potatoes contain potassium, and diets with a lot of potassium may help keep healthy blood pressure, according to ChooseMyPlate.gov.

    In addition to giving strong flavor, one onion has only 63 calories, and provides up to 20 percent of daily requirement of vitamin C, according to WebMD.

    One carrot provides 200 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A, according to WebMD.

    According to WebMD, a ¾ cup serving of peas has more protein than a whole egg or a tablespoon of peanut butter, less than one gram of fat and no cholesterol.

    Now, a caveat to replacing fresh food with preserved. When you buy food for storage, check the labels. A lot of canned and dried foods have added salt and sugar. If you use something like beans canned with salt, rinse them well first.

     

    Blog Image nutrition

  • 5 Differences Between Dehydrated and Freeze-Dried Food

    When it comes to storing food long term, the age-old question keeps coming up: freeze-dried or dehydrated?

    Both can work as part of your emergency food storage, but there are key differences between the two that could make one better than the other for your particular circumstances. Check out these differences and then choose the option that’s best for you.

     

    Shelf Life

    IMG_4120 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedMoisture content plays a huge impact on shelf life. The more moisture, the less amount of time it will last. With that in mind, it’s time to compare the moisture content of dehydrated and freeze-dried food.

    Dehydrated food can lose quite a bit of moisture–up to 95 percent! However, do-it-yourself home dehydrators may only remove 70% or a food’s water, leaving it with a shelf life of only one year on average. However, most top end dehydrated food will still maintain a shelf life of even longer, up to 15 years or more.

    Freeze-dried food, on the other hand, is much more suitable for long-term storage. Getting rid of 98-99 percent of moisture gives freeze-dried food a much lengthier shelf life. Our freeze-dried food has a shelf life of 25 years or more.

    While both dehydrated and freeze-dried foods can have long shelf lives, freeze-dried food is definitely superior when it comes to long-term storage. In both cases, however, cooler temperatures will help lengthen their shelf life. We recommend storing your food in temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

     

    Preparation

    Water_poured_in_5 - Dehydrated and Freeze-driedFreeze-dried meals prepare easily. Since everything is pre-cooked, all you need to do is add water, wait a few minutes, and your food is ready for eating! Best of all, it tastes just like it did the day it was created (which might very well have been 25 years ago).

    Dehydrated food is a touch different in the way it’s prepared. Instead of letting your food soak for a few minutes, it needs to be cook—boiled, even—in order to rehydrate enough to become the food it used to be. This can take upwards to 20 minutes, depending on the food. While it’s not a huge issue, it can make a big difference if you’re in a hurry.

     

    Nutrition

    According to a food science professor at UC-Davis, freeze-dried food maintains most of its nutrients throughout the process, and once rehydrated, is very similar in nutritional value to its fresh counterpart. This is in contrast to dehydrated food which, although much of the nutrients remain, only around 50% - 60% of the original nutrients are left over. In freeze-dried food, there is about 97% of retained nutrients. In this area, freeze-dried food comes out on top.

     

    Taste

    Lasagna_image - Dehydrated and Freeze-dried Lasagna with Meat Sauce, previously freeze-dried

    Flavor is important in your food. If it doesn’t taste good, why would you even want to eat it? Fortunately, both freeze-dried and dehydrated foods taste great, but there is a difference in the way it’s prepared that makes one taste better than the other.

    According to the Wild Backpacker, the taste of freeze-dried food is essentially held in the food, as the process involves very little heat. This keeps in the flavor, retains original texture, and secures the natural scents. This is why many believe freeze-dried food tastes better than dehydrated food, which uses heat to lose moisture, thus forfeiting flavor, original texture, and smell.

     

    Weight

    If your food intends to stay in your pantry or with your emergency food storage until used, then weight won’t really be an issue. However, dehydrated and freeze-dried food are delicious treats and meals to take on camping trips, hikes, and even in your bug-out bag, which in turn makes weight play a crucial role.

    Dehydrated food is heavier than freeze-dried food, so if you are planning on taking one of these types of foods with you on a hike, freeze-dried food is your best option in terms of being lightweight. If you’re planning on getting a meal out of your food, you’ll want to make sure you either bring enough water or have access to it so you can rehydrate your meals. Many freeze-dried foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and even meats, can be snacked on without rehydrating them, making them a nice, lightweight option for snacking.

     

    There are pros and cons to both dehydrated and freeze-dried food, so in the end it all boils down to what you’re looking for in a food, and how you intend to use it. When it comes to long-term storage and nutrients, however, freeze-dried food reigns supreme. So when you’re looking to invest in an emergency food storage, freeze-dried may very well be the way to go.

    Check out our freeze-dried food here!

     

    Blog Image

  • Mountain House: Nearly 50 Years of Freeze-Dried Excellence

    We strive to bring you emergency food that will stand the tests of time, in quality, taste, and health. So when we were looking for a company to partner with, these high standards played a key role in our selection of Mountain House as our freeze-dried food partner.

     

    A Lasting Legacy

    Mountain House has been creating delicious freeze-dried meals for nearly 50 years. This legacy of excellence began during the Vietnam War when the United States military requested better tasting, longer lasting, and lighter food than the K and C rations they were currently using. Mountain House (known as Oregon Freeze Dry at the time) was awarded the opportunity to be the military’s supplier, and has been ever since. For more details on how they came into being, check out their video below.

     

     

    Proven Quality

    Creating freeze-dried food for almost half a century means Mountain House has been around long enough to actually test their 25-year-old food that has aged in real-time, as opposed to accelerated lab tests done by other companies. This makes their claim of their food having up to a 25 year shelf-life a proven fact. But what about food older than 25 years, you ask? According to Mountain House, it’s still good! The flavor might change a little bit, but it will still be safe to eat.

    There’s more that goes with this proven shelf life, however. Mountain House has what they call a “Taste Guarantee,” meaning if your food doesn’t taste as good as it would have the day it was packed by 25 years, they will replace your food for you, no questions asked. That’s a confidence that can only come from decades of quality production.

     

    3rd Party Testing

    Mountain House doesn’t just believe you will love their food; they know you will. By taking advantage of third-party testers, Mountain House has evidence to back up their claims that people really do prefer their food over that of other brands. With our quest for the best in freeze-dried food, it’s little wonder we’re the largest suppliers of Mountain House around. We carry every Mountain House product they produce, and sell them at the lowest prices anywhere!

     

    Mountain House Overall Liking Summary for Chili Mac via Oregon State University Mountain House Overall Liking Summary for Chili Mac via Oregon State University

     

    Mountain House has Variety

    Emergency food doesn’t just have to be for storing and never eating. Mountain House expects you to eat their food, whether in an emergency, while hiking or camping, or just as an easy-to-fix dinnertime meal. They want you to enjoy their recipes, and they’ve provided you with many options to do just that.

     

    Mountain House Chili Mac Mountain House Chili Mac

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Meats

    Mountain House has a plethora of meal options from breakfast dishes, lunch and dinner entrees, and meats. From scrambled eggs and breakfast skillets for breakfast to chili mac and beef stew for lunch and dinner, your options for meals stay as fresh as the food itself. With cans of meat – such as chicken or beef – you can add extra bulk to your meals or use them in your own recipes.

    These freeze-dried entrées are prepared by professional chefs and are then freeze-dried so when they are reconstituted they revert back to the ready-to-serve meal they started out as. Boring and tasteless camping and emergency food is a thing of the past. Mountain House gives you the power to eat what you want, wherever you are.

    You can find every Mountain House option by clicking here.

     

    Sides and Desserts

    A meal just isn’t complete without a side and dessert. Sides help round out your meals with vegetables and fruit, and Mountain House’s delicious desserts really are the cherry on top. Choose from raspberry crumble or freeze-dried ice cream (just to name a few) to really turn your outdoor or emergency meals into something special.

    Mountain House Raspberry Crumble Mountain House Raspberry Crumble

    Buckets and Kits

    The Mountain House buckets and emergency meal kits are easy to carry and easy to store. Depending on the bucket, you get either 12 or 16 Mountain House food pouches. As for kits, you can combine various kits to create multiple combinations of meal options. For example, the 2-Day case of emergency food has different food options than the 5-Day Emergency Food Supply, and the 3-day is different from the 4-Day, as well as the others. So when it comes to having a variety of meals, mix it up with these Just-In-Case Emergency Food Supplies. Combine the 5-Day case with a 2-Day case for 7 days of Mountain House meals. Combine others for even more days’ worth of food! It’s up to you how you mix it up, but you can guarantee a varied supply of your favorite meals.

     

    Pouches

    Mountain House Breakfast SkilletEach pouch has approximately 2.5 servings full of delicious Mountain House food. One of the perks of pouches is their small, personal-sized contents. If you’re out on a campout, you may not want to haul around a #10 can of your favorite entrée. Pouches allow you to pack your food in convenience. The pouches can also be used to reconstitute the contents without even having pour it into a separate container. This makes it so you don’t have to carry plates around, either. When it comes to quality and convenience, these Mountain House pouches definitely deliver.

     

    After all is said and done, however, the most important thing about Mountain House meals is whether or not you like them. Of course, their track record in creating mouth-watering meals is above expectation, so we’re confident you’ll love them, too.

    Throughout the entire month of March, we’re throwing out all the stops to give you some of the best deals ever on all things Mountain House. Visit our Mountain House page by clicking here and take advantage of some great deals on amazing freeze-dried food!

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